Once upon a time, this old house that we’re pouring so much love and work into was the post office. The history is fuzzy to me, because I’m not sure who owned it when it was the post office nor am I sure just how long it served that purpose. I remember when there was a hallway leading from the true front door (not the entrance we currently use) to the dining room (which has been in the same place for as long as I can remember) and it makes sense that the post boxes might have been on the living room side of that hallway. Except how did you use the fireplace then?
The house has gone through iterations and owners, cycling through generations of my family starting with my great grandfather way back when. After he owned it, it was Adelard Brousseau’s, then (I think) someone named Brown. Then Hortense Quimby bought it to live in, fixing it up fine and promptly dying before she could move in. Or maybe the Browns were after Hortense Quimby? In any case, the house fell into the hands of the state of Vermont and came up for auction, where my great-grandmother (and my grandmother and her sister) bought it for a song. I have no idea who or when it was the post office. Maybe that’s part of myth and lore. Maybe the answer is somewhere in the piles of paper that my dad unearthed from the dresser in my grandmother’s room, papers I’ve still not gone through.
Funny how the house in Charlottesville has never had a name.
And this one has never not had a name. When I was a kid, it was alternately “the Brown house” (and it’s also painted brown, so there’s some confusion about which led to which) and “the OPO” or even just “the post office.” Now, it’s the OPO.
Kind of like the boat, which demands a moniker and wears it with pride. There, I answer the radio with “Calypso” happy to identify the vessel and myself as an extension.
When the phone rings in Vermont, I meander to answer. “Old Post Office.”