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View From the Road

My name is Luella Merryweather, but everyone calls me Lou “the Mail Lady.” I am a Rural Carrier for the United States Postal Service. I have been carrying mail in Northeastern Oklahoma for 28 years. I am sure most people don't give my job a lot of thought, but I have seen some interesting things.

One of my favorite parts of the job is interacting with animals along the way. There are dogs and goats and cows and geese and just about every kind of farm animal you can imagine. I know the names of almost every dog on the route, and if I don't I will ask the owner when I see them. I say “hey baby” about a hundred times a day to all assorted creatures I encounter. I have personally delivered roosters that crowed in my backseat all the way to their destination. I have delivered crates of bees, small boxes containing only one queen bee, snakes, butterfly cocoons and big ole boxes of meal worms. One day a box of worms had a hole in it and the nasty buggers were crawling over my backseat and into my hair before I noticed. I won't elaborate on my choice of language that day.

Once, when I was learning a new route, the carrier training me introduced me to the sweetest old lady who owned a small trailer park. As were driving away, the carrier, Nancy, told me that one time the lady was waiting for her at the mailbox and she was practically in tears. She asked the carrier to please come inside because she needed her help. Even though we are not supposed to go inside a customer's home, the lady was clearly in distress so Nancy went inside.

The trailer park lady took Nancy straight into the bathroom where, to her surprise, there was a 6 foot iguana sleeping in the bathtub. Nancy had never seen an iguana and neither had the sweet little lady. Neither of them knew exactly what it was, but it was big and scary and it couldn't stay where it was. The lady figured it had escaped from the nearby zoo which. She told Nancy that she had found it in her yard and put it in the bathtub and had just been waiting for the mail lady because she knew she could return it for her!

I still don't know how the 89 pound little lady got the reptile into her bathtub because Nancy said it took the two of them to wrestle it into the mail vehicle. When Nancy took it to the zoo she was so proud. She went inside the office and told the ladies “I think I have something of yours.” The ladies looked at her with confusion in their eyes. “You know,” said Nancy, “the giant lizard!” The ladies had no idea. They checked with the director of reptiles, whatever you call that, but no lizard had escaped. Nancy had to take the monstrous iguana back to the trailer park and with the lady's help, they put it back in the bathtub.

Nancy had to continue on her rounds and leave the poor lady alone with the lizard. The next day as she pulled into the drive she noticed the lady was waiting at the mailbox again. “Oh please no,” thought Nancy, as she was sure she would be called back inside to wrestle the creature again. In fact, if Nancy was anything like me, she was probably mumbling under her breath. Being alone in the car all day, I do tend to talk to myself, but that is another story. The lady told the Nancy that everything worked out after all. The iguana belonged to one of the girls who lived in the trailer park. It gave Nancy a great story to tell, but I'm not jealous. I have plenty of stories of my own.


Luella (Lou) is a Rural Mail Carrier for the USPS. She has been working as a mail carrier in Northeast Oklahoma for 28 years. When she is not working, she loves hiking, gardening and jazz, but she is almost always working

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