Sharing Stories
April 28, 2024 at 6:00 a.m.
Postman from Pinterest
Postman from Pinterest April Ryan


I guess, in a weird way, I need to apologize to friends I am meeting for lunch, now that it is raining. Not because my name is April and there are “April Showers.” No, no, no…I got my car washed a few days ago when it was warm and sunny. I opened the moon roof for a springtime breezy ride.

A freshly washed car is a sure-fire guarantee that rains will soon pour down; however, it was a true sunny day delight to drive under a canopy of pink cherry tree blossoms looking like a row of sweet cotton candy, for a few minutes taking me away from April calendar tax time blues.

I had a check clearly written, placed in a perfectly addressed envelope, and drove to the post office at the projected quiet, “no crowds hour,” ready to send taxes due to the IRS, by certified mail. So much for plans. I stood at the end of a line stretched to the outside, moving at a snail’s pace. Finally, inside, I filled out the necessary certified papers to receive a return reply once the check arrived.

Inch by inch, I finally stood face-to-face with an official who surveyed my envelope, and asked if I was sure I wanted to send it by certified mail. My answer was, “Only the best for the IRS.” He did this and that and had me press an “I accept there are no hazardous materials” on the envelope. Once again, I stated, “Only the best for the IRS.”

The postman asked, “Can I use your ‘only the best for the IRS’ in a poem?” Surprised, I asked if he was a writer, and he let me know writing relaxed him.

I asked for a book of stamps. He handed me some flag stamps, but I told him I might look like a flag kind of gal, but I wanted something pretty to send off on my bills. He gave me some stamps with flowers. I paid for the certified postage fee and stamps, then told him, “The next time I come to the post office I’d like to see one of your poems.”

His answer, “Only if you bring one for me to read.”

I said, “You’re on. I’ll bring one for you.” Now I’m going to need to write and carry a poem in my pocket for the postal poet to read, and hope I recognize him. We didn’t exchange names. I guess I’ll have to mutter those poetic words, “Only the best for the IRS.”

When I sat down in the car, I looked at the stamps, surprised they were titled “Garden Delights.” They were an assortment of different flowers with hummingbirds tempted by fresh blooming nectar. The universe was sending me a message from the past.

While visiting hospice in late December, 2012, one of the last experiences shared together was hummingbirds at the feeder outside the room window. Seeing hummingbirds on that cold December day had us giggling like children, causing us to be wordless with finger pointing and excited oohs and aahs, turning a sad time into a true delight.

On the way out, at the front desk, my ears perked up as I heard two women discussing filling the hummingbird feeders. I interrupted their conversation to thank them for taking care of the hummingbirds, and let them know it was, “an exquisite experience I will never forget.”

A dreaded day at the post office startled me with a delightful message—we are all connected.

April Ryan, frequent writer and poet for Northwest Prime Time, could share the last lines from her recent “April Showers” poem with the poetic postman:

“Tulips, daffodils, and painted daisies on display

Mother Nature’s wand awaits the flowers of May.”

SHARING STORIES is a weekly column for and about the 50 plus crowd living in the Puget Sound region. Send your stories and photos to Tell local or personal stories; discuss concerns around aging and other issues; share solutions, good luck, and reasons to celebrate; poems are fine too. Pieces may be edited or excerpted. We reserve the right to select among pieces. Photos are always a plus and a one-sentence bio is requested (where you live, maybe age or career, retired status, etc.).
SHARING STORIES is featured on, the website for Northwest Prime Time, a monthly publication for baby boomers, seniors, retirees, and those contemplating retirement. For more information, call 206-824-8600 or visit To find other SHARING STORIES articles on this website type "sharing stories" in the search function above.
Share this story!