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You've Got Mail! Please Share It With Us

When you think of mail, you probably don't think of a frosted Yoda cake. But Dianne Cooper of Nebraska does. That's because her sister-in-law has sent Cooper's two children birthday cakes through the mail for more than 10 years.

One of many birthday cakes Dianne Cooper's son, Taylor, has received through the mail from his aunt. Courtesy of Dianne Cooper hide caption

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Courtesy of Dianne Cooper

For Cooper's kids, it's something to look forward to every year. Cooper herself seems to marvel at the respect the Postal Service has given her family's tradition. One year, when a birthday cake had missed the regular morning truck, a letter carrier traveled 60 miles to get it to her house on time. Last year, according to Cooper, the letter carrier made a special trip "on his own time after he'd clocked out for the day."

"The mail guys take good care of the cakes," Cooper writes. "The Postal Service can take good care of packages if they want to."

This photo is one example of the many submissions to our project on cherished mail. We are asking you, readers and listeners, to send us photographs or scans of the most treasured item you have ever received in your mailbox.

There have been whimsical items like the Yoda cake. Or, for example, like the fan letter — returned to sender — written in 1989 to the actor Michael J. Fox. It was kept squirreled away for years by the letter-writer's mother to avoid breaking her daughter's heart. There's also a postcard from Allen Ginsberg — apparently originally destined for John Lennon and Yoko Ono.

But readers have also submitted more serious mail: Profound letters from old flames, the first correspondence from a birth mom, postcards rich with history, war and love.

Do you have a most cherished piece of mail? We'd love to see a photograph of it and learn the stories behind it. We will select some to feature along with an upcoming series on the future of the U.S. Postal Service.

How To Submit

Go to Flickr. Upload your photos, tagged NPRpostal. If you are a brand new Flickr user — or if you prefer not tagging your photo — please leave us the link in this page's comments section.