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An easy way to kill time during the pandemic: visiting every post office in Maine

Since April, Jim and Patsy Husson have taken their 1936 Chevrolet Coupe on adventures across the state as they try to visit every post office in Vacationland.

MAINE, USA — What have you done since April?

Since the coronavirus pandemic spread to Maine, many of us spent weeks at home trying to think of any ways to pass the time until restaurants and businesses started reopening.

Some Mainers spent the spring and summer binge-watching Netflix, while others found a new hobby.

Jim and Patsy Husson went above and beyond by combining two hobbies with many adventures. Since April, the two have taken their 1936 Cheverlote Coupe all over the state, taking an 84-year old car on hundreds of miles of Maine's backroads.

“I think our first cruise was to an ice cream store," Patsy said from the driveway of her Hampden home. “We’ve tried to make the best of a bad situation.”

Finding a passion for driving classic cars, there's one hobby. Using that car to visit every post office in Maine: that's two.

“(We) cruise around down the coast and try to pick up a lot of post offices and get a quick picture," Jim said. 

"We’ve been to so many places, and we’re taking all these different backroads that we’ve never taken before and gone to these little towns that we’ve never been to before.” 

Credit: NCM

The Husson's love for long drives and post office pictures definitely gets them out of the house as Wednesday's cruise was just the latest of more than a dozen trips around Vacationland.

These adventures also give Patsy something to do knowing when they're driving her risk of catching COVID-19 is minimal.

She is a lung cancer patient and has taken serious precautions since the coronavirus came to the state. The two pack lunches and bring their own chairs to eat outside whenever they hop in their antique ride.

On Wednesday, the two took 'Scarlett', the car is named after its paint color, around Route 1 to the coast. They made stops at the Orland, Castine, and Stockton Springs post offices, in just the first two hours of the trip.

Credit: NCM

“It gives us a great excuse to get out during this COVID. This is my treatment for the COVID depression," Jim said.

He added he has always had a love for stamps and that love evolved to post office and post office history. He's going town to town to snap pictures of new and old offices for a Postal History of Maine project.

Jim is hoping to add current postal history to the books and websites that feature older information.

“Post offices have evolved over the years, so there are many differences," he added.

When asked, he couldn't think of a favorite right away. It must be hard when you've seen dozens.

After a trip to the post office in Castine, the Husson's spent some time at other landmarks in town.

“The destination is the post offices, but we make it fun too," Patsy said from the front seat of 'Scarlett' while Jim was speaking with a postal worker.

The two always make time for the scenic spots during their adventure whether that's wire bridges, barns (Patsy loves the barns), or lighthouses.

Credit: NCM

On every journey, the two always take a picture with York Peppermint Patties, a tradition the Husson's started when they first met.

"To making more memories," Patsy said while snapping the latest candy picture at the Dyce Head lighthouse in Castine.

'Scarlett' drives like any other automatic car the Husson's add. The mirrors are smaller and took the most getting used to. Another adjustment was getting recognition from other drivers and pedestrians.

“Everybody loves these cars, they wave at you, (they give a) thumbs up," Jim said.

There's a good chance the Husson's have been to your town this summer, but if not, you may see a classic Chevy pulling into your downtown soon. You'll recognize it by the color, and by the driver taking pictures of the postoffice. 

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