QUINNESEC, Mich. - A Christmas card that showed up in an Upper Peninsula woman's mailbox a day before the holiday turned out to be a late arrival after all: 11 years delayed to be exact.
Lorraine Beauchamp says the envelope was postmarked in 2000 and has a 33-cent stamp, the price of first-class mail 11 years ago. And the sender, her sister-in-law Marion Beauchamp, died in 2010.
"I was afraid to open it," Beauchamp told The Daily News in Iron Mountain. "I can't believe it. I still can't. It was the only card I got that day."
Employees at a mail-sorting center in Kingsford said the card could have been stuck for years in a canvas bag, or that Beauchamp could have been looking through old cards and got the one from her sister-in-law mixed up with those.
Beauchamp, 85, lives in Quinnesec in the western Upper Peninsula near Wisconsin. Her late sister-in-law lived about five miles away in Iron Mountain. The card says, "Dear Sis," followed by a Christmas message, and then is signed "Sincerely, Marion."
Beauchamp said she plans to keep it. Her family still can't believe what happened.
"It was just a shock. We are laughing about it, but maybe she's telling me something. ... She was a character. I always liked her," Beauchamp said of her sister-in-law.