I was brought up during an era when milk was delivered to the door. It came in thick, oblong bottles with gently rounded corners, a stubby neck, and a paper lid that was removed with a tiny tab.
When the milk was all gone (glug, glug, glug), the glass bottles were washed and put in a metal box suspended between the outside and inside walls of the house. The box had a small door in the hall that was locked after the bottles were inserted, and a metal outside door that opened onto a path leading to the backdoor. When the milkman came, he could deliver or pick up the bottles through this hole in the wall.
Lily of the valley and lilacs grew along this path. It’s my guess that they have always been my favorite flowers because they bring back such pleasant memories of my childhood. One of those memories is of Mr. Biggie, our milkman. I date the decline and fall of civilization to the day that the first architect drew the first blueprint of a house without including a delivery door for milk.