PacratOld and CrankyPremium,MVM
You should be able to "archive" your e-mail messages directly to your hard drive! I know I can with my iMac mail program. If you select the archive feature on your account you should be able to select a target device... i.e., your hard drive.
Keep your eye on the ball, your shoulder to the wheel, your nose to the grindstone, and your ear to the ground. Now, try to work in that position!!!