Tuesday, December 10, 2019

When In Line At The Post Office

I told my son Brian I wouldn't be long. I only had a few things to mail. I told him not to worry. I'd get him to the gym on time. Hurrying towards the post office I noticed two women helping each other up the steps. It wasn't snowing. The steps weren't icy but I slowed down while they made it to the door. One pushed the handicap lever and the door opened. That's when they noticed I was waiting behind them.
They told me to go ahead. One explained, "We're just two old friends coming to mail our Christmas cards. We've been doing this for years. Don't wait for us. You'll be here all day!"
I thanked them and went inside and stood in a long line. I thought about leaving but decided there'd be no good time to mail something with Christmas getting closer.
I could hear those two older women chatting. I turned around to see where they were. They both saw me. They both smiled and waved. That's when I noticed what they were wearing. The two were all dressed up with clip-on earrings and long wool coats and hats. Not winter hats but dress hats with veils. They reminded me of my father. He loved going to the post office and when he did, he always wore a tie and if it was cold outside, he'd wear his dress hat. He'd always run into people he knew and would spend time talking to them and others he didn't know. Going to the post office was a social event for him as it seemed to be for the women in dress hats chatting with all who walked by them.
The post office was really busy. Some people were waiting with arms full of boxes. Some held onto piles of cards and letters. Many had questions once they reached the counter and that took them even longer. I noticed a few people getting restless. A few muttered to themselves and to others in line. A few left and that made the rest of us happy. When one person reached the counter with many big boxes to mail, a subdued moan went around the lobby. That's when I saw one of the old ladies standing near me reading greeting cards for sale on a display. I noticed the ones that had her attention were all Christmas-themed.
One really caught her fancy. She brought it over to her friend. They both started chuckling and giggling and then laughing-laughing so hard like a belly-type laugh with tears falling down their cheeks. They tried stopping. They'd take a breath; then they'd start laughing again. Their laughter became contagious. Others started laughing. Strangers were smiling and talking with one another.
It was a wonderful experience. It felt like Christmas had arrived early in the historic old post office where I imagined my father standing in the line waiting to mail the Christmas cards my mother had addressed. When you think about that's what a post office does. It delivers Christmas just like I delivered Brian to the gym-on time!
(Hope you enjoy The Saturday Evening Post cover. I love those covers and that magazine. My grandparents always had a stack of them when living in their farmhouse).

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