SOCIAL MEDIA: OLD SCHOOL
Great New York Times article this morning on the vanishing of little post offices around this country. I was lucky enough to “come up,” as we say in the South, summering in a town which at the time wasn’t big enough to register as a town. There was no mail delivery (there still isn’t). Too mountainy. The roads are too narrow. So we had to go down to the P.O. to get our mail. Of course, we had to “go down” to get anything we might need because everything above us was wilderness. The world of human beings lay below. How we kids would bitch and moan about having to trudge down to get the mail. Because, of course, after the going down, there would a lot of steep climbing back up to get home. No matter where we went or what we did, there was always the climbing up. Always on foot, on our own two feet, in the steamy heat of a summer day or the scary pitch black of an evening. We complained while our mom told us to Get out of this house and don’t come back empty-handed. We were kids. Kids complain. But now I bless every day I had to walk to that post office. I miss the business of nosing into that room of funny, old-fashioned lock boxes, of running into this or that neighbor sorting junk mail into a giant round trash can. The older people would have driven down in their gigantic whales of old-people cars which they’d then ease back up to their driveways at .05 miles an hour. The pace of it! And our wonderful Post Mistress, Catherine, who had decorations and usually home-made cookies for holidays. It meant absolutely nothing to me then — or so I thought. But now it means the world.
The picture here–it’s a little piece of rug-hooking my mom did to commemorate things. Like everything she ever made, it says Here! Here I am! Here we are! This is Home! This is our town! The landmarks she chose to immortalize? From top to bottom: the local inn; the church–yes, round, with a red roof; our house, whose scale is blown up to be bigger than the inn (Here I am! mom was saying); at the bottom you see some stone gates. But that building with the flag in between: that’s the P.O. The Post Office. The hub. With its proud flag saying We’re official. This is an Official Place. I can feel my mother’s love of home in this piece. Mine too.
© i.e. ideas expressed 2011