“Neither rain, nor sleet, nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds”
Many years ago, I spent some time working as a letter carrier for the U.S. Postal Service in New York City. During that time I met some very interesting people and enjoyed becoming familiar with the streets of Manhattan. I also learned a few things that I might not have otherwise learned. For example, I learned how to drive a one-ton mail truck, and how to parallel park that same truck using store windows as my guide.
Maybe it is because I spent time wearing that blue uniform that I make an effort to show appreciation for the work that postal employees do. After all, six days a week (at least for now) they deliver precious cargo: letters from friends and family, money and gifts, and all sorts of other things. Those items that we receive remind us that we are not forgotten; that someone, somewhere is thinking about us. For some people, getting their mail is the best part of the day.
Today is Black Friday and it is the beginning of a very trying time for the staff at the post office, the busy holiday season. During these next few weeks people will be heading to the post office in droves and I know that I’ll be among them. And so, this afternoon I brought a Pumpkin Pie covered with whipped cream to the men and women of our local post office to let them know that I appreciate what they do for all of us.
Grandma Frances has lived across the street from my family home since we moved there in 1973 – that’s 38 years. Grandma has three children, 4 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren but she has also been the proxy grandmother to my neices since their grandmother’s were not around. Grandma has always been available to help whenever she was needed and was more than willing to be a part of our family from the beginning.
Here are a few bits of information about Grandma: she is 91 years old having been born on June 23, 1920, she loves the New York Yankees (and even went to see a game last month!), she worked for many years for the US Postal Service in Manhattan, she loves word search puzzles, and she is still sharp as a tack. And get this, she still does not wear glasses of any kind – not even for reading! I’ve still got a few years to go before I’m 91 and I’ve been wearing cheaters for years.
Each year when I go “home” I make sure and plan a visit with Grandma and chat for a while. Last year when I was going to visit, my sister told me that Grandma was not to eat any sweets and so instead of baking her a treat, I brought her a bouquet of flowers. When Grandma heard I was coming to visit this week, the first thing she told my sister was, “Don’t let my family tell you that I can’t eat any sweets! I’m 91 years old and I can have a treat if I want one!” And so of course the first pie of my NY trip was for Grandma.
This morning my sister and I bought what seems like a bushel of MacIntosh apples (my favorite) and I baked an apple pie for Grandma. After dinner, I brought it over to her house and we visited for a while. She showed me a few pictures that she received for her 90th birthday (a photo of Yankee Stadium circa 1920 and a photo of Babe Ruth with Lou Gehrig). We talked about our children and our lives and just visited for a while. It seems that Grandma is content – and I am happy for her. And tickled to know that tomorrow morning she will be eating apple pie for breakfast.