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Delivering the Mail-Yes, But Where?


“I would like to thank whoever delivered our package to our porch this morning (Thursday). The USPS delivered it on Tuesday only to a wrong address. SOMEONE NEEDS AN EYE EXAM!!!”

This message posted by a resident in my neighborhood expresses the frustration of what has become quite common today. Even things once considered dependable are no longer. Delivery of the day’s mail was routine and predictable. Or, at least it was until some with a certain perverse ideological bend and a self-serving agenda decided to ‘improve’ it.

Growing up, delivery of the mail was, like the milkman, one of the most predictable and routine of activities filling the day. Leo, our mailman, walked a 16-mile route rain or shine, ice, and snow, blistering hot or bitterly cold. His appearance was almost as dependable as checking the clock on the wall. He arrived around noon. If my grandfather or someone else happened to be out he would engage in a bit of conversation, and exchange news and share opinions. He knew everyone-adult or child-and everyone knew him on a first name basis.

That was what delivery of the mail was like growing up and that boring and reassuring predictability continued through the 1960s, 70s, 80s, 90s, and into the new millennium. Delivery was consistent and still fairly predictable until a few years ago when suddenly I became aware there had been a dramatic change. The arrival of the mail was no longer predictable, nor did I know my mail carrier because they changed almost as often as the season, as did the delivery time.

Today our mail can arrive any time from early morning to late into the evening. We never know when it will be delivered or by whom. There is no consistency except inconsistency.

This change didn’t matter as long as my mail still arrived, all of it, or at least it did. One of the earliest changes noticed in the delivery of our mail was a rather curious one. We have a mail slot and getting the mail through the slot has never been a problem. NEVER. The slot has been here since the house was built 70 years ago. No mail carrier ever had a problem getting ALL our mail through this slot and into our house until about four years ago. Suddenly, if there were more than two or three pieces it ended up stuffed in the front of the slot and to retrieve it we had…



Jerry M Lawson, "De omnibus dubitandum"

Writer and artist. Published over 150 essays, stories, and articles in 20+ publications and recognized as a Top Writer in History, Science, and Space.