Thursday, November 20, 2014

Save Our Post Office

My home post office is undergoing changes. I'm not much into politics, so I can't speak with knowledge about the inner workings of why things happen, but it seems to me like the most important American institutions are undergoing cuts and changes (police, teachers, post offices).

I am a big proponent of keeping things the same for as long as possible. I know that we are all technologically inclined (not something that I am thrilled about), but some things really should remain as they are. For example, writing. More and more, schools aren't teaching cursive writing, which, to me, is astounding. People write thank you notes and birthday wishes via text and social media. Not only is this less personal, it's less permanent.

The amazing Mountain Lakes Post Office.
While visiting my town's post office today (a friendly, efficient place where everybody knows everybody), I was informed that our carriers will now be working out of a neighboring post office, Parsippany. There will be a few people at the clerk window, but that's it. This is devastating to me. Our mail is sorted through Newark. Less and less is happening at our post office, and soon, if things don't change, it will close.

What kind of America do you want? I want one with small towns and privately owned shops. I want spaces where people feel welcome and others know them by name, creating a sense of familiarity. I don't want more Target Greatlands; I don't want more malls. I want a life with daily interactions that matter, rather than generic checkouts. I want moments to remember. I want a paper trail.

I have letters that my grandparents have written, also cards and old postcards. These things show the character of the writer. Writing style is noted, penmanship, paper choice, all give a peek into the character of the writer. Postcards sent from a specific location show where the person has travelled. Yes, we all post our photos on Instagram/facebook/twitter (whatever), but how can we save those photos to show our grandchildren? Sending mail is imperative.

Had this been an email or a text, it never would have survived.

I asked the local postmaster who I could contact to let them know how much I love our post office and to tell them that I would like it to stay the way that it is, and the postmaster said that while it was fine to try, the wheels of change were already in motion.

I will try.

Please, if you care about writing, sending letters, and maintaining an American tradition, please start walking into your local post office to mail your letters. Buy your stamps at your local P.O. by walking up to the counter and making the transaction with a person (as opposed to buying online).  Write a note, letter, or card today and send it to a friend, via the USPS. (Feel free to send me a letter: Domestic Goddess Files, PO Box 243, Mountain Lakes, NJ 07046)

And if you live in Mountain Lakes and would like to keep our post office alive and thriving, write a letter and let the district postmaster know how much our post office means to you. I know that you are busy, but taking 15 minutes out of your day to write to potentially save our post office is worth it, don't you think?

Send your letter to:
George Flood
USPS Northeast Area Communication Programs Specialist
21 Kilmer Road
Edison, NJ 08899

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