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E: Eagle

Another excerpt from my soon-to-launch collection of mini-memoir, The ABC's of Pandemic Parenting:

The eagle is the symbol of the Unites States Postal Service. It is emblazoned along the side of each mail carrier’s truck. When my father returned from military service first in Germany he floundered for his next role. When we landed in California, the land of his and her families, he found himself a job as a postal carrier. Highlights of that job were the cookies left for him at Christmastime. The Halloween my brother dressed up as a postal carrier, wearing my dad’s oversized uniform, we got to trick or treat along his route. I, always less clever, insisted on being a princess and in turn got way less gushing notes of adoration from the route’s inhabitants. 

My father’s departure from the postal service upheaved my childhood townlife to Southern California where he entered seminary to train as an American Baptist pastor. Each church he served had flags inside the building, adorned with an eagle on top. 

In 2020 amid the pandemic, well before the vaccines rolled out, the US postal service carried us all through the strangest and most unpleasant election season recorded. While their own children were suddenly home doing virtual school they took to their trucks and their walking routes and kept life moving. Packages and personal mail have always been a thing of beauty but during this season of simultaneous extreme isolation and too much closeness they are a lifeline, a happy diversion, a way to connect, a way to distract, a way to keep your house supplied with the things it needs without having to go inside a store. While the current president tried to shut them down, refusing them respect because he deemed them too expensive, they kept showing up. With uncertainty looming, they kept showing up. And the mail arrived. Ballots arrived. Ballots mailed back. Democracy, under threat, prevailed because they kept showing up. They delivered life-giving medications. New toys. Birthday cards. And the ability to participate in turning the tide of history. 

the USPS keeps Clue in kitty kibble too!

Question time: What's your favorite thing to receive in the mail?


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