Skip to main content

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?

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

My Litquake 2012 Report

I've been avoiding putting this together, because a part of me really doesn't want this year's Litquake festival to be over already.  The other part of me is still cranky-tired, wandering around trying to get to all those projects I said I'd get to after Litquake, and feeling post-Christmas like. In short, this year's Litquake was AMAZING.  Every year has been awesome, but this one was particularly special for me because I got to actually help plan the awesome.  As a volunteer during the festival for the past several years, I definitely felt like I contributed to making each event I helped at awesome, but this year, being on the committee,* I got to witness the tremendous build up to the festival that happens the whole year prior.  The amount of love, sweat and time that goes into it is incredible, and I'm not sure I've ever been part of something so cool.  Which is not to say I'm not still cranky-tired and looking forward to feeling fully recovered.

What To Expect When You Are Expecting A Pandemic

“When I think about all that has to transpire to get from pregnancy to the birth, I am overwhelmed by time and the unknown. It’s not useful to contemplate. There is only today, and it is good.” I documented my move from ambivalence about parenting, to IVF, to motherhood, as well as all of Year One. I did it longhand because that’s what I did back then. So now, finally, I’m typing all those pages up, in part because of the great What If that living amid a pandemic creates. And I came across this yesterday and it is so true for the current moment, for this, the fifth week of Sheltering in Place. Ways this time is like pregnancy: It can make you fat. It will definitely make you crave near-constant meals and snacks. You will swing from feeling good to anxiety-laden, angry, irritable and back again several times a day. You will want to know how this will all unfold, how hard it will get, exactly how you and your life will be changed. You can’t know any of that. Ther

For Mom, Twenty-One Years Later

I lost my mom twenty-one years ago today. She died from complications related to a long battle with chronic-progressive multiple sclerosis. I was a week away from turning twenty-one. Which means I have not had her as long as I did have her. It used to make me unique among my friends, to have lost a parent at such a young age. But I’m no longer young and many friends have joined this depressing club. The dues are astronomical and no one prepares refreshments. People, moms are important. Don’t let anyone tell you differently. Whether you were once a child or are currently a mom. They are the sun, moon, and stars, even when they are completely obscured by darkness. I wish she mattered less. She doesn’t. She matters more than almost anything: that first hit of love, that childhood sense of safety, that initial understanding of what it means to be a woman in the world: mom. Mom in 1974-ish Memory is funny when it comes to dead people: I can remember her any way I