Thursday, December 11, 2014

Thank you Tina, Heidi, Lisa, Randy, Tracy and Joe!

I love all the people who work for my local post office. The mail carriers who come to my home — Joe and Tina — are so lovely. But the people I know best are Heidi and Tracy (and Randy and Lisa on the weekends), the keepers of the windows at my local USPS branch. Since I see them every single day, we have built up a relationship over the years. They see me coming and grab the scanning gun before I even get up to the window. They willingly dip into their stash of padded bubble mailers from behind the counter (for some reason they are never put out in the lobby with the other free boxes), have covered postage for me when I was short, and have helped me locate packages a few times when things have gone awry. Love them!

About a year ago, I was listening to NPR. I heard a story about - what was it called? - informal communities. I think. Maybe not. But something like that. Anyway, the story was about how important relationships like these are in our lives. Informal community relationships form an important sense of community and belonging in our loves. These people aren't my friends exactly. Not co-workers either. They don't know when my birthday is or who my family members are. They don't share their favorite recipes with me and we have never gone out for lunch to catch up. But they are regulars in my life, they notice when I have been missing and they interact with me on a deeper level than a stranger behind a counter. (If I ever remember the name of the NPR story and find the link, I will post it here.)

I am really thankful for the USPS people in my life. Not only because they get all my packages to my customers but also because they make up this informal community and give me a sense of home and belonging.

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