Signed Sealed Delivered

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/538883911639272657/I bring the package to a post office 20 minutes away from my hometown.

In my local post office, the clerks have no sense of humor. One town over, the postal clerks are much too officious, and one town away from them, the line is always too long and the lobby smells of old wet non-delivered letters.

I don’t want to be rushed or frowned on or holding my nose when I send a precious package to my mom. She lives seven hours away and misses me. My packages are one way for us to feel closer.

I sidle up to the “friendly”  post office counter, trying to look relaxed and casual. “Do you think I’m being too optimistic?” I ask shyly, pushing my parcel in front of the male clerk.

John (his nametag reads), 50s, balding, sparkly eyes, replies, “What makes you say that?”

The flat Priority Envelope bulges badly. The contents, frozen hard as rocks, are in a freezer bag, which in turn is tucked into another freezer bag, which is inside a large Ziploc sack.post office, flat rate envelope

“I can’t seem to close it,” I explain, “and I’m not sure even your super-duper tape will keep it safe.”

“What’s in there?” John asks, knowing he’s not supposed to.

“The best cookies in the state. Well, actually, the country,” I answer.

“Ah, so that’s why you’ve hidden them so well.” He seems impressed, in a droll way.

“It’s a secret,” I whisper. “Don’t tell any of the other postal people or these will never get to Delaware.”

He laughs and holds up a finger. “Wait here.”

I pull the cookies wrapped in a dozen ways out of the Priority Mail flat envelope that is impossible to close.

John brings out a squishy, padded Priority Envelope, bigger than the flat one, but not as big as the other ones I’ve seen displayed.

“That’s perfect!” I exclaim. “I’ve never seen these before!”

He places his finger to his pursed lips. “We hide them in the back. Just for something special, like this.”

postal service, mailing, packages“How much?” I ask, as he weighs the precious cargo.

“For you? $7.50,” John replies, winking. “What a deal, for a package that’s pure gold.”

 

100 thoughts on “Signed Sealed Delivered

  1. Oooh! You were flirting! 😉

    We have a post office in our little village, we’re very lucky because so many of the little villages have lost theirs in recent years. One thing that’s annoying though, if you’re not home when they try to deliver something that needs to be signed for, they used to leave it back at that post office for you to collect which was great, but now they take it back to the sorting office in Canterbury, which is a half hour drive away for you to collect. I know half an hour isn’t much and many people other people have to go that far anyway for a post office, but it’s just so annoying when we’ve got a post office right there! It’s right there! I always think of like elderly people who maybe have to make a special bus trip for it. Sorry for the rant, it’s just that it’s happened to me twice recently and I know I only just missed the postman trying to deliver!

  2. Oh man, this had me choking up. Just goes to show how far a little kindness goes…and how far we’ll go when we know we’ll find it. Those kinds of packages ARE pure gold. My Dad once sent me home baked cookies for my birthday!!! Best present EVER!!! Blessings on you, your Mum and that special postman. Love and hugs always, Harula xxx

    • I think these reminders are good for us all – if we all just act nice to each other, find a way to help out in little ways, boy, it just brightens up EVERYONE’S day.
      xo hugs to you. Hope you always keep singing your songs, brightening up anyone close enough to hear.

    • A cookie with your coffee is much more tasty than ‘clouds in (your) coffee.’ Sorry, the Carly Simon song popped into my head with your comment. 🙂 I hope you get your cookie with that coffee. As far as I’m concerned, a good cookie is sometimes all we need to make the day right. xo

  3. Wonderful story, Pam. I hope the cookies arrived safely and your mom enjoyed every bite!

    We are also fortunate to have a post office in our town. The people there are always friendly, although I don’t really know them anymore. The people who were there when we first moved here have retired–and honestly, I don’t go as often. But the ones who used to work there were always helpful–even calling once to make sure I got a package.

    • Wow, having a postal person call to check on your package is almost as good as having a doctor make a house visit! Personally, I think those who work in a post office don’t get enough kudos. Those who deliver our mail do so in the sun, yes, but also rain (and here) in LOTS of snow. The clerks deal with all sorts of people (grumpy, angry, displeased, impatient as well as the nice and happy ones), and yet most of them are always courteous and helpful. I’m so glad we have our post office and will always encourage people to SNAIL MAIL it. 🙂

  4. I confess that I find visiting a post office to be a nostalgic endeavor that I quite enjoy, despite the negative connotations associated with the postal service (i.e. – snail mail). In a day and time where everything is now, now, now – the history and memories of a simpler and slower time where we are given the space and opportunity to stop and appreciate simple kindness around us. Your message and memories have been sign, sealed, and delivered indeed! Thank you, Pamela 😉

    • I hope I never give up snail mail. I love finding the ‘perfect’ card for a friend or relative: a sick auntie, a down-in-the-dumps friend, a newly engaged neighbor, etc. I enjoy making cards, also, with my photographs. The personal goes so much beyond an e-mail or text. Even so personal as a box of cookies! Thanks Dave, for being ‘a snail mailer’ once in a while also. I’m not surprised.

  5. We live in two places and have trouble with official mail forwarding and delivery as we transfer. But not with our small rural postoffice. Instead of sending important mail through official channels, they pack it up in a special envelope and mail it to me themselves.

    You sure can tell a story! I just read The Right Wrong Man. Couldn’t put it down. You brought those characters to life as they lived through your convoluted plot. I was marooned on that Caribbean Island until I got back to Boston once again.

    • First, those rural post offices are unsung heroes. It’s time to sing their praises, for sure!
      Second, thanks so much for making my week. I’m delighted that you enjoyed THE RIGHT WRONG MAN. And, thanks for writing a review on Amazon, also. You are the type of reader every author wishes for. I’m working on the sequel now. Want to guess who the story follows the most?

  6. Your post office man reminds me of my post office man, Always has a smile for everyone, always helpful, never an unkind word or action. A wonderful tribute to the postal worker and your mom. 🙂

  7. Ahh…this is lovely – your heart parcel of cookies (and love) and the kindness of your friendly post office counter. My mother sent me a parcel with a kitkat in it whilst I was in East Germany. I didn’t know which meant the most to me, the thought or that precious chocolate. What did I mind that it arrived smashed to smithereens – I ate every crumb over the next few days with such delight and consideration.

    • Loved your comment here, Annika. First, the sentimental memory of such a thoughtful KitKat mailing, but then the afterthought that it arrived all smashed. WHOOPS! After much experimentation, I have figured out how to wrap my cookies so they arrive intact. However, once I sent a batch of my meringue cookies (“forgotten cookies”) to a friend across country, and she informed me that they arrived in a thousand little pieces. No matter, she assured me, she still ate every tiny morsel. 🙂

      • Oh, meringues are so tasty whether whole or disintegrated! It’s when a white dusting of crumbs fly off on each bite that they are at their most sublime. I’m quite aficionado, haha!😀😀 Meringue cookies would be a dream to try!

        • You ARE a specialist in the art of eating meringue! My cookies are egg whites, sugar, a touch of salt, and right before they’re place in a hot oven, mini chocolate chips. Then the oven is turned off and the cookies are ‘forgotten’ for a day or two. Longer if you want the meringue at YOUR most sublime. My son happens to like it when they have a bit of chewiness in the middle – so then the cookies are forgotten for a shorter time. The trick is in the beating of the egg whites, I believe. Took me a few years to become an expert. 🙂

  8. What gets me about your writing is that I can never quite tell if they are true or fiction. This one seems true and is delightful (as the fictional ones are, too)! I am always tickled when government workers are inspired to show their humanity. They are so often treated as robots (and respond as such). Give kindness and you usually receive kindness. It’s not magic, but it feels that way. 🙂

  9. Isn’t it wonderful to get a human working at a government outlet? It doesn’t happen all that often anymore. I sure hope those cookies don’t get crushed (or eaten in the back room) before they reach your mother. Very thoughtful of you to send them.

    • And your comment brightened MY day, Patricia. Ah, the power of kindness and appreciation. xo
      P.S. Since I have your attention and you write great reviews on children’s books, which I buy because of your reviews, I just found a new book that my 7-year-old grandson absolutely loves. Called “If I Built a Car.” I don’t remember if you recommended it. Delightful.

  10. Superb story and videos which I listened to – yep, balm to the soul!

    I especially liked the golden words coming out of Mr. Postman’s mouth. 🙂

    Your post reminds me of the love letters Cliff and I exchanged between NC and FL. Back then no emailing, texting existed. Long distance calls were too expensive but postage wasn’t. I still have some of our hot exchanges, the ones that survived the flood in our garage.

    • Aha, so you’re a huge Beatles fan, like me! As soon as I started writing this post I began to sing Mr. Postman in my head.
      Love letters are proof positive why snail mail should never ever end. Save those letters FOREVER.
      Uh oh, now I’m singing Love, Love Me Do. ❤

    • My mom has never been a lover of sweets. I remember aching for a candy bar when I was a kid, but she never allowed them in or near the house. But she goes crazy over my cookies now. My guess is less for the sugar, and more for the fact that I make them for HER. xo

  11. Precious cargo indeed! I’m laughing because you describe our town post office so perfectly…I wonder if you have to have a certainly personality to work in a post office??

    • You probably SHOULD have a certain personality to work at a post office, considering the abuse you can get from some people on the other side of the counter. I’m glad to hear you have the same experience at your post office – I think we need to have a ‘postal clerk appreciation day.’ 🙂

  12. I LOVE this post…except I thought the cookies I mailed to my mom were the best in the country! 😉
    I’m still smiling at how you choose the best post office to use…especially since one smells like wet, undelivered mail.
    This is a delight. And a good reminder of what’s good! 😉

    • I’m willing to concede – we BOTH make the best cookies in the country!! 🙂 Thanks so much for your comments here, Marylin. Brought a smile to my early morning sipping-on-hot-tea mouth. So fun to connect here.

  13. I love going to the post office in town too, just for that chance of joking around with someone. I’ll usually only get a few stamps at a time and the post office guy always laughs at me. Your story made me think of a Zoe Lewis song (she’s a songwriter who lives in Provincetown). The song goes into comparisons between the old fashioned ways of doing things and the newer ways that came along with more technology and she says, “I like to collect my mail because I like the smile on the post office lady’s face…because I love the human race.” It makes you realize how much we need that kind of human contact these days. I’m glad your cookies arrived safely!

    • What a fun performer! I just ‘liked’ Zoe Lewis on FB and listened to some of her music on YouTube. Thanks for introducing her to me, and thanks for comparing our thoughts on visiting the post office..and the importance of kindness and friendship. Marvelous. xo

  14. Did the cookies get thereOK? To find a pleasant postal employee is also pure gold!! They are pretty friendly here in Spain, although not that quick or effecient. All can be forgiven with a warm smile!!

  15. Ah that’s nice Pam. Though generally it’s rare that I, personally, experience bad service. Even then I put it down to someone just having a crap day. I know for sure that I wouldn’t last a day in any customer-facing role without barking at someone, or worse 🙂 Hope Mum enjoyed the cookies.

    • I’m just now getting to your comment about the normal experience of good service you receive. It must be because of the lovely area in which you live. I’ve noticed over the last decade that as ‘busyness’ and ‘stress’ increases here in the US, service declines to more grouchiness. I always try to ‘break it down’ with a smile. 🙂 But I agree with you, those who work behind a counter and have to ‘endure’ the public every day have a tough job.

  16. Oh what a week, but I finally got to read this sweet post. One of my favorite post office workers retired last year😂. It always made me feel good when I could send my mom a package . How to you feel about sharing your recipe.

    • Hi Gerlinde – just getting to your request – I’m on an airplane to have a quick visit with family back ‘home,’ in Bay area! When I return, I’ll include the recipe (chocolate chip oatmeal butterscotch bars), but I must warn you, it’s pretty simple. But, yes, simply delicious. 🙂

  17. oh Pam…what a lovely double sweet story!!!! sending your Mom those little gifts of gold
    is a treasure in and of itself….and then to have a postman ‘get it’ and have fun with you,
    and then to share this sweet story with us….well….it makes it triply sweet!!!!! xoxoxoxo

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