It’s in the 70s here again today. The birds are chirping. I have my laptop set up on the blue stool. The portable keyboard in my lap and a pillow behind my back in the wicker chair. The men are hitting the ball on the fairway. The cars are whizzing by, headed to somewhere important. I’ve had my Starbucks already and I’m determined to finish up yet another chapter today on the new book.The wind is at my back so I’m sure that will help.
I have already been to the post office to mail off some books to folks. Why I live at the Post Office is one of my favorite short stories. Are you familiar with it? I read it to Konnie one summer afternoon while we were at the park. She laughed in all the right places.
One of the packages I mailed off was to my new friend, Carlos, in Argentina. Says he, “Now you know one soul in Argentina.”
Indeed I do.
The lovely thing about the Pinehurst Post office is that any line you wait in is less than 5 minutes and it’s more like going to church than doing an unpleasant task. The post mistress has become a casual friend.
“You writing another book today?” asks she.
“Yes,” I reply.
“Is it about Pinehurst?”
“I could write a book but it would be all the bad stuff,” says she.
“Who says mine aren’t?” says I.
The postmistress knows all the dirt on this place but she hasn’t known me long enough to tell it to me yet. They say that the US Mail service in in trouble. That like newspapers and books it’s become archaic. I guess I have, too, then. I love mailing things. I’m terribly slow about it. I’ll carry a letter in my purse for 10 days before I’ll finally get around to putting a stamp on it. Beyonce should do that song — PUT A STAMP ON IT. That might be a catchy tune.
But there is something delightful about sending a package from North Carolina to Argentina. Even the postmistress thought so.
“How should I mail these?” I ask, handing her two books.
“I have an idea,” says she.
“Let’s take them there ourselves.”
“Great idea,” says I, “but we’ll have to wait until the next book sells before I can afford to do that.”
But I love knowing that my package gets to make the trip to Argentina. It gets to travel across land, and sky and ocean floors. It will be handled by people I will never know. They will carry it straight to Carlos in Buenos Aires and he will open it and smile, I think.
I will have sent a smile from North Carolina to Argentina via air mail.
Text messaging has its advantages but it will never be able to replace the delight of holding a package from a friend in your hands.
Gordon used to send me packages almost weekly. CDs that he had made of songs he liked or photos he wanted me to have or perhaps an article or editorial cartoon he’d cut out. And pictures, pictures and pictures. He always maild everything with purple heart stamps.
He would have been too busy on a day like to today to do that, though. He would have been out in the garden, preparing the soil for those tomatoes of his.
Me? I’m just going to sit here in this sun ray and turn words over and over in my head and hope that the sentences they form will speak to you.