Tuesday Afternoon in a Small Town

I recently posted about an experience at our local Post Office; I’d gone to pick up a package, and our mail carrier (who’d been sorting her mail and preparing for delivery) recognized me. She came out from the back and gave me the day’s mail right then (in addition to the package).

Today’s experience at the same post office might top that one. Again, I had a slip for a package to pick up. I knew it would be small, and the weather was pretty decent, so I decided to combine the post office trip with a bicycle ride. Sunny days with dry roads are scarce and getting scarcer around here, and I never pass up a chance to get out on a bike. So, I bundled up in my cycling clothes — including a ski mask-like garment called a balaclava that totally covered all of my head except for my face — put on some sunglasses, took a small back pack, and set off for town.

A few minutes later, I was clunking up to the postal counter in my bike cleats. I dug the package slip and my driver’s license out of my back pack, and waited for an available clerk.

The package slip turned out to be unnecessary. Despite my bizarre clothing, and all of my head except my face being covered, the clerk already had my package and set it on the counter as she greeted me. She made a joking comment about wondering when I’d be in, and then had me sign the release. “Do you need any stamps?” she asked, as I slipped the package into my pack.

“Not this time, but thanks,” I replied, putting my sunglasses back on and marveling at how she’d been able to recognize me.

The ride was wonderfully invigorating, but eventually the stiff headwinds penetrated even my heavy wool socks. Making a mental note to put my feet in plastic baggies next time, I turned the bike for home. But despite the bitter cold, I couldn’t stop thinking about that lady at the post office — and how much I like living here in Michigan.

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