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Sunday, January 29, 2012

MY post office.

I was following links about #LetterMo today, and then read more about the post office closures.

I haven't owned a car since July 2005. I've lived in Las Vegas, in rural Ohio, and in Michigan since then.

No car makes life especially exciting in the Midwest, where nearly everyone is used to having a car -- me included.

I could walk to a UPS store in Vegas, so I could send things in a pinch when no car was about -- but the post office was a few miles away. In Ohio I could walk to the post office if I was careful (windy country road). When I lived in Center Line, Michigan, I could walk to that post office.

I mailed a proofreading test in 2008 from the CL post office. Two, actually. :D

Now I'm in rural Michigan, and the post office is too far to walk to safely. If I depended on the post office for work instead of my computer, I'd be sunk.

But I still need the post office. I mail things, people mail me things. I ordered a new desktop when mine died. What if I'd had to go to a city to fetch it? I don't live in a city or a town, I live in a village.

Rural America will lose its post offices soon. My great-uncle doesn't use a computer. He's not required to, either; the post office is infrastructure. It's to bind us together, not rip us apart.

Sure, I can work from home because of the Internet. That's a great gift. Still, not everyone has regular 'Net access!

I run a small business. If I had to travel far every time I needed ink, or a new printer -- think of how that'd add up. (Trust me, I can imagine it vividly.) If I had to pay FedEx or UPS extra for delivery, when they don't always come out here, while USPS always does...

The Founding Fathers created the post office for us all. It serves many purposes. Anyone who thinks it's only about paper letters isn't paying attention. Anyone who ignores the lives and jobs and businesses who depend on USPS is a blamed fool.

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