Do We Still Need the Post Office?



Green Valley Lake, California, Post Office

The good folks of Green Valley Lake say, “Yes!”

As a recent visitor to Green Valley Lake, and soon-to-be temporary resident, I couldn’t agree more. I had gone through a lot of trouble to carefully package some books. These were important packages to me and to the people waiting to receive a print copy of “Flying High with Carole Jean!”

My friends and neighbors in Roca Verde, Atenas, Costa Rica, own a cabin in San Bernardino County, California. I casually asked if there was a post office in the quaint little resort town where their cabin is located. Lynn beamed,”Why, yes, there is. It’s adorable. Wait ’til you see it!”

I fetched my packages and said, “OK, let’s go! These people already paid their money and are waiting for the books!”

We drove down the winding mountain road, and from a distance, I saw the red, white, and blue building painted like an American flag and delighted at the quaintness of it all. I jumped out of the car and said,”I’ll be quick. I send them as media mail, you know, book rate. They’re all the same price, so it’s fast and easy. Right back.”

I happily skipped up the stairs, tugged on the door and… nothing. Locked! I tugged again. Still locked. I shuffled back to the car, and Lucas said, “Read the sign. It tells you the hours.”

Oh. I went back and saw in small print at the bottom of the sign, “Hours: M -F 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.” It was 10:00 a.m. We had things to do. It was Friday, and Monday was Memorial Day. The all-important mail would have to wait until Tuesday.

I fairly skipped up the post office steps on Tuesday at 11:00 a.m. and there, behind the counter was the beautiful Rachael, waiting to help me with my red padded envelopes.

I smile, “Book rate, please. It’s $2.69 each.”

She looks me in the eye, “Any notes in there? You know, like ‘Hi, how are you?’ ”

“Nope. I know the rules. No notes.”

I mailed five packages and if you happened to receive your book with a postmark from Green Valley Lake, save it. It could be worth money some day. Last week, one of the residents of this tight-knit community reported there was a For Lease sign on the door. The community sprung into action.

Word spread quickly, phone calls were made, emails were sent, and the problem resolved. The post office stays! A new lease was negotiated, and the full-time residents breathed a sigh of relief. Without it, residents would have to drive a half-hour down the winding mountain road to the main post office down San Bernardino way. It’s not so bad in the summer, but icy roads in winter can be treacherous.

To all those folks who did their magic to save the Green Valley Lake Post Office, Hats off to ya! I hope to be sending more padded red envelopes from there soon!

So, do we still need the Post Office? Yes! At least I do.


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