Letters to the Editor

Post office employees need praise

The date was Dec. 14, 2007. A bad winter storm was forecast for the following day. My regular rural letter carrier, Sherri, told me she might be back later, as she planned to go back out and deliver the packages that had arrived at the post office that day. Those packages would normally have been delivered the following day, Saturday, but Sherri was aware that the weather was going to be inclement, so she opted to help her substitute carrier and take care of the package delivery by, in effect, running her Friday route twice.

This freed the Saturday route from any delays that could have been incurred by Christmas package deliveries. It was a kindness to both the substitute letter carrier and to the route residences and businesses, one that I sincerely hope has not gone unnoticed.

Another employee that I feel is deserving of praise is postal clerk Linda. This lady is often the only person postal patrons see when they visit the London Post Office for other than routine postal box mail retrieval or outgoing letter mailings at the drop window.

Many times I’ve noted with gratitude the way in which Linda not only handles her job with aplomb, but also in a caring and efficient manner. She never seems to hurry her customers, is always friendly and solicitous, and obviously enjoys her contact with people, many of whom are friends.

The third, and far too tardy, honorable mention goes to Susie Truett, rural letter carrier who became a dear friend in the 20-plus years she ran the Plumwood-Resaca rural route. Susie was from “the old school,” often going above and beyond the requirements of her job in order to make sure her rural folks were not only cared for by their letter carrier, but also by a lady that thought of many of them as friends. Susie was appreciative of little things we might be able to do in return, from a cold drink of water in the heat of summer to a bit of snow shoveling and salting in the winter. She is missed by many of us on her route and by her fellow employees, as well.

Susie left big shoes to fill when she retired, a route with many folks feeling tentative to even edgy about whoever would be her replacement. No one could ever really replace Susie, but Sherri has earned our respect and admiration in her own way.

In today’s harried world, we are too often quick to criticize and slow to praise. God bless these three special gals!

Julie Kay Smithson

Angels were watching over family on Dec. 23

The meaning of the words from an old Negro spiritual have always meant so much to me: “all night, all day…oh the angels are watchin’ over me, my Lord.” The angels surrounded our family members on Sunday, Dec. 23, 2007.

For years, our family tradition was to attend Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve.  Following Mass, we returned home, opened gifts in the wee hours and then had breakfast together. As our offspring married and established their own homes, our traditions changed.  

For the past several years, we have gathered together on the Sunday before Christmas for a supper of homemade soups and homebaked breads before opening gifts and then playing our family game of choosing wrapped gifts with a lot of “friendly” stealing from each other until the game ends. This year, the weather brought some very strong winds and a much colder temperature. Everyone packed up to return home.  

Our youngest daughter, her husband and two of their grandchildren were the first to leave. They were driving back to the city when a gust of wind picked up their minivan. The van went in the ditch on the right side and came back onto the highway; slid across into the ditch on the left side; came back across the highway again, rolled several times and landed in the right side ditch on its roof beside a telephone pole.

Our daughter was able to reach her cell phone, and her first reaction was to telephone to alert us about the accident. Family members rushed to the scene.

The greatest blessing was realized when the 4-year old granddaughter was able to free herself from her booster seat, open the door and with one shoe and one sock on, go up on the highway and be seen by a passing car. Those Good Samaritans stopped and she told them  “her Mamaw and her Pawpaw needed help!” They called for help. When we questioned her, she told us that nobody told her to do it—she just wanted to get out of that car!

When the emergency officers responded, they discovered the roof of the van had caved in a v-shape dividing the passenger side from the driver side. Fearing the worst, two state highway patrol cars, two sheriff cars and two fire trucks responded as well as three emergency squads. Both of the grandparents and her 7-year old brother had to be freed from the car. They transported everyone to the hospital to find that, other than being shook up, no one was seriously injured. Her 7-year old brother required eight stitches to close some facial cuts. She had one tiny scratch on one hand. The angels were watchin’ over them.   

As you read this, can you picture a brave little 4-year-old climbing up out of a cold, damp ditch with just one shoe and sock to seek help for her family as they lay trapped in an upside down mini-van? Her other shoe was found in the car the next day.

Just as the angels watched over them, we pray that your special angel is watchin’ over you.

Norma McNeal Freeman

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