Sunday, August 31, 2008


Contrary to popular belief, the U. S. Postal Service has no "official motto." Actually it is just the inscription found on the General Post Office building in New York City, having been put there by the architects who designed the General Post Office.

The mail carrier assigned to delivering the mail in my neighborhood, in my opinion, is a saint and a friend. No matter how cold, how hot, how icy, how rainy, and how uncomfortable he might be, he delivers my mail with a smile and a "hello." Sometimes he brings those dreaded monthly bills, but oftentimes he delivers those letters or greeting cards that we all love to receive. E-mails just can't replace holding the personal greeting in our hands from a loved one. He has become a neighborhood friend and confidante to many of us. His concern for our well-being is a blessing. Due to his tight schedule, he is unable to converse for long periods of time, but he always has time to inquire if we are doing OK. He has been known for helping one friend of mine to look for her lost keys when she was unable to gain access to her house, not once, but twice. We were all saddened when he was assigned to another route, but eventually he was reassigned back to our neighborhood. The entire neighborhood was delighted to see him back and he was happy to be back also. Today I am writing about the different facets of the U. S. Postal Service, but to most of us, the home mail carrier is the most important of all the services the post office offers and he/she can never be replaced by the internet.

It all began back on April 3, 1860, when a fast mail service, the Pony Express, carried mail from St. Joseph, MO, to Sacramento, CA. The original mail service had messages carried by horseback riders crossing the prairies, plains, deserts, and mountains of the Western United States. It was founded by William H. Russell, William B. Waddell, and Alexander Majors. The westbound trip was made in 10 days, 7 hours, and 45 minutes. The eastbound trip was made in 11 days and 12 hours. Every 24 hours they covered approximately 250 miles. The Pony Express, established a year before the beginning of the American Civil War, reflected the need to provide fast and reliable communication with the West. Stations were placed at intervals of about 10 miles, roughly the distance a horse can travel at full gallop. Riders changed to a fresh horse at every station. There were all kinds of restrictions placed. The rider could not weigh over 125 pounds, riders were changed every 75-100 miles, and the total weight could not exceed 165 lbs., including the mail pouch, Bible, knife, horn for alerting the station master to prepare the next horse, rifle, and a choice of a rifle or another revolver. The riders were paid $100 per month. When my late husband worked for the Santa Fe Railroad, he was transferred to St. Joseph, MO, and we were able to visit the original stables where the Pony Express began.

Mail can be delivered in so many different ways today. We do not have to depend on the faithful horse and rider. There are boxes located in post offices, boxes located in offsite locations, mail is delivered by independents, such as UPS and Fed Ex, mail is delivered in some apartment complexes or neighborhoods to cluster boxes located in one area, we also have rural route delivery, and, in many neighborhoods, delivered to the door by a home mail carrier.

We take these home mail carriers for granted. I know first hand that accidents can and do happen to carriers while on their daily route. My niece and her father, my brother-in-law, are home mail carriers. My niece has injured her same ankle twice, has had one surgery, and at the time of this posting, another surgery is pending, both from stepping in holes or on uneven lawns. My home carrier has also injured his ankle while on his route delivering mail. There are also incidences of dog bites. In Oklahoma City, we do have a leash law and bites are probably not as prevalent as they once were. The carriers are permitted to carry mace for protection against dogs.

No work site is completely safe these days. On Wednesday, August 20, 1986, in Edmond, OK, 15 postal employees were slain by a disgruntled postal employee. This was believed to be, at the time, the worst mass murder case recorded in Oklahoma history. After killing 14 employees, wounding 5 others, the gunman committed suicide. Although two decades have passed, the memories remain vivid for those who were at the scene that day. Every single person, except one, went back that night to the post office to work. They had to; nobody else could sort the mail. Shell casings still littered the floor and blood stains were visible inside the building. The deaths were difficult to cope with because the postal employees are such a closely knit group. A monument has been erected at the Edmond, OK post office to honor those slain employees.

I wish to thank all U. S. Postal Service employees, especially Rod, my neighborhood mail carrier, for their tireless and thankless job of delivering our daily mail in snow, rain, heat and gloom of night.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


This posting will be different than most of my entries, in that I won't be chronologically listing what I have done since my last posting. Yes, I have done the usual things I always write about, like walking, having dinner with family and friends, working at the museum, and gambling (another loss), but I have been thinking about my subject of this posting since a retired military man at the museum told me he loved me.

Love is used in so many different ways: I love my family, love my pets, love my job, love chocolate, love shopping, love my God, and love my friends.

Most people think friendship is the best. You have to be friends to love or to fall in love (two different things). My love began when I came out of the womb into the loving arms of my mother, this had not developed into a friendship with my mom, but came later throughout my childhood. Everyone can fall in love or love, but friendship has to come first. Without friendship and love it would be hard to exist. I fell in love with my late husband the minute I laid eyes on him. Was that love, friendship, or lust? He was a handsome man!!!! I developed a friendship with him and ended loving and being in love. Next I experienced the love of being a mom myself with my first born son, then the second son. Along the way I had friendships with many people, in the workplace, neighborhood, schools, etc. I grew to love many of them but did not fall in love with them.

Now I understand the differences in friendships, love, and being in love. Love is a bond between two people, friendship is just a form of love or respect for the other person, and being in love and married should be a bond between friendships that last forever. You can't have one without the other.

So, my friend at the museum really was trying to convey to me that he felt a love and respect for me and it had grown into a friendship. I can appreciate the difference and return my friendship to him.

I have many loves and friendships in my life now, but the one person I was in love with, is gone from my life forever. Who knows if I will ever be in love again, but at least the friendships are there and I rely on them each and everyday.

I hope all my loves and friendships read this blog and know I need them.

Author Unknown
FRIENDSHIP is a quiet walk in the park with the one you trust,
LOVE is when you feel like you are the only two around.
FRIENDSHIP is when they gaze into your eyes and you know they care.
LOVE is when they gaze into your eyes and it warms your heart.
FRIENDSHIP is being close even when you are far apart.
LOVE is when you can still feel their hand on your heart when they are not near.
FRIENDSHIP is hoping that they experience the very best.
LOVE is when you bring them the very best.
FRIENDSHIP occupies your mind.
LOVE occupies your soul.
FRIENDSHIP is knowing that you will always try to be there when in need.
LOVE is when you will give up everything to be at their side.
FRIENDSHIP is a warm smile in the winter.
LOVE is a warming touch that sends a pulse through your heart.
LOVE is a beautiful smile to which nothing compares:
A tender laugh, which opens your heart.
A single touch that melts away your fears,
A smell that reminds you of the tenderness of heaven,
A voice that reminds you of the innocence of youth.
FRIENDSHIP can survive without love.
LOVE cannot live without friendship.

Monday, August 4, 2008


I attended a 6-year-old niece's birthday party yesterday and the party theme was "Hannah Montana". Everything she received had the Disney motif of Hannah. Just last year the theme of her party was "Sponge Bob". Interests of children varies so much from year-to-year. There is always a new fad or new artist that children become interested in from all the hype they see on television. It will be interesting to see who Steff is interested in this time next year. It was a fun party held at her great-grandmother's and great-grandfather's home. All the kids were in the pool cooling off while we oldsters were in the house cooling off with soft drinks. Her grandfather had the pleasure of grilling hot dogs and hamburgers out in the blistering heat that we are experiencing here in Oklahoma. It was 106 degrees, tying the record for August 3rd set in 1930. More of the same is forecasted for today. My son, Keith, and fiancee, Kelly, attended the party also.

My trip to the Winstar Casino in Thackerville on Wednesday turned out like all my other trips, a loser. When is it going to be my time to win? We had to get up at an ungodly hour of 3:00 am in order to get ready and arrive at the designated bus departure. Upon arrival at the casino we received a complimentary buffet breakfast and $10.00 in cash. Every 10 minutes a random drawing was held for $200.00. We also had a drawing on the bus for cash. Do you think I won any of these drawings? GUESS AGAIN!!!! My next losing trip will be at the Riverwind Casino in Norman on August 13th. If I didn't have so much fun LOSING, I would just stay at home.

Thursday was my day to volunteer at the military museum. I couldn't let the guys down and not take some baked goodies, so the minute I arrived home from the casino I baked a cake and some M&M cookies. I don't know how glad they would be to see me if my hands were empty!! We had so many nice visitors.

Keith, Kelly, and I had dinner out on Friday evening. We always have a good laugh and enjoy each other's company. We chose a buffet and all that food in front of me is my downfall. I just have to have some of everything. After all that is why it is there so it will be eaten. They just don't plan on me eating all of it.

I volunteered again on Saturday at the museum and had 130 visitors from all over the U.S. I was very impressed with a Boy Scout Troop on their way home to Wichita, KS from a 6-day camp-out at Talihina, OK. They were worn out from the heat and outside activities at the campsite, but the leaders and boys were still interested in making one more stop to learn about the equipment and the men who have fought in the various wars. I have never seen such well-mannered youngsters. Most of the scouts plan to go all the way to becoming an Eagle Scout, the highest rank in scouting. If all young people had a goal and a mentor to help them carry out their goals, this would be a different world we live in.

I have never written too much about the 45th Infantry Division Museum but it is an awesome museum. With 27,000 square feet of exhibit space and a 15 acre park, there is much to see. The museum's mission statement is to collect, preserve, and display Militaria relative to the military history of the State of Oklahoma. Following World War I, the National Defense Act of 1920 created the authority to form the 45th Infantry Division from the four states of Oklahoma, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico. After the Korean War the Division was restructured into an Infantry Brigade. I have so much to learn and appreciate about the history of the 45th. A lot of the volunteers served in the 45th. I did not come from a military family and know very little about the history, so I can't ever be as good a docent as they, but with their continued support, I will eventually be able to articulate to a visitor the history behind all the wars and artifacts displayed in the museum.

I am keeping busy and this week I have a doctor's appointment on Wednesday, work at museum on Thursday and Saturday and have lunch out on Friday in Guthrie, the original capitol of Oklahoma. Guthrie has so much history and the downtown area is being preserved as it was in olden days. My girlfriend, Geneva, that I will be having lunch with on Friday, went to school there and married there. She always drives me around town pointing out where she worked after high school, where she first met her late husband, where they were married and the different places they lived in before moving to Oklahoma City. Her late husband was a member of the 45th Infantry Division and she has a 50-year background of military, having been married to him for all those years.

It is so quiet in my neighborhood on these hot days. Everyone is out early or out late to water their yard and run their necessary errands. Very few children live near me, so there are none of them out playing and the older people, like me, just hibernate. I did go to the grocery store early this morning.

My grandson, Ryan, just called from Great Bend, KS on his return back to his college in Sterling, KS from Denver and Vail, Colorado. He has been coaching a soccer camp in Denver and playing on a soccer team in Vail. He just told me over the telephone all about his trip and I inquired about the temperatures there in Colorado. He said it had been hot all the time he was in Denver and in Vail he wore a jacket at night. He said they went up the mountain in a gondola in Vail and there was very little snow on the mountaintop. He is a wonderful grandson, so responsible and reliable. He is having experiences and making friends that he will cherish all his life.