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Update: Help an Artist; Help With Mail Delivery

Support Jeanne Abbott; Uncover your buried mailbox or set up a temporary one.

A Call to Help for Local Artist

A fire destroyed the home studio of Concord artist Jeannie Abbott. Three decades of Jeannie’s work, including journals and personal effects, went up in flames. Her friends at will host an evening in Jeannie’s honor this Wednesday, Feb. 9, from 6:30 p.m. to 9. Guests are asked to bring food, beverage, a story, poem or song. Everyone is welcome, but if you are unable to attend, you may still make gift donations to the Jeannie Abbott Support Trust. Please make checks out to the Jeannie Abbott Support Trust and mail to , 64 Main St., Concord, Mass., 01742. Contact Richard Fahlander at richardfahlander@comcast.net, if you have questions.

The Sandwich Generation

Tomorrow, Concord author and resident Jan Simpson Benvenuti will speak at on her new book, “Don’t Give Up On Me!” Jan’s book chronicles how she and her siblings cared for their aging parents. Besides sharing the beauty of their parents’ last years, the book details the pain, as well as the legal and medical mazes that come with such an undertaking. The program is free and begins at 7:30 p.m. It is sponsored by the Center for Parents and Teachers.

Keep the Mail Coming

We all know how hard we’ve been working to clear our walkways, driveways, pathways for the pets, the composter, the shed and everything else that has been buried these past few weeks, whether you did the shoveling yourself or paid someone else to help. But have you thought to clear the snow from around your mailbox, so that it is accessible to our U. S. Postal deliverers?

Mailman Alan Robidoux, pictured here, is having a hard time reaching some of the mailboxes along his route. Thick berms of snow make windy roads even narrower, so it becomes difficult for him to keep his postal truck to the right and out of the way of traffic. It becomes even more treacherous, when he has to lean out the window to put mail into boxes that are all but buried. Some mailboxes - Robidoux estimates 40 along his route alone - cannot be reached at all for delivery.

If you are among the individuals who have not been receiving mail - perhaps because your mailbox is buried - you may still be able to pick it up at the Post Office. But don’t count on that for too long! The Post Office does not relish being a holding center for your correspondence for free. If your undeliverable mail continues to accumulate, the P.O. just may ask you to rent a postal box.

You have options, though. The first is simply to apply a little muscle and create a safe path from the road to your mailbox. But if that mailbox is buried too deeply, another option is to erect a temporary yet durable makeshift mailbox (perhaps a bucket), like the clever one pictured here.

I know this may seem like a lot of unwanted work. I don’t particularly care to look at my VISA bill, either. And who needs a stack of catalogues, newspaper shoppers, postcards advertising painters, landscapers, closet designers and such, as well as “You’ve Been Pre-Approved!” correspondence from big banks, and those flyers that “You May Already Be a Winner,” though it never seems you are. So much mail that leaves us prey to identify theft and monopolizes our counter tops, while it awaits the shredder.

I don’t know about you, but for me, every third day or so, there may one item in the mailbox worth looking at: an invitation, a postcard from a vacationing friend, or the almost-extinct handwritten letter. I’m sure we can all name one life-changing correspondence our mail carrier has brought.

Well, maybe one of those important items is coming in the mail for you this week, and you won’t want to miss it. And you certainly don’t want to expose our mail carriers to needless harm. So, send a message to your mail carrier that you care by clearing away the snow around your mailbox.

Do you have something you would like to share? Contact me at mcb23@comcast.net and I will be happy to help you spread the news.

Maureen C. Belt February 07, 2011 at 01:04 PM
I should add, that our mail carriers also take mail from us and deliver it to destinations all over the world. They should be commended, especially as the cost to us - for U.S. First Class delivery - is 44 cents. As the comedian Jimmy Tingle would say, “You couldn’t get a four year old to lick the stamp for that.”

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