WILLISTON, N.D. – This is an exciting week for me. I have home mail delivery for the first time in four months.
Most people who move to Williston struggle with mail delivery because they don’t have a mailbox. If you live in an RV, as hundreds of families do, your only choice is to try to rent a post office box. But as long as I’ve lived here, there haven’t been any PO boxes available in Williston.
I’m one of the lucky people who actually has a mailbox. But the block of mailboxes in our apartment building was missing a certain kind of lock the postal service needed before carriers could deliver our mail.
So since I moved here in February, our mail has been held at the post office for us to pick up. That doesn’t sound like a big deal, but getting our mail became a chore. Waiting in line could take as much as 20 to 30 minutes. And that’s after you find a place to park. (I’m guessing the police don’t enforce the 10-minute parking on the street outside.) With the volume of mail the post office keeps track of, our mail was drenched in coffee once and delayed a few times because it was placed in the wrong area.
The only time it really inconvenienced us was Mother’s Day. My mom visited Williston that weekend so I suggested that my sister mail her card to me so I could give it to Mom with the gift we purchased together. Bad idea. Our mail was missing for two days and they didn’t find it until the following week after my mom had left.
I don’t fault the local post office for the hassle. I’m told the district post office sent the wrong locks two different times. The postal clerks, who are amazingly friendly and patient, were just as frustrated as we were. And I felt bad thinking about those poor carriers who carried our mail around with them every day, just to bring it back to the post office.
Now that the correct lock is installed we are getting mail delivered right downstairs, a luxury I won’t soon take for granted. We even have secure mailboxes for receiving packages, so I may never have to wait in that post office line again. And now that line is a little shorter for everyone else.