Image by Joe / Pixabay

A guileless but empty promise? I pondered that word choice the last time I stopped into our local Post Office to pick up some “forever” stamps. Maybe news of world events hasn’t left me feeling optimistic lately. Maybe it’s too much news. When I was a carefree kid, the six o’clock news was just background noise. Now we’re immersed in it. Our screens are as necessary for our pockets and purses as our wallets and keys.

Or, maybe I don’t feel as though I’ve quite shaken the shadow of the pandemic yet. Could be that I’m reaching an age where it seems I’ve crested the peak and the long-range view is not as clear or as hopeful as I imagined it to be.

I do think the non-denominational stamps are a good idea, but it left me wondering why they don’t just label them “domestic first-class.” A silly question, I know. I didn’t ask the friendly clerk at the counter. A middle-aged man, perhaps he has children. No doubt, he’s as concerned about the future as I am and has enough on his plate already.

I’m not trying to be a pessimist here, just an observer. We all try to pretend it’s business as usual as we go about our days but there’s an edgy uncertainty under our skin. Lately, I’ve noticed more aggressive driving with a blatant disregard for the rules of the road. Is there a connection?

Our fridge was acting up last week and I wondered where we might find a replacement if that became necessary. Sears is gone. The local Kmart building (90,000 square feet of space) has been vacant for three years, yet we have homeless folks camping along the river in freezing weather. Where is the humanity in this? Where is that hollow “Welcome In” greeting when we need it most?

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