Thursday, December 30, 2010

On blizzards and mail delivery

My husband and I were among the lucky few travelers who were able to reach our destination (home!) on Sunday, December 26. Our flight from the midwest landed in Baltimore late morning, just before the snow started, but when panic had already set in. Our flight to Providence from Baltimore was the last Providence-bound flight that left that day. (All subsequent Providence-bound flights were canceled, which made our flight a standby zoo. We were so glad to have our seats on that early flight!) We later learned that our flight was one of the last to leave Baltimore (at noon!) and possibly the very last one to touch down in Providence around 1pm.

So we drove home to Newport in a lovely blizzard (all was safe), only to learn that the main bridge onto our island (yes, Newport is on an island) closed later that night due to high winds. The Pell Bridge doesn't close very often! But hey, the NJ turnpike doesn't close very often, either, and it closed that night.

It was still snowing Monday morning, but lightly. This is New England. We are used to snow. So what if there's a foot of it? Roads were plowed, life seemed fairly normal. But when I went to pick up my mail at our local UPS store, I got only one package. What? On a Monday? After Christmas? One package and NO personal mail? Apparently local trucks were delivering, so that package must have made it to the Newport sorting station before Dec. 25. The pros at my UPS store told me that local mail trucks were on the road, but the trucks from Providence didn't make it down to us. (Rhode Island is the tiniest state, as many of you know... mail for the entire state is sorted in our capital city of Providence.)

But here's the kicker: UPS trucks weren't even on the roads that day! I have that from an official UPS employee. Goodness! Our own underdog postal service is more intrepid than UPS! Who knew?

Though the apocryphal post office creed, "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds," clearly doesn't hold when getting mail from Providence to Newport, they at least moved the mail around on the island. Yay U.S. Postal Service!

Anyone else have any fun blizzard-related mail delivery stories?


  1. No snow stories from me in San Francisco but I am fascinated reading everyone else's! Ad USPO more intrepid than UPS? Who knew? Happy New Year, Post Muse.

  2. We didn't have any blizzards here in The Netherlands but we did have about 5 days that the postal system was on strike in about a month of time.
    But even the employees were fed up with them at one point so we did have mail most of the days ;)

  3. Not snow related, but today when I went to drop something in the mail box, the postal carrier was resting and leaning against the box smoking a ciggie. I thought it was very uncouth and unbecoming of a postal carrier.

  4. A lot of Canadians dislike Americans because they think Americans stereotype Canada as a snowy barren land. I found living in the US that Americans don't really think that way. However, they ought to, because that type of storm that the east spazzed about is the kind of think that happens 2-3 times a week in Toronto. And nothing shuts down, and nobody complains; there is snow in the subway stations, all over the stairs, and noone cleans it. The sidewalks don't get shoveled, so you're walking up to your knees (until it eventually gets stomped down into a half-foot thick glob of grey ice). So when I hear about what happened in Rhode Island, I feel SO jealous!!