Friday, February 11, 2011

Being a rural pastor's wife post #7

Today's post talks about some local services that we have available. Our small town that we live in has a post office, bar, cafe, small car repair shop, our LCMS church, and insurance office. If we want gas or to go to a small grocery or to go to the bank, or to go to a small drug store, we have to drive 7 miles to a town of about 2000.
1. Post office-our small town has a post office. There is someone at the window daily from 10-2 and Saturday from 10-noon. After it closes until 4pm you can pick up your mail but no one is there to help you (buy stamps, mail a package, or receive a box). I am so thankful to have this in our small town. When political people come to our door campaigning, I always tell them that we need to work to keep our post office as it is a necessity in this small town. There is no mail delivery to our house. There has been some talk of closing some of the small town post offices. If the post office closed we would still not have mail delivery. There would be outside boxes (like trailer parks and apartments sometimes have). If we received a box we would have to go to the town 7 miles away to pick up our box.
We walk to the post office whenever the weather is nice enough. It is a good chance for the Lambs and either Ram or I to get a nice walk in daily. We receive a lot of snail mail because the church is the same post office box as ours. We order a lot online that is delivered to our post office box.
I ship a lot from our post office. I have only used UPS once since we moved here because that company required that we return something UPS. Other than that I have shipped everything by just walking 2 blocks. I have mailed things to a missionary friend in Thailand and to some people in the military and of course packages to our family for birthdays and Christmas.
Sometimes it is frustrating that if we are gone on vacation if we get back too late to pick up the mail, we have to wait over the weekend to get our mail. But it is also nice that if we go on vacation we don't worry about having the post office hold our mail because they always hold our mail! 
I am posting this just so you are not surprised and know that you are not alone if you don't have mail delivery at your house. Please tell your Congressmen to keep the small town post offices open!
2. Local newspaper-We pay to receive the local newspaper from two local newspapers (in the mail) plus there is a free advertisements newspaper delivered to our house once a week. It took me a long time to get used to news only delivered once a week instead of daily. We could really subscribe to another couple of local newspapers because the area our church members are in is so spread out. Ram usually only reads these newspapers if I point out an article to him. But I read the newspapers from cover to cover usually the same day I receive them. There are things to do in this area, but the main way to hear about it is in the newspaper. If I didn't read the newspaper I wouldn't know activities to take the Lambs to or when the local stores have sales. I know that it is a priority for most of our church members to read the newspaper when it comes. Since I didn't grow up here I don't usually know who the people are in the newspaper, but I can still use the news. The "local" TV news only mentions our part of the state if something significant happens so the newspaper is the only way to hear local news. The weather report in the newspaper tells what already happened in the weather last week instead of a weather forecast ahead.
I am posting this to encourage you to subscribe to your local newspaper. Small town newspapers really are different than city newspapers.
3. Local radio-It took me a long time to get used to listening (or at least checking the announcements online) to our local radio station. I admit that I don't like the music most of the time, (Like when they play polka music while I'm trying to make lunch!) but there is other local news. Since the local newspaper only comes out once a week, most of the locals hear about funerals on the radio. There is a talk show in the afternoons broadcast from the big city that Ram and I enjoy. There is a program each morning where they will advertise for free items you are looking to buy or sell. We have advertised a few things we wanted to sell this way. We do have a small consignment shop in the town 7 miles away, but they hardly ever take consignments and it is such a pain to take things there. We even sold Ram's old SUV on this radio program. We would have had to pay to advertise in the newspaper. They announce birthdays and anniversaries and Ram and I were the anniversary couple of the week last year so we received a discount to a local restaurant.
I am posting this to encourage you to listen to your local radio station at least a few times a week to keep up with local news.
Do you have anything to add about how you get news when you live in a rural place?
Come back tomorrow for more tips to live as a rural pastor's wife.

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