The Value of a Post Office Box

Sometimes those small things we routinely take for granted give us cause to remember how valuable they are in their ordinariness.  This fact was driven home to me last night when I mailed off my biennial registration to the New York State Office of Court Administration.  In New York, each practicing lawyer must register with the State every two years, just after his or her birthday.  This process involves confirming one’s contact details, assuring the authorities that one has complied with particular ethical and educational requirements, and submitting a registration fee.  As I completed the form, sealed the envelope and dropped it in the mail, I was reminded how these simple acts were much more challenging eight years ago.

The deadline for submitting the registration materials is one month after one’s birthday.  Since my birthday falls in the middle of August, I have until the middle of September to complete the task.  However, on September 12, 2001, as we were beginning to understand the scope of the wreckage of 9/11, I learned that the post office box and postal station to which I normally would have sent my registration materials were casualties of the 9/11 catastrophe.  Suddenly, even if I wanted to comply with the rules, I couldn’t.

Last night,  as I looked at the address printed on the registration envelope, I found myself grateful for the existence of a post office box.  And, I was reminded that even something as simple as that post office box can represent the blessing of a relatively peaceful life.  After 9/11, I’m glad for the reminder.

[Photo Credit:  mhawkins]

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