Small town post offices

Back in the 80s and early 90s I lived in a small hamlet in Norther Virginia. My house was two wrong turns off the main road into the hamlet. I used “main road” as a descriptor only because it was larger than all other other roads. The hamlet was small with less than 40 houses, still we did not have mail delivery. But we did have a post office. It was attached to the side of one of the houses, but it was an official postal office with a full time Postmaster – or as she preferred, Postmistress. I usually gathered up the mail once a week on Saturday mornings. In addition to the mail, other services were available: weather forecasts, local news, political updates, friendly chatter, health updates on neighbors, and whatever else was being offered on the front porch of the post office. Lest you think it was an image of small town America, think smaller. The post office was it. If you wanted coffee on the front porch, you brought your own. In the village, neighbors were important. They watched your house when you were gone. They challenged strangers that might be hanging about. It is a fine balance between watchful and nosey.  From time to time I think about Saturdays at the post office and wonder about all that is being lost in our modern world.