As I mentioned before, we mailed our boxes yesterday. I was, honestly, exhausted and headachey yesterday morning, in addition to being anxious about having to face a tooth extraction in the afternoon.
We had so many more boxes than we expected that I ran out of customs forms, and Clint and I had to finish those up in the post office. I set out the brownies, and the sign. We gave our postmaster, Andy, all of the boxes that we completely ready to go, and we got to work creating a second set of customs forms for the second set of boxes; one for every soldier.
I was thinking, while we worked, that the atmosphere was a bit less jovial, this time around, as we were too busy to socialize. There was a moment, though, in which one woman left her window, and asked me:
"Can I mail one of these boxes?"
Her question had a domino effect. A woman at another window said "I'd like one too, please!" and 2 more in line told us "we'd like one too!" One person pressed $20 bill into my hands. And one lady, upon hearing Clint and I search for a soldier by the name of "Schmidt" asked us how his name was spelled. We told her, and she said, "Well, my name is Schmitt, but it's close enough! I'd like to pay for Schmidt's box!" There was a few minutes of laughing, and cheering, and handing boxes over for people to pay for. When it was time to get back to our forms, I literally had to take a minute, to absorb that scene.
I had walked in tired and zombie-esque, and once again found myself in the middle of a display of amazing good will from complete strangers. Am I dreaming, for heaven's sake?! People are just taking our boxes and paying for them, and then bringing me the receipts? Does this stuff really happen?
It does happen, and it did happen, yesterday, at the Mattis Avenue Post Office, in Champaign.
I'm still shaking my head. And smiling.