Edgartown: On slow post offices, and other summer hazards

— Shelby Regan

August is here. How is it possible that the summer is flying by so fast, and yet also feels so slow at the same time? And I don’t know about all of you, but I’m exhausted. This is as slow and quiet as my life has been in years, as I’m not taking courses or working a second job, and yet I find I’m completely wiped out. As I’m typing this, I’m fighting to keep my eyes open. Could it be the heat and humidity? Tired of COVID? Tired of always feeling like I’m on guard, trying to protect myself and my family from this virus as best I can? Everything combined? 

Happy birthday wishes go out this week to my sister, Pam Gardner, who celebrated on August 5. Good wishes also go out to Rebecca Tattersall, who also celebrated on August 5, Colette Fischer, Greg Pattison, and Tom Sullivan on August 6, and Molly Baldino on August 7. And a happy anniversary wish goes out to my sister Pam and her husband, Phil, who celebrated 23 years of marital bliss on August 3.

Members of the League of Women Voters of Martha’s Vineyard are now focused on two

goals: registering 100 percent of the eligible voters on-Island (that deadline is Saturday,

August 22) and encouraging 100 percent of the registered voters to actually vote in the state

primary on Sept. 1 and the state/federal election on Nov. 3.

This year, 2020, marks the 100th anniversary of the enactment of the 19th Amendment

to the U.S. Constitution, giving women the vote. Our town clerk, Karen Medeiros, is ready to help you register to vote. It is best to telephone her at 508-627-6110, because of shortened hours of operation during this pandemic. Or you can do it online at sec.state.ma.us/OVR/. You will be asked to provide the following information: Name, date of birth, county/town where you reside, and your Social Security number or ID number. Voting this year may still be done in person, with early voting on August 24 and 25, and on the election day. Voting by mail requires the completion of the application process, and the Secretary of State’s website can help you with that as well. You will need to mail in early, as the Post Office is having so much trouble keeping up with mail. The League of Women Voters M.V. website is leagueofwomenvotersmv.org, to learn more about voting.

The comment in the above paragraph about Post Offices being slow right now sure is true. Hopefully, we’ve all got some sympathy for them. They’ve got a challenging job. With the pandemic and crazy amounts of online ordering, plus summer visitors, plus budget cuts courtesy of our current administration, these Post Office folks have a mess on their hands. I know waiting for things and standing in long lines is a drag, but try to remember that they aren’t any happier about it than we are. Kindness, in both directions, goes a long way.

You’ve probably heard or seen the proposed plans to reopen schools this year. If the proposal is approved, it calls for teachers to be back in the building in early September, remote learning for a week starting in mid-September, and then a phased-in, hybrid plan, with K-3 kids coming back in late September, and grades 4-12 in early October. This was not the final plan, just a proposal at this time, so stay tuned for the final plan.

As I write, we are under a tropical storm warning for Isaias, It sounds like more wind and rain for us, but I hope everyone “weathers the storm” well. It’s that time of year.

I find myself struggling with life these days. People seem so angry these days, and it’s wearing on me. The level of rude behavior and disrespect seems higher this summer than in other summers. Amelia worked a job this weekend that really consisted of just being paid to be berated by people for seven hours. The name-calling and personal insults toward an 18-year-old kid just for doing her job were ridiculous. Then there is the litter that has been left on the beaches, and in other public places. And of course, the strife between the non-mask-wearing public vs. the mask-wearing public. It has me disappointed in the fate of the world at times. 

Maybe it was Amelia’s experience that was the final straw for me, and left me so disheartened. All the anger and unkind words and sentiments seem so unnecessary, and they just don’t help improve things. I long for the days when the pandemic first started, when we all seemed to be mostly on the same side. What I really long for is the days of my youth, when everything just seemed calmer. The trouble almost always seemed to be “outside” us, with some exceptions. I don’t know. I don’t have the answers. But as I close my article this week, I implore you to be kinder than necessary, throw away your trash, don’t pass judgment, even if you have a different opinion on things, and just remember that we are all in this together. The only way we will get through this is, in fact, together. 

Have a great week.

If you have any Edgartown Town Column suggestions, email Gail Gardner, ggardnermv@gmail.com.