Is the Post Office Open? It Pays to Check For Holiday Closures

When you have something you need to mail right away, whether it’s a get-well card for a friend or an important business letter, there’s one annoyance you don’t have time for: a wasted trip to the post office.

The U.S. Postal Service maintains a fairly predictable schedule throughout the year, but it is closed on several holidays. But since the post office doesn’t necessarily follow the same holiday system as banks, schools and even states, trying to remember if it is open or not can be a confusing proposition.

For example, when July 5 (the day after Independence Day) falls on a Monday, the post office is closed. But if July 5 is in the middle of the week, it is open.

Also, the U.S. Postal Service does not do business on Memorial Day. Essentially, branches are closed on all federal holidays: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Jr’s Birthday, Washington’s Birthday (President’s Day), Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.

By finding out ahead of time whether the office is open or closed, senders can save time (and money, if they’re mailing “on the clock”).

Knowing the post office status also ensures that people don’t miss out on other options, such as using a private express mail service that is open such as UPS, FedEx or a storefront packaging and mailing service.

When planning a trip to mail letters or packages, it’s also important to keep in mind the hours of the particular branch you plan to visit. For example, some cities have multiple locations, but only one of them may be doing business on Saturdays.

Sometimes, you might want to not only know if it is open today, but also if it is open tomorrow, the following day. In cases like this your options include consulting a convenient website that tracks post office status, calling the post office itself or visiting the USPS website.

Knowing when the branch is open lets home and business users plan, avoid costly courier fees and still get important mail to its destination on time.

Copyright 2010 by Kevin Savetz

The Power of the Post Cap

Most people spend a lot of time researching and looking at all kinds of fences before making up their minds. That is a very important part of making your yard an outdoor living space that is both attractive and safe. However, many of those same people forget to finish the project. They do not understand that post caps are not just decorative, but protect the top of the wooden posts from cracking and splintering. This applies to fence and gate posts, deck and staircase posts and any post that is left exposed to the elements.

Though post caps function very well to protect the top of the post, one of the greatest things about them is the fact that they are pretty. They are small decorative structures that enhance the look of any fence or deck for your yard.

Deck and fence caps come in fine outdoor cedar and redwood. You can find them in slip-over, non slip-over and even with copper tops. There are also places that can make custom post caps if you need something a little different form the norm.  All wood post caps must be sealed with a stain or primer to ensure a long life in the harsh outdoor environments and are very easy to install.

The other thing that post caps do that no one things about is covering up any uneven mill cuts or other eyesores on top of the fence or deck post. With so many varieties to choose from, there is a post cap that will fit your needs.

If you want a little more pizzazz, add a finial. It just gives you that something special feel to make your yard a one of a kind. There are as many finial choices as there are post caps so you can have a great time putting those looks together to find what is perfect for you.

A non slip-over post cap is normally glued and/or nailed with finishing nails to the top of the post, depending on the finish you choose. Slip-over caps actually slip over the post and can be attached as well by glue or finishing nails. As long as you take care of the fence post caps per the manufactures requirements your post caps will last a good long while.

When it comes to something different and wonderful, you must take a look at the copper topped post caps. They also come in standard and custom sizes and you can order them with the base post cap in either cedar or redwood. These fantastic tops turn a beautiful patina out in the elements and each one has their own particular markings that are custom in their own right.

Of course, just like all of the wood post caps, copper topped caps need their own kind of maintenance in order to maintain their beauty. Any good shop will have instructions on how to best prep and care for your wood copper posts caps. 

There are few things that make this kind of difference on a fence where you see how beautiful the fence is, yet not sure why. You will love what is does for your fence and deck and will wonder why you did not think about post caps or finials before. It is a great way to make a small modification that will make a huge change.

At the Post Office – May I Borrow Your Pen?

Planning to use a priority mail package and the self-mailing kiosk inside, I pulled into the Summerville Post Office. I checked to make sure I had my iPhone in my purse as I have not memorized my little sister’s address. Although I am sure in the town the size she lives in, everyone in the post office knows her.

  1. Package must fit Priority Mail packaging
  2. Package must weigh less than 70 pounds
  3. Package will be weighed to determine the amount of postage needed & mail zone the package is going to
  4. Label may be generated onlinet or at the post office
  5. Carrier may pickup package with notice; Priority Mail package with posted paid label can be put directly in the kiosk or handed to the mail carrier
  6. Other services are available with Priority Mail e.g. tracking, insurance

Yes, iPhone in my purse, but no pen. In order to mail a box Priority Mail through the post office, certain rules must be followed. No way- a woman always has a pen in her purse. Nada- not, no pen. Must be one in my car- I then perform various contortions, looking under all the seats in search of the lone Bic… no luck. Surely I can borrow a pen from someone inside the Post Office – I mean, all we are talking about is a pen, right?

All works well at the Post Office kiosk- transaction goes smoothly and the label to “middle of nowhere” prints without a hitch. I put together the Priority Mail box- adhesive strip works like a charm- now all I need is a pen.

I stand in the alcove looking around, hoping someone will ask if I need some help. No such luck- everyone is scurrying in and out- with determined looks, destinations in mind. I tell myself I am not leaving this post office because I do not have a pen. I take a deep breath. The outside entry door opens, a nice looking lady walks in. I ask her if I could borrow a pen. She looks at me like I am a loon. I back away, ashamed. I repeat this scenario again with the same outcome.

I look inside the inner portion of the PO – the line to the front is 20 deep. I do not mind standing in the line. I just feel ridiculous standing in it only to ask if I could borrow a pen. Ah, I spot an older “friendly looking” man standing at the middle working counter writing something- WITH A PEN. My plan was to hold back, wait until he finished, then ask to borrow his pen for just a second. I waited, he wrote, I waited, he kept writing, and writing and writing- an endless speel of who knows what. I abandon this plan.

I look up- all the people in the line are looking at me- daring me to jump ahead in line. Talk about a crowd mentality. I take another deep breath, walk up to the counter, assertively asking the mail worker if I could borrow a pen. She smiled and handed me the treasured object. By then I was so anxious my handwriting was shaky- I wondered if the mail carrier could discern the numbers. I handed the pen back, thanking her profusely.

I left the post office inner alcove averting the eyes of the people in the line. I quickly opened the outer door and walked briskly to my car. Only after I was safely in my vehicle did I realize I still had the package with me! Ready to just forget it, I made myself get out of the vehicle.

I walked back into the post office to place the now fully labeled package in the mail kiosk. Clank! No surprise here. The kiosk is locked. This usually happens when it is full. What this means is I am going to have to walk into the inner post office area again to hand deliver the package to the front clerks.

I take another deep breath. With shoulders back, I walk into the inner alcove, striding to the front window. In doing so, my purse catches on the edge of a copy machine sitting in the corner. The paper feeder clatters to the floor, the sound magnifying inside the small office.

All eyes are on me. I desperately ask the PO matron to take my box. I turn, ready to run, only to find an older gentlemen repairing the aftermath of my wreck with the copy machine. He expresses his desire to help, as he could tell I was having a rough day! Bless his heart. Seems there’s always a good Samaritan out there.