Sunshine Project – Day 82, Post Office, Flourtown, PA

Today the sunshine led me into what I always describe to myself as a “bouncy kind of situation”. I say “bouncy”, because in these instances I feel off-balance and out of control, as if I’m a ball ricocheting around. Now, nothing bad happened at all, but things didn’t go as I thought they would. Here’s the story.

I decided to set the sunshine at this post office – I needed a lot of stamps, it was on my route, and so I felt it was a good idea. The Flourtown location is a small storefront in a shopping center built about 50 years ago.

Flourtown PO 3-12-15

First off, I went to the post office. It’s set up so that the mailboxes are down a hall directly off the entrance and everything else is in the main office to the right.

Through the glass door to the post office - you can see the table where I set the sunshine at the rear, in front of the mailboxes. And you can see me in my bright orange sweatshirt reflected in the door.

Through the glass door to the post office – you can see the table where I set the sunshine at the rear, in front of the mailboxes. And you can see me in my bright orange sweatshirt reflected in the door.

I could see right away that the main office would not work – I wanted to remain anonymous and in the small space, the postal worker and customer would have had to have been asleep to miss seeing the drop-off. So I bought my stamps and had a nice conversation with the lady at the counter – she seemed to enjoy watching me make my choices.

I left and went down the hall. I set the sunshine on the bright blue work table in front of the mailboxes. A couple of people came in for their mail as I was taking pictures. They were not interested in me, just in getting their mail.

mailboxes - Flourtown PO 3-12-15

I felt I had accomplished my mission, even if I had felt a little exposed. So I decided to take a look around the shopping center for a minute. I used to come here when I lived in the area 30+ years ago. A lot has changed here. Originally the center was L shaped with a grocery in the middle of many small shops and a K-Mart at the back. Now the grocery store is in K-Mart’s spot, some stand-alone shops have been built across the parking lot, and the bottom part of the L has been torn down and a big new building is being put in its place. I walked around to take a look.

I felt a little sad. And disoriented. So much had changed. And things looked deserted and too quiet. I walked back over to the area in front of the post office and took a couple more pictures, in a wandery kind of way. I guess wearing my highway-worker-orange sweatshirt made it easy to notice me. I was just about to leave when a woman burst out of the door of the bank next to the post office, hurrying toward me and asking if I were all right.

I couldn’t comprehend what would make her ask, but I told her I was fine, and she explained that she had seen me taking pictures and wondered if everything was ok. This is the first time anyone has stopped me in the whole Sunshine Project and I found it interesting that she felt taking pictures indicated some kind of disturbance or problem. Anyway, that question settled, I asked her what the large new building was to be – learning that it’s planned for a bar/movie theater/entertainment center.

Somehow I was disappointed by that answer. Seems to me such an addition won’t help the existing stores any. But, maybe I will be wrong about that. It would be nice to see the lot full of shoppers again.

Store signs.

Store signs.

Anyway, I am glad the bank lady cared enough to come out and check on me. I appreciated it and I told her so.

Happy sunshine.

Sunshine, March 12, 2015.

Sunshine, March 12, 2015.

There is more to find out about the Sunshine Project here, or you can search under the category “Sunshine Project”.

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About Claudia McGill

A person who does art and writes poetry. That's me!

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