Tag Archives: Community

Nameless: The downside of privacy

A few weeks ago I posted this photo of a mailbox. I speculated about groundhogs snoozing abed under the snow.

A country mailbox with no name written on it.
The mailbox with no name.

But I really took this picture about a year ago, not thinking about groundhogs at all. I took it while on a drive with my mother on the country roads around my hometown. As we drove, I was struck by something: the mailboxes had no names written on them.

In my youth, every mailbox at the end of every country drive bore the name of the homeowner. The letters might be scrawled crookedly, or the stick-on kind you find at the hardware store, or beautiful script, but they were there. During country drives you would pass by and say, “Oh, there’s the Miller place,” or “The McLaughlins live there.”

No more.

The namelessness feels like a dent in community. Something that used to be open now closed.

Protecting our privacy is good, they say. Still, the need for it makes me sad. Nameless, if you will.

Just . . . know, or just . . . no

Do you ever hover between yes and no?

Saying yes can

  • suck away hours of time for a project you’re not passionate about
  • lead you to grand adventure, in the way of Shonda Rhimes
The book YEAR OF YES by Shonda Rhimes

Saying no can

  • save you from being used or abused, or from drugs as Nancy Reagan would have wished
  • deny you fun or a fantastic learning and growing experience

Some days, on the surface, it seems hard to decide. You have to dig deep before the answer is clear. When you do, you discover you just . . . know.

Other times the answer is spelled out.

In my cottage area, garbage must be protected from wild animals. Waste management workers need to access the containers, so parking in front of them is a definite NO.

I love the simplicity of the sign. One word. No explanation required. If you’re the person thinking of parking in that space, just . . . no.

You just know, or just no. The answer is always clear.