We checked often.

We risked life and limb at late hours—masked, of course—to check the Post Office Box: like Carly Simon, “Anticipation”. This week, cards and absentee ballots came.

First, the cards: I ran the online gauntlet to renew expiration dates. I jumped through hoops ranging from smooth turf to wicked bramble: quick typing to emails to awkward phone calls. Paperless bureaucracy.

Soon after, the ballots. We blackened our little ovals, and we’ll risk life and limb to hand-deliver them—masked, of course—to the County Clerk. Who doesn’t love paperwork?

Mark Twain said, “If voting made a difference, they wouldn’t let us do it.” Still, we vote every time, ever hopeful. As with the cards, we’ll renew expiration dates: for some government jobs.

For now, I can wash my hands of a pesky mail watch and renew our more casual checking. We’ll hope for no unwonted delays. “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” But there can be heated pols and gloomy pandemics.

While cases spike, let us be safe and healthy.