Forty-three years ago, Mary Reinders joined the US Postal service.
Thirty-seven years ago she was assigned to Seal Beach Old Town as the mail carrier for our little neighborhood, from 10th to 17th Street, Electric Avenue to PCH.
Last week, on Sunday Dec. 12, more than 100 neighbors gathered together for a party on the greenbelt to thank Mary for all the years she was our awesome mail carrier and friend, and to wish her a Happy Retirement.
There was food, a large retirement cake, gifts, cards and lots of appreciation and love for this special woman. Of course, all the neighborhood dogs also came, waiting in line for treats from Mary.
Mary walked our blocks daily, delivering mail in the heat, cold and rain. With the Seal Beach post office constantly being short staffed, Mary often had to help set up other carriers routes as well as her own, many times delivering mail and packages as late as 10 at night. All the neighbors agree that Mary is the hardest working person we know.
Mary became part of the fabric of our neighborhood, getting to know all the neighbors and their pets, who and when someone moved, who was sick or had died, and all the latest gossip. She became a long time friend with the people on her route.
Perhaps the happiest customers on Mary’s route over the span of 37 years were her hundreds of 4-legged furry friends. She knew all the dogs and cats names and their owners. Mary not only delivered our mail but also delivered treats to the animals on her route. Her four-legged friends would eagerly wait for their treats when Mary arrived to their houses.
Whenever a neighbor would find a stray cat, they would give it to Mary, knowing she couldn’t say “no”, and would adopt it and give it a loving home. Sometimes Mary would end up owning up to 8 cats at once. It was fun to hear the mischief all her cats would get into while she was at work.
Being her nephew’s favorite aunt, Mary will now have more time to spend with him, her niece and the rest of her family. Mary’s sister-on-law is eager to take her on a trip to visit family in St. Louis and Chicago.
Mary will be greatly missed, but she has promised to come back and visit us, this time walking our neighborhood for pleasure, without her heavy mail bag. Happy Retirement Mary!! You deserve it!