Julia was born in the Bronx, New York, and raised in York, Pennsylvania, where she graduated from William Penn Senior High School. She is married and is the mother of six grown children, who have provided her with 11 grandchildren.
Julia is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps. “I was fortunate to have been stationed in North Carolina, Hawaii and Japan,” she notes of where military service took her. When it became increasingly difficult to juggle both the Marine Corps and motherhood, Julia was voluntarily and honorably discharged. “I applied to work for the United States Postal Service upon learning that I could carry over my military service toward their retirement system,” she explains. “This January, I will have been employed in Lancaster for 26 years for a combined 35 years of total federal service.”
Neither snow nor rain nor heat …
“I enjoy being a letter carrier,” says Julia. “To begin with, I actually get paid to exercise! Secondly, I come in contact with all sorts of interesting people from various walks of life, many of whom I regard as family. Lastly, I have the distinct pleasure and benefit of marveling in God’s handiwork in nature. I am fortunate to witness firsthand the subtle changes that take place each season as the year progresses.”
Julia has been on her current route for six years, serving the Chestnut Hill section of the city. As for the exercise perk of the job, she walks anywhere from nine to 13 miles a day!
During her 26 years on the job, Julia can’t recall any real challenges that she’s faced while delivering the mail. “My military training has instilled in me the ability to adapt and overcome with ease,” she explains. That philosophy extends to encountering dogs. “My strategy when it comes to dogs is to stay clear and give them the automatic right-of-way!” she notes.
While the last 20 months have been filled with their share of challenges, Julia prefers to stay positive. “The nicest thing I observed this past year was that a customer of mine offered to make masks for me free of charge,” she recalls. “I asked instead that if I identified the seniors and disadvantaged on my route, could she make masks for them and I would pay her. She refused payment and made them for me to distribute. It was satisfying to observe humanity at its best. She is a true hero for sure!”
Get Those Cards and Packages in the Mail … Early!
The pandemic, of course, has placed added pressure on the postal service due to the fact that consumers continue to take advantage of the ease of online shopping. “What they once purchased at the grocery store, they now have shipped to their homes,” she says of necessities such as toilet paper, paper towels, laundry detergent, etc. Add in the fact that December is the busiest time of the year for the post office and Julia recommends that you mail cards and packages early. “The sooner you mail cards and packages to loved ones, the better the chance they will reach their destinations by Christmas,” she says.
In Her Own Words: Julia’s Perfect Lancaster County Day
The perfect day for me would begin after a full eight hours of continuous sleep without any bathroom breaks! I would then commence with an hour of Bible study. Fellowshipping with the Lord helps me to stay grounded in the positive. Breakfast consisting of a western omelet, home fries, sausage gravy and biscuits, as prepared by Kountry Kitchen Family Restaurant in Manheim, would be a great way to kickstart my day.
My morning would be filled by spending time with my grandchildren. We usually engage in chaotic fun! They love when I actively entertain them, whether it’s reading a story, playing tag or visiting our playground. It is pure joy to converse with them and watch them learn. The things that come out of their mouths! I am gratified by their innocence and laughter. On this day in particular, we would visit the Hands-on House Children’s Museum of Lancaster. This would give them the opportunity to earnestly participate in fun hands-on activities. Next, we would enjoy the horses and go for a ride at AAA Buggy Rides. After returning them to their parents, I would take a leisurely nap, which is a pleasure that I rarely get to relish.
Since I have no talent at all, I believe that God gave me the gift of appreciation. I am the world’s biggest cheerleader. I love watching people achieve. Any event would do: music (Broadway, concert or play), art (museum) or sport (football, basketball or track).
Following a scrumptious dinner at The Belvedere Inn, my evening would be spent at the Sight & Sound Theatre, where I would be amazed by a brilliantly performed show. I would love to end the night with either chocolate or ice cream. Since it’s my perfect day, I think I’ll have both!