Hallmark, Are You Listening?
Here we are, a week away from celebrating our first Christmas in our new home, and when I decorated the tree, I reflected on the 30 that preceded this one. My tree truly tells the story of a life lived well. Time flies.
I took a stroll down Candy Cane Lane to reminisce on the many phases of Christmas we experienced over the years. Whew, that was a journey.
Our first together was nothing short of a corny Hallmark movie. We shopped for the perfect tree and decorated it together, sipping cocoa while Christmas music played in the background. It’s not corny when you wear a new pair of love goggles.
Then we added back-to-back children, and that Hallmark movie quickly turned into a comedy. Early on, the kids didn’t get the concept, and there was no enthusiasm in the room unless you count mine. Hey, someone had to do it.
When they were 3 and 4 and aware of everything about Santa, mainly how that naughty and nice list worked, giving Mr. and Mrs. Claus permission to threaten their young for a good two months, things turned around. We didn’t make the rules; we just played along.
I enjoyed the Santa years. The wonder and excitement on their faces can always make me smile, along with the homemade ornaments that adorn my tree today. Even the one-eyed reindeer and faded baby Jesus make the cut.
My favorite years were when the kids wanted something so badly that they were willing to sacrifice everything. Nothing else in the world mattered to them at that moment. It was a pink Razor flip phone for my daughter, and for my son, it was an ATV. Let the games begin!
Santa and the Mrs. correction, mostly Mrs., made these dreams come true. The strategic planning that this required was on another level, all while doing everything else life needed. The search for the item, working the numbers, the deadline, pulling off the delivery to make a dream come true, and then, during the presentation, pretending like it was a piece of cake. Forget college degrees; hire a mother.
The teenage years transitioned into the smaller boxes, more significant price tags, or cash-only please phase of Christmas, which felt more like a transaction than a holiday. It was tough for this Cristine Cringle, so the dogs were often dressed as reindeer. Hey, someone had to keep the spirit going.
When significant others entered the picture for a stretch, the spirit resurfaced. The excitement of surprising a mate and the joy of finding “just the right gift” ignited some of that old wonder. Things were merrier.
Then the necessary years rolled in, aka the return from college. There was something special about having two self-proclaimed adults back in the house asking Mrs. Claus for gift cards for food, gas, or beer. No worries, I also included socks, underwear, and laundry detergent to add some cheer.
The independent adult stretch has been long and all over the place. It’s all about family, friends, living spaces, or traveling, leaving Mrs. Claus with the option of home decor or travel bags to fill the sleigh. Does Mrs. Claus have a retirement age?
This year we’re entering another new phase of firsts-first Christmas in our new home. First Christmas as grandparents, First Christmas for our granddaughter, and first time in 31 years, it’s just the two of us again.
We didn’t shop for the perfect tree; our old one is already perfect. The “we” in decorating became I many moons ago, and the sipping hot cocoa was replaced with meeting my daily water intake. However, the Christmas music still played in the background, and the love goggles were still in place, sporting a few scratches on the lenses. Now that’s how Hallmark should do it.
Enjoy the Sleigh Ride!
Question Time Over Coffee, 17th December
I’m a day late and tired since I made a round trip yesterday to attend a party. The things we do for fun. Anywho, it’s freezing, and the coffee is poured, so let’s get to it. Rory is waiting over here to read these answers.
1. What actions do you take if you can’t sleep naturally?
Thankfully, this doesn’t happen too often, but when it does, I find a sleep meditation works well.
2. Can you easily recognize if you are suffering from stress, and if so, what do you do to reduce it? Are you able to see signs of stress in your friends or your family more than you?
Yes. My favorite outlet is to go for a walk.
No, I know when the closest people to me are stressed, but not everyone.
3. The West holds firm concerning the war in Ukraine. However, how do you feel about it all now? Do you believe we are providing too much or too little support?
Oh, is this still going on? I wouldn’t know since we went from 24/7 live coverage to zip. The media has already moved on to the next big thing to distract our attention. Unless you have the time and energy to be your own investigative reporter, you’ll never get the answers. As for support, I see a lot of regular folks stepping up and doing big things to support the victims of this war.
4. How much black-and-white honesty from your best friends do you believe your friendship with them warrants? Should friends be brutally honest with you or provide support without question?
Inspired by Should Friends Offer Honesty or Unconditional Support?
I have friends in my life, and then I have friends. I’ve learned who to go to for brutal honesty and who to go to when I want someone to jump on my bandwagon, and I married the one with a knack for being both.
5. Do you think you have an addictive personality?
No, I don’t think I do because I get bored with things after a while. Maybe that’s a thing, I don’t know.
6. Why are so many of today’s online/television advertisements so cringey? Are you ever influenced by the comedy or corniness of them?
Influenced, no. Intrigued as to why someone thought it was a good idea, yes.
7. Do you ever need help responding to some comments left by readers on your blog posts, as in not knowing how or what to respond with? Why is this, and what usually throws you off?
No, but I don’t usually provide context that would provoke a heavy comment.
8. What five vegetables do you use the most each week or month?
Potatoes, broccoli, mixed greens, carrots, and onions.
9. What is the most outrageous thing you have ever done?
The first thing that comes to mind is I was a balloon handler, or as I like to call it, a Latex Engineer in the Thanksgiving Day parade. The balloon I was engineering was the Dr. Seuss character that speaks for the trees, the Lorax. All I can say about it is that it looks much more manageable than when you’re watching from your sofa.
10. Have your blog reading habits changed since you first started to blog?
Yes, in the beginning, I was feeling overwhelmed by trying to read too many blogs. Now, I know what I like and stick to it.
Have you ever felt frustrated from reading blog posts because they are perhaps not piquing your interest? What have you done to prevent the boredom from biting deep if this is the case?
If it doesn’t catch my interest, I move on. I find this to be true with political rants. I read for peace, not to be aggravated.
11. Do you find it easy to make difficult decisions, and do you have a process of elimination for making those tough decisions?
Yes, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be a difficult one. I try to talk it through with a good confidant, weigh the pros and cons, and meditate on it, which usually leads me in the right direction.
12. What’s the longest you have gone without a shower?
2 days while I was sick. It’s amazing how good a shower can feel after that.
13. Between the choice of a deep-fried insect sandwich or a raw earthworm hamburger with no option of declining either, which would you choose?
Inspired by a conversation at the Nature Reserve
I’m going to go with deep-fried because, let’s face it, once it’s fried in that deliciousness, do we really know what’s inside? For all I know, I’ve already eaten a deep-fried insect sandwich.
14. How would your family and friends react if you started to talk to another person one day that no one else could see but you? Do you speak to yourself regularly?
Inspired by the film – Just Like Heaven
Haha! They would hand me a list of questions to ask this person. Other than the occasional profanity outbursts, no. I do, however, talk to myself in my head.
15. How far can you be pushed before annoyance becomes full-blown anger, and what is your anger style?
It takes a lot to anger me, but if it’s something big, so is the reaction. Is volcanic a style? If so, that’s what it is.
Enjoy the Ride!
It’s Not Monday’s Fault
Whew, yesterday was quite a day at the office. They missed out on some good footage if hidden cameras were not installed.
The phone rang, and the voice on the other end was soft, so soft that I wasn’t sure anyone was on the other end. Not a flag at first, but now I know better.
I retrieved the necessary facts to schedule the appointment, and this is where the fun started.
This person is no doubt what gives Monday a bad rap. Monday is out there just doing their thing, and someone or something like this happens on a Monday, and suddenly it’s Monday’s fault. No doubt this person is out giving grey hairs every day of the week.
The first standard question from all doctor’s offices across the land is “do you have health insurance? or “what is your insurance plan? This is common knowledge unless you’re from another planet.
Me: Do you have health insurance?
Me: Which plan is it?
Nemesis: I don’t know.
Me: Do you have the card handy?
Nemesis: Screams to the husband, who screams back “medicare” that she doesn’t hear, so she screams again. Oh lord.
Me: Already dreading asking for any type of number or, dare I say, secondary insurance. I had to do both while eyeing the scissors in front of me. Oh, the thoughts I was having during the eternity this took.
I survived retrieving the name without incident. However, the birth date did not go as well.
Me: Date of birth?
Nemesis: 9/14/56, no 8/14/56, wait no, 8/15/57. This was followed by one of us laughing, and it wasn’t me.
Me: Slowly picking up scissors. I knew I might need them to get through the email address.
Even though I was having murderous thoughts, I gave the benefit of the doubt that maybe, just maybe, she had a medical condition causing all this confusion. So, I asked the million-dollar question, “do you take any medications?”
Nemesis: No, none.
Me: Ok, back to business. What is your email address? Refer back to the date of the birth question because it was a repeat performance.
Nemesis: Nonsense, complete nonsense.
Me: Scissors in hand. Ok, I’m going to email you an invitation to join our portal. Once you complete the new patient paperwork, I will contact you to set up your appointment.
Nemesis: What’s the name f the doctor again?
Me: Dr. Dodged A Bullet.
Nemesis: Oh, I wanted Dr. First Choice.
Me: I told you she wasn’t taking new patients at this time.
Nemesis: Nevermind, then I wanted to see Dr. First Choice.
Me: Am I clear that you don’t want to make an appointment at all?
Nemesis: Yes, I really wanted the other one.
Me: Under my breath, hopefully, “are you f@%$ing kidding me?” Ok, then, will that be all?
Nemesis: I guess.
Me: So, are we clear that you’re aware you do not have an appointment with anyone in our practice?
Me: Ok, have a nice day. CLICK, CLICK, CLICK! It’s times like this when a phone with a handheld receiver comes in handy.
Enjoy the Ride, with patience riding shotgun!
Rory’s Question Time Over Coffee 10th December
Rory is our gracious host, and I have met my coffee quota for the day, but here goes.
What motivates you to get up every day?
No motivation is needed from me. I just enjoy getting up every day.
What words have always struck you as funny or odd when looked upon?
Cattywampus. My hubby uses it more than most humans. Why? I have no idea; all I know is no one questions him about it. It’s usually followed by awkward silence.
How often do you read the comments left by other bloggers on other bloggers’ published posts?
Always! It’s the curiosity in me I can’t help myself.
How hard do you work to keep your long-standing friendships alive year in and year out, and do your friends work the same way to keep you?
The friends who did not put in the work have recently been dismissed from their friendship duties. If I have to work hard at a friendship, it’s not a friendship, it’s a job, and I already have one of those.
How many emails do you delete every week?
Oh, sweet baby Jesus, I don’t think numbers go that high.
Are you easily distracted, and what delights you the most?
Yes, and let’s face it, it doesn’t take much.
Have you ever had a strange unexplained encounter that left you shaken and baffled, and if so, what do you think it was? Or what did your brain make you think it was?
Yes. I saw a female ghost floating at the foot of my bed, holding a small box. If a police officer asked me to describe her, there is no doubt I could give a vivid description. I thought it was a female ghost.
Are we more scared of things that go bump in the night when in the dark or equally as concerned if the same thing happens during daylight hours? If so, why do you think that is?
Bumps at any time of the day are alarming because I’m not a big fan of surprises. Bumps in the dark raise the fear factor bar.
What are the magical ingredients for writing a bestseller, and do you think you could write one?
Considering some current bestsellers, I would say the magical ingredients are a boatload of money mixed with notoriety and a hint of basic writing skills.
Well, I don’t think I couldn’t write one, but I currently lack a boat with a load of money or notoriety.
When was the last time you stayed awake all night having fun with another person, and what were you doing?
February 23, 2022, in New York City, enjoying the Elton John concert with a friend.
Would the 18-year-old you recognize the older you if you both collided on the street today? If not, why?
Hell no! That girl would be too naive to accept the possibility of it even happening.
What are you most looking forward to in 2023?
Being the best possible version of myself by raising my consciousness.
Are you more curious, are you more passionate, or are you both?
Hands down curious first, passionate second.
Can you easily recognize your flaws, and do you think it is important?
More so now than when I was younger. I spent too much time focusing on my outer “flaws” while the inner flaws were screaming for attention.
The musical album you loved the most in the last twenty years was…?
This is tough, but I think I’m going with Amy Winehouse Back to Black.
What could you do less of?
There are several answers, but the one that comes to mind is, wasting time.
Hold My Halo, I Got This
Many moons ago, I started this blog because of significant changes in my personal life.
My kids were growing into independent beings. My husband rolled up in a convertible wanting to re-light the flame we had when we were dating, leaving me wondering, “what the hell is happening?”
I often referred to my children moving on with their lives as being fired from the best job I’ve ever had, and I stand by that statement today. I quit a high-powered job where I worked endless hours for a big salary to raise my kids for endless hours, years, days, minutes, an eternity for FREE. Hey, wait a minute!
Regrets? Eh, not while I was in full swing of rearing young lives, but there were some questionable moments after I was abruptly let go. Not even a goodbye lunch?
No worries, I wasn’t unemployed for long as I jumped directly from the pot into the fire of caring for my mother for the next 14 years. Until this moment, I did not realize it had been 14 years. I need to let that settle for a second.
The changes following my mothers passing two years ago came so quickly that I barely had time to think. Is this how it feels when you’re shot out of a cannon? I’m going with, yes, yes, it is.
There is no question in my mind that this happened at the hands of a higher power. The Creator, Universe, God, or another term you want to use to describe something bigger than yourself.
I had been asking the Creator to help me grow, and I see now that it wouldn’t happen without being physically transported to another state. So, considering I’m writing this from a new home, in a new state, with a new job, new friends, and a new title, “grandmother,” all happening in the last 365 days says a lot. The Creator doesn’t play around.
As soon as this higher power got the memo that I would soon be a grandmother, there is no doubt that it was a “hold my halo, I got this” all hands on deck moment in the higher realm. No one knows you better than the Creator.
My anchor, also known as people-pleasing, needed to end fast, especially with a grandchild entering the mix. The ultimate pleasing opportunity for this girl.
It left me wondering if this was a test. I’m finally free of responsibilities that diverted my attention from myself forever, and this is when I’m presented with a grandchild? Come on!
For too long, I had been stagnant in my career, friend circle, living situation, and life with one common denominator preventing movement … me. I was getting something from all of these situations, but it wasn’t growth; it was comfort.
Fear of change wasn’t holding me back; I needed to please people. God forbid I disappointed someone other than myself, of course.
It’s essential to break free from what we have been trained to do our whole lives, so saying no and setting boundaries can sometimes be challenging for me, actually, a lot of the time.
There is a quote from my favorite poet, Maya Angelo, that I have truly embraced as a mantra for many avenues in my life, but especially when I fall off of the people-pleasing wagon, “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” It’s like a big ole hug.
I’m inundated with statements like, “Are you upset you’re not near your granddaughter?” Are you going to move back?” “Awe, you’re never going to see her?” I remind myself that I am a 2-hour car ride away with a healthier mindset, living a happy, active life for myself.
I can’t think of a better gift for my granddaughter than this improved version of myself, who continues to grow as 59 peers in her window.
Enjoy the Ride!
Question Time Over Coffee 12/3
Put on another pot and join in with Rory’s coffee time questions. This week’s questions gave my brain a good workout with 15 thoughtful, deep queries to fill this rainy Saturday morning.
Join in or Enjoy the Ride!
Do you sometimes ‘just’ LIKE posts from those you follow but don’t often read the content, and if so, why do you do this?
Yes, but not often.
Is it a time restraint or something else that motivates this action?
It could be time, or the content is not something to be read; it’s visual.
What do you do with gifts you have received but have no use for?
I either give them to someone I know will appreciate them more than me or donate them to a charity looking to fill up raffle baskets.
Have people become lazier concerning cooking do, you think, or is it more a case of people not knowing how to cook?
Oh, it’s not lazy or lack of knowledge as much as living in a society where chicken nuggets are on every corner and our time is held hostage by employers or the million extracurricular activities of our children.
Is cooking considered a valuable skill by you?
Yes, it’s a survival skill for me. Takeout is a treat.
What news stories, in your opinion, have so far defined the 2020’s and what do you think they have taught us personally as individuals?
Have there been news stories in the 2020’s? If we are now considering fear-mongering, hate, and divisiveness news stories, then this is what has defined the 2020’s.
It has taught me that if I want “news,” I can get that anywhere. If I want truth and facts, well, now, I’ll have to be my own non-paid investigative journalist.
What would you never swallow even if you could?
First of all, this is a question an Aquarius would ask. Random, yet interesting enough to quiet a room in two seconds flat.
Anywho, I would say a sword. I’ve watched this sort of act on various variety shows, and I’m always left with questions. Where does it go? What is it stabbing inside? Why would someone do that?
How many hours of sleep do you get a night, and how many hours do you think you need and why?
I usually get the required 7 or 8 hours. I’ve gotten less, but never more. I do not need more and can function fine on less. I’ve never been a sleeper.
How important is it to you to have a clean house or environment to live in, and does it have to be pristine?
I function much better without clutter, but I prefer a lived-in look over a pristine one. Pristine homes create awkwardness for their guests. I like people to feel welcome in my house.
Could you give up your Smartphone and break your addiction to it?
Absolutely, but let’s be honest, it wouldn’t be easy, and it could get ugly.
What have been five of your best TV shows from the dawn of dot to today?
Whew, this is a tough one because there have been so many over the years.
The Brady Bunch
The Carol Burnett Show
The Golden Girls
Real Time With Bill Maher
Why were they good?
They are relatable, make me feel good, laugh out loud, or teach me a thing or two.
Why is life not a bed of roses but a bed of thorns?
Is it? I think it’s perception. If you have certainty that everything is happening for you and not to you, then things won’t be so bleak, and those thorns won’t stand a chance.
What makes your life good and or bad?
Not to sound too Hallmarkish, or like one of those weird signs. I’d have to say family, friends, laughter, and love.
Toasted waffles or toasted bread, and why?
Bread. Only because there are more varieties.
How do you feel about the aging process and you?
I consider it a gift. My mind is much younger than my body. In fact, decades more youthful.
What is the last rebellious thing you did?
Hmm, are we talking about marching on Washington rebellious or on a smaller scale? I’ve done both. Women’s March in 2017 and driving over the limit, yesterday.
What would be your ideal ‘you experience’ of the following …. museum, theatre, spa day, bungee jumping?
Hands down, live theatre, that involves music. I have yet to go to a theatre performance without leaving energized, lasting for days. The Elton John concert I attended at Madison Square Garden lasted weeks.
Could you easily step off the planet and away from society and your friends and being social and also away from the Internet for 12 months?
No. No doubt there have been moments when I wanted to do this, but in reality, I need human interaction to survive. I enjoy the company of others, even if it’s just the cashier at the supermarket who refers to me as a “young lady” when I’m not.
Question Time Over Coffee 25th November
I stumbled across Rory’s questions this week and thought I’d give it a shot. I always wanted to be a guest on The Late Show or any talk show that would have me, for that matter. However, that doesn’t look like something that may happen, so it’s good that Rory provided this opportunity.
|You have a dinner party and may invite four guests from the following categories one fictional, one dead, and one alive, and a naked chef [wearing an apron only but no clothes underneath – or if you wish, for whatever reason, your chef can be wearing underclothes – pants/top].|
Who will you invite to eat, and who will you ask to cook for your dinner party?
Ok, let me see now because these lists would typically be long, and narrowing it down to one of each takes some thought.
Tony Soprano, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Melissa McCarthy, and Michael Symon.
If nothing else, lord knows this room would be loud and passionate. I would like to listen to Tony and Ruth discuss justice since they have, shall we say, different techniques. Melissa McCarthy is a quick wit which makes me laugh out loud. It would be fun to watch her moderate the Tony and Ruth debate. As for kitchen duty, I chose Michael because he is passionate about food. He is animated in the kitchen, so he probably should be wearing something for protection, but I’ll leave it up to him.
Inspired by I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!
|Have you ever slept on/in a hammock?|
That would be a no.
|Do you find it easy to maintain friendships with other people?|
Yes. However, it’s usually because of the effort I apply.
|Are you a person of ethics?|
If so, how does that impact your daily life?
Have you seen the world lately? Indeed it does.
|Are you decisive or indecisive as a person?|
It depends on the question. Do you want a piece of cake? I’m very decisive. Do you want to take off tomorrow for an adventure? A million things immediately rush into my brain.
|Why do people hold double standards?|
Because they lack the ability to look at situations with the greater good in mind. People of power are the masters of double standards.
Inspired by Kristian and That Really Burns my Biscuits #10
|What is your unhealthiest but guiltiest pleasure, and why?|
Hands down binge watching mindless television because sometimes you just need to be numb.
|What is your process for writing a new post for your blog?|
Going out in the world and engaging with people. Human contact makes the best stories.
|If you were asked to create a Top Fifteen Book List holding books that you felt everyone should read at least once in their life and would never regret reading, what titles would you include?|
The Four Agreements
All of David Sedaris’s books.
Autobiographies or memoirs that were written by someone you admire.
All of Anne Lamon’s books.
Poems by Maya Angelou
A Boy, the Mule, a Fox and the Horse
A Gift from the Sea
|How important is it for you to know a person’s real name?|
It never occurred to me, so I would say it’s unimportant.
[Be this online, offline, social media, or blogging]
|When at school, what were your top five subjects that you were passionate about?|
5?! English, gym, lunch, art, music
Why was this – what did you love about them?
They were not as restricted as the other subjects.
Are those five subjects still present in your life today in any form?
Hahaha, yes, especially gym, lunch, art, and music.
|With regard to the paranormal, do you choose to not believe because there is nothing to believe or because you feel it is safer to not believe?|
I’m a believer to the fullest extent of believing.
Are you a non-believer or a believer? Same as above
|How are you with meeting strangers/new people who might or could become new friends?|
I’m a professional people meeter and friend maker.
Is there a process you adopt to identify if they are the right fit for you?
Yes. They must have a sense of humor and the ability to hold a deep conversation.
Today, The World Is A Better Place
We’ve been waiting most of the year for this! Oh no, not the day spent enjoying delicious food in the company of those we love most in the world. Not to say this isn’t nice.
I’m talking about the birth of my very first grandchild. Drum roll, please …
Little Miss. Olivia Marie arrived on 11-23-22 at 4:00 a.m., weighing 7lbs 12 oz and 20 inches long. Immediately making this world a better place. Yesterday, If you thought, wow, the sun seems just a little brighter, you know why.
Mommy, Daddy, and Olivia are all happy, healthy, and anxiously waiting to go home to big brother Calvin. He has paws.
I did learn quite a bit more about my son over the past few days. The most evident is he did not, I repeat, did not pay attention in any form of a health education class. Ever.
Whew! His ADHD was front and center on Monday night when I inquired if mommy was dilated, and he responded, “what does that mean?” I can hear your gasps.
I made the mistake of asking again on Tuesday afternoon when he informed me she had contractions and received an epidural.
Me: Any word on how dilated she is?
Daddy: I told you, I don’t know.
Me: I know, but that was yesterday, and now she’s having contractions.
Daddy: I’m not asking. I was already yelled at for yawning.
That seems about right.
Me: Have you heard the words 2, 3, or 4 centimeters come out of the mouth of any medical professionals in the room?
Daddy: Oh yeah, she was 2 centimeters a few hours ago.
Still giving me gray hairs.
The rest of the day was spent jumping every time my phone notified me of a message. I am officially a trained rat.
Hours passed without a word. So, this soon-to-be grandmother, and not a pushy mother, assumed the silence meant things were progressing nicely and I would hear any minute. What’s that saying about assuming? Yeah.
I finally received a text around 9:00 p.m. that went like this:
Daddy: Every movie ever made with a birth scene is a LIE.
Me: For the record, so are the death scenes and crime solving.
Daddy: My back is killing me from this chair. The food is awful, and I can’t sleep.
Someone, hold my glass; it’s about to go down.
Me: Have you said any of this out loud in the room?
Daddy: I’m not on a death wish.
Me: How is mommy?
Daddy: She’s doing good, uncomfortable, but good.
Me: Great! Be patient; I know it’s difficult for you. Once Olivia arrives, you’ll forget about all of this.
Daddy: I will never forget this concrete slab they call a bed. I love you!
Me: I love you too!
I don’t have a concrete slab for a bed and still didn’t sleep wondering how things were progressing. I woke up at 4:30, jumping out of my skin to send a text.
Me: Is everything ok?
Daddy: Yes, her water broke at 1:30, and Olivia arrived at 4:00 a.m.
My phone rang with a Facetime call, and by 4:34, I was looking at my wide-eyed granddaughter after just 34 minutes of entering this world. She was nestled in her mother’s arms while my son gushed with joy. Clueless at how lucky he is lucky to be alive.
I have a lot to be grateful for each and every day. Including this Thanksgiving that looks much different than the ones pre Covid when my house was busting at the seams, with loved ones, food, and laughter.
This year it’s the hubby and me going for a morning walk, maybe on the beach, enjoying an early dinner at our table for two, and heading out to meet our first grandchild for the first time. The bar has risen!
Enjoy the Ride like it’s Thanksgiving every day.
What In The What?
One of my early childhood dreams was to be a mailman. I say “mailman” because when I was a kid, women were busy being housewives. We did not have “carriers”; we had “men.”
To this day, I can’t explain my attraction to this career path, but if I were to guess, it was probably all of the “hello, how ya doings?” Everyone loved to see him heading down the street.
What was not to love? He was the bearer of cards celebrating special occasions, letters from loved ones, and an occasional check. A celebrity every day.
Don’t get me started on the idle chitchat with folks on the route or an unplanned life-saving event due to mail piling up and actually noticing. I do this now for free.
We’re not going to discuss the bills; they were a given.
I was probably deterred by the rain, snow, and sleet motto, only to find out when writing this essay that it was all a LIE.
“The U.S. Postal Service has no official motto. Nope, it’s not this: “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” But we certainly appreciate the sentiment.“US Postal Service
No doubt I heard “gloom of night” and said, “I’m out!”
Anyway, fast forward to yesterday when I went to the post office to mail a package containing a book. The book recipient informed me of a book rate that cuts the shipping cost. Who knew? Not me.
However, I was not informed then that an FBI-like interrogation went along with using this discounted rate. Folks, there is always a damn price to pay!
As always, I waited in line for the lone over-worked employee to address me.
Me: I want to mail this box at the book rate, please.
Overworked employee: Is there a book in the box?
OE: Is there anything else in the box?
OE: Is there a card in the box?
OE: A letter?
Me: Um, no.
Me: There’snothing else in the box.
OE: Ok, fine. Can I get you anything else?
Me: Yes, can I get two books of Christmas stamps?
OE: Which ones?
Me: Not the religious ones, the other ones.
OE: The Elves or the Otters?
Me: One of each, please.
OE: You know they’re brown?
OE: The Elves.
Me: (Looking at the stamps.) They’re Elves.
OE: Yeah, but they’re brown.
Me: Elves aren’t real.
OE: I know; I’m just saying they’re brown.
Me: So are the Otters.
I got my tracking receipt, turned around to leave, looked into the dead stares of a long line of people, and went my merry way. What in the what?
Enjoy the Ride!
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