I do believe I’ve made an enemy of the nice person that delivers my mail. Before I get into the details, understand that it was not anything intentional. Just an insensitive oversight on my part. I would like to apologize to the mail carrier, and make sure there are no hard feelings, but I’m pretty sure I’ve knocked myself off his Christmas Card list for good. Small wonder.
One evening, a few weeks back, I found myself surfing the Internet for no other reason than having something to do. Mike was watching his RV life You Tube videos, and there was absolutely nothing worthwhile on TV, even though neither of us moved to shut it off. It was just one of those boring, restless evenings that seemed to drone on forever.
Nothing had moved forward on our ‘retirement’ plan in weeks, and it was beginning to wear thin. Money and time are natural adversaries, it seems. If you have enough of one, there is a definite lack of the other. It’s a vicious cycle. I feel like if I don’t do something that will move us forward, I’m going to bust. But what?
So I’m surfing, checking Facebook and Twitter for the umpteenth time, when one of those “California – Dream Big” ad comes on. It shows the beautiful people, the sports people, the famous people, all living it up in the Land of Dreams. The spot annoys me particularly, because it features William Shatner, and everyone knows he’s not a Californian. He’s not even an American, he was born in Montreal. A transplanted Canadian, no less.
Hey! Wait a minute! The idea strikes me. There’s something to do that will move us forward and not cost anything! Tourism guides! All we know for sure right now is we want to go south. Exactly where in the south has not been nailed down yet. What better way to decide than to have someone who lives there show you what’s so fantastic about their state?
As quick as my fingers can type, I start bringing up tourism sites state by state. Here’s a
(usually) free resource for campgrounds, hiking trails, attractions, any and every reason you might want to visit. After all, the Bucket List only hits the high notes. What are some of the best kept secrets that would interest us, but we haven’t heard of yet?
Two hours later, and much thanks to Google Chrome for it’s auto-fill feature, I have successfully ordered 44 out of the 50 state guides available. The reason there was only 44 coming was that two are available online only, two wouldn’t ship across the border, one wanted $8 shipping and handling and one wasn’t due to be released for another month yet. And yes, I realize the full 50 includes Alaska and Hawaii, but I figured in for a penny, in for a pound. So, all we had to do now was sit back and wait for the research material to arrive.
About a week and a half later, the first book arrives. Think back to when you were a kid and the Sears Wish Book arrived. Same feeling. We excitedly rip it open and pour over the beautiful photos and detailed descriptions, making mental lists of must-see places and must do events. Over the next few days, a few more arrive, some even including motorcycle tour guides. Awesome! There’s no end to the conversation of “take a look at this” and “wouldn’t this be fantastic to try” and “we’ve got to see this for ourselves!”
I start organizing the books into binders, dividing them up by their natural zones, West, Mid-West, South and North-East. I add sheet protectors to include the maps, brochures and smaller guides that have arrived with the main book. I’ve got a list of the states that I’m ticking off as the guides arrive, so I know which ones I’m missing. I’m very proud of my project and organizational skills.
However, within a week, we’re receiving 4-5 packages a day. Some of these envelopes are huge and heavy. Each one of my beautifully organized binders weighs 10-15 pounds, and are only growing heavier with each passing day. It didn’t occur to me what a burden I was putting on the mail carrier until one day’s mail was actually delivered by the package courier instead of the postal worker.
Whoops! My bad! I was so excited at getting a close up look at where we want to go, it never crossed my mind that someone had to carry all of this print material right to my door. Some days it was certainly a very heavy tote. And not necessarily in the nicest of weather either, although I can’t take responsibility for that, obviously. But I doubt it made the trek to my door any easier.
So by the time I realize all of this, I’ve already received about 3/4 of the guides due to arrive. There were actually a few days in a row where I received no mail at all. Hopefully, this was just a coincidence, and the carrier wasn’t off on sick leave with a bad back or dislocated shoulder or something similar.
Luckily, it’s since died down to a steady trickle, with only a few more books due to arrive. Things have quieted down considerably, and we can spend our evenings pouring over one or two states at our leisure. My mail delivery has resumed, proven by the arrival of monthly bills and unsolicited offers from cable companies. I think, or at least hope, I’ve been forgiven.
Good thing too, because the guides for all 10 provinces and 3 territories will soon be on their way as well. I mean, I feel bad, but not that bad.
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