Sporadic Delivery

Yesterday the letter carrier put mail into our mailbox for the second day in a row, after an interruption of over a month and a half. We hoped that this was a sign that the aggressive dog problem had finally been resolved. But today again no letter carrier arrived, and, alas, our Netflix envelope sits a lonely vigil in the mailbox awaiting its return to our “Nearest Netflix Shipping Facility” in Charleston.

Tuesday evening we thought the problem had been solved. The previous Friday Lisa made a number of telephone calls — to the local office of our member of Congress; to the local postmaster (again; but no one answered the phone); to the general USPS telephone number — to complain and possibly find some way to resume delivery to our mailbox. We intended on Tuesday to pick our mail up at the local station, then go to the Congressman’s office to file a formal complaint. But when we got to the post office our mail was elsewhere — the letter carrier was going to “try to deliver” it. And, hurrah!!, the letter carrier succeeded!, and when we got home our mail was in the box. And, hurrah!! again, more mail was in the box on Wednesday. So the lack-of-delivery problem seemed to be over.

But on Tuesday, after not picking up our mail, we had gone to the Congressman’s office anyway, to tell them that we thought the problem had been resolved and to get the complaint form just in case it hadn’t been. The Congressman’s office is in the Federal Court Building, which is the same building as the main post office. Anyone can walk freely into the post office part of the building, but to go into the Federal Court Building you have to provide a photo ID, pass through a metal detector, and surrender your cell phones and cameras. They asked us to turn the phones off before they stuck them in a drawer, then gave us a token for their return.

Naturally, when we left the Court Building we returned the token and collected our phones and Lisa’s camera, but we forgot that we had turned the phones off. We forgot for a long time. We continued to forget all day Wednesday.

We rarely get calls except from the kids, and we had talked to both of them recently and didn’t expect them to call again. We were mistaken. By Wednesday evening the kids had been searching extensively for us for several hours. I don’t think they had called the West Virginia State Police yet, but that probably would have been next. By the time they finally got through to us they were quite convinced that we were dead in a ditch. Fortunately for all concerned that was not the case. And some day, perhaps, the kids will see some humor in the whole adventure.

But after all that fuss, confusion, and anxiety, no letter carrier came today. I wonder what will happen tomorrow.


4 thoughts on “Sporadic Delivery

  1. It’s interesting how many people of our generation there seem to be who use their cellphones almost exclusively for communicating with their children.

    • David — I guess we use our cell phones mostly to talk to the kids (who else, after all, is there to talk to?), but we’ve used them for a lot of other conversations over the years.

      Our first cell phone was for Hilde when she turned 16 and started to drive. It allowed her to tell us where she was when she was late getting home, and relieved our parental concerns about her being stuck somewhere with a flat tire or broken car and no way to get help. When she went to school in Lubbock she discovered that the plan we had in Austin didn’t work there, so we got her a Lubbock phone and Arend started taking her old phone when he went out in the evenings.

      Then, Lisa discovered that we could have a family plan — four phones with free unlimited talking among the four of us — for only a little more than we were paying for the two phones. So, as you say, the cell phones allow us to keep in touch easily among Dallas, Chicago, Clarksburg, and occasionally Austin or other locations, and this is what we most commonly use them for.

      But we have also followed our children into the modern world of “no landline”. We have our cellphones, and we have Skype, and we have no other telephone. Our telephone connections travel with us, and have been indispensible as we wander about the country, arranging for emergency roadside service, ordering pizza, or letting friends and relatives know when we will arrive.

      Oh, and our mail arrives with much greater consistency now.

  2. Pingback: The Postbox Garden « Lisa deGruyter

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