When I was a young mom and a new homeowner, I did a favor for a former high school classmate that lived in Alaska. She was a senior on the varsity basketball team when I was a freshman on the JV squad. This now adult woman, distanced from her past, wanted a copy of the high school yearbook from that year she graduated.

I had bought a yearbook my freshman year and decided to fulfill her plea from across the miles as a random act of kindness. I dug out my archived yearbook, copied it page by page and sent a black and white copy to her military address. I was happy to help, didn’t need a thank you and never heard any more about it – until I did.

I scrolled the comments of a very young Facebook, perhaps 2005; our girls were young and we’d just built the garage. We loved hitting the remote garage door opener as we approached the frontage of our property. My husband had built the garage on his own, we’d all seen it develop from the foundation up, and the automatic door was the icing on the cake.

The FB comments from my militant high school teammate were angry and bitter. She explained her grand thank you, an expensive gesture that went unrecognized. My yearbook recipient couldn’t believe how rude “someone” could be. On-line bullying was already alive and well.

By reading her page, I learned that fresh Alaskan halibut had been Fedexed to the ‘person’ that answered her request for a yearbook. Said ‘person’ had not even acknowledged the return gratitude. A true delicacy was overnighted to the “lower 48” and she’d not received so much as a fellow thank you. After over a week of waiting to hear back, she was ‘over it’ and vowed to never do anything that generous again. She literally went local.

I was said person and had not received a FedEx. We had not eaten fresh Alaskan halibut without saying thank you. To quote Red Buttons, “I never got the dinner!”

I told my husband what I’d learned. We checked the front door and the back stoop. We called FedEx.

Evidently, a slip had been left more than a week ago. On that date, FedEx was awaiting a callback, to deliver a very large package labeled “fresh seafood” according to the records. We hung up and went outside to look for the attempted delivery slip.

We found it. The slip was posted, not on one of the doors to the house, but rather, on the door of the garage. We came and went for nine days and had never seen the note!

The slip from FedEx stated they’d re-deliver upon our call, if we could be at the house to sign for the package. We called again. “Lady, it’s been over a week. We sent that package back to central processing. You’ll have to pick it up there.”

Learning the warehouse was 40 miles away, we drove further inland to track down our fresh catch. At the end of our road trip, the warehouse manager explained that they couldn’t refrigerate endlessly. Our package had been destroyed 2 days prior as ‘undeliverable’. Didn’t I know how bad rotten fish smelled?

Not really but I felt rotten. My random act of kindness had turned into a fellow act of kindness that spoiled in more than one way. Our side of the story seemed like a lot to explain; I didn’t have the heart to tell the Alaskan woman that her native halibut had actually been thrown out.


You’d think that would be the end of the story but no, that was just a memory that recently came back to the surface.

I mean, why do delivery services put items in front of a garage when there is a perfectly nice front stoop or back deck anyway?

After 15 years, we still don’t walk along the front of our garage before we leave for the day. Walking into the side of the garage to get into our vehicles seems perfectly acceptable. I load what I need for the day, open the automatic door and back out the door into the driveway.

Two weeks ago, there just happened to be a delivery in the way. I felt the bump before I saw the package. The sensation was in my chest; I nearly had a heart attack wondering what, or who, I’d run over. I looked forward again and saw the small smashed box on the asphalt. My tire had flattened 1/3 of the box. The contents survived my rolling pin tires. The delivery was a good laugh, that prompted memory of the halibut snafu, and no harm was done.

“Special” delivery


Until it happened again last week. Another box was left in front of my garage bay! I didn’t see or feel the package this time, I heard it. The glass content was unforgiving and so was I.

I drove to the Post Office in a huff. The dear USPS had delivered to our driveway this time. I showed the desk clerk my crushed and now partially open package. With a line forming, and me now a little embarrassed to speak publicly about my driving mishap, explained where the package was placed and waited for her and the government to take accountability.

“Okay, that’s fine. I’ll stamp “Refused” and send it back to the company.”

That was the governmental solution. Although, I couldn’t argue with her. She’d probably not been the one to place the package on our driveway. And after all, I was declining acceptance of the parcel.

This third time was a charm. Now I just have to wait to see if I get a refund or a new shipment. I am the unintended bad guy yet again. I don’t think I did myself any favors.

G, I don’t know, Joe

Anyone? Of value to anyone?

Thrown into a yard sale bundle because I couldn’t leave a fellow behind.

Posted here because I am curious and research is a challenge for this 8” green Joe. Based on the screws and my husband’s childhood, I am thinking the 70’s.

Running on empty

I’d appreciate any information on year, play set or desirability.

Thank you, readers!

Free-stylin’ via local parish

My mother and sister and I headed out for the local thrift shop last Saturday. I was driving and as we approached the small train depot, I noticed and pointed out some Yankee Neon (my term for New England yard sale signs). With the print too small to read, we agreed I’d turn down a side street and backtrack, so we could determine the locations and detour to the yard sales.

I turned onto Phoenix Street and straddled the car over a sewer grate as we turned into the church parking lot. The approach was not fast but the car bobbled to the left and then the right, causing my nervous mother to yell out:

“God Al-MIGHTY!!”

With a risen Christ on the wall of the church school I stopped the car at His feet and added, “Yes, Mom. There He is, what did you want to say?”

I thought my older sister was going to bust a gut but she held her cheeks and remained quiet in the back seat.

My mother probably didn’t hear all that I said, which is par for any course, but she did notice the car was stopped.

“What? What are you doing?!” came out of my confounded mother.

“You yelled out ‘God Almighty’. There’s the church; did you want to talk to him?”

Her evil eye, despite our surroundings, indicated she’d both heard and understood. The sound she made with her expression was not translatable. I turned back toward the train station and glanced over at her; she finally laughed as her body relaxed a little bit.

My sister’s body, however, was tangled in knots trying to hold back any laughter that could be construed as disrespectful.

Free-stylin’ (our term for finding yard sales on our own versus in the paper or on the Internet) is the best way to travel. The free-style events are both spontaneous and exhilarating. The drives can never be planned and just the prospect of a sale increases our heart rates.

We found the two yard sales and then continued to the thrift shop, located within a parish basement of the adjoining town. We shopped at a place of worship. I also thanked God Almighty for a beautiful morning.

180 degrees

Our apple delivery was not just expected but anticipated. After work, I checked the mail and back porch for boxes. Before I drove away to run a CVS errand for hair ties I decided to look back at the house. A package was sitting on the front steps; I never even saw or heard the delivery person earlier in the day.

Mailing package – bottom

I carried our apple package into the house and decided to ditch my errand. I wanted to check out the Goodies I already had. I sat at my kitchen table and broke open the packaging. I knew I had to renege on my, Keeping the doctor away blog entry now!

…or at least share a post about them!

My complaint to the local grocery store about my brown apple was acknowledged three weeks ago with a $5 coupon. That grocery store had informed the vendor. The apple company apologized for my “eating experience”. They also explained my circumstance, since the honey crisp I bit into looked like a perfectly fresh apple. Evidently, sometimes apple flesh turns brown due to “enzymatic browning” caused by the interaction of oxygen and enzymes in the apples. While this is natural and perfectly safe, they wanted me to enjoy every bite. Their response was to send me a fresh batch:

As fresh and juicy as they look!

I expected the apples because the company email said they would ‘make it up to me’. I anticipated the apples because the company verified my home address. After I washed and shined the largest one, I looked back at all the packaging. The return address was from New York; the big apple was absolutely juicy and delicious!


The local boutique is named ‘Upscale Consignment’ which defines as relatively expensive and designed to appeal to affluent customers. The shop is actually inexpensive and services the surrounding mill town’s middle class. I ventured from our little village, in search of expensive designer label pants at an affordable price. I brought an old friend along, since we’ve been on a lot of shopping trips together.

Our journey’s purpose was to explore the consigned goods for a decent pair of slacks or denim. We searched my size on several racks, ignoring the flared bottoms, loud colors and cheap fabrics. The hunt produced three contenders and then I headed for the dressing room.

First up was a pair of capris that looked fun for a day at the beach. Unfortunately, only one thigh made its way into the material. I cursed Nautica for their ill-fitting tailoring as I pulled my leg back out like I was stripping off a pair of panty hose.

Next was a pair of straight-legged jeans. I slid my first leg all the way in and my ankles were perfectly showcased. I pulled the jeans up and realized my ankles would be the only body part fitting into them. My legs didn’t meet the requirements for skinny leg jeans.

The remaining pair of dress pants had to fit. All the pairs we selected were my size. Shopping was supposed to be easy; I usually buy off the rack and go on with my life.

The third pair was a designer label I often buy for work. They weren’t my classic side-zipped pant but very similar. I put them on with ease and looked in the mirror. A huge ass was staring back at me. There was junk in my trunk.

None of the slacks were designed to appeal, or fit. So much for upscale consignment. Besides, if I was an affluent customer, I wouldn’t be looking in a fun house mirror trying on someone else’s tragic, misshapen, undersized, closet knock-offs. Not that I was bitter but clothes shopping with my high school waistline wasn’t the weigh it used to be. I headed back to the village to find a mill, a treadmill.

To the Cul de Sac and Beyond!

Every glorious morning I take a brisk walk around our neighborhood, along the edge of quiet wooded conservation lots. The strolls are privileged, wonderful times of reflection that I treasure. This block in my day is not a spa treatment or destination vacation but the surroundings and exercise are my appointed self care.

With a walking stick in hand, however, I also collect any trash I am displeased to find along the way. Most items on the ground are probably not intentional but rather, a reflection of our times: recent events, weather or seasons. Summer breezes bring decorative pillows from our neighbors back porch. Heavy wind storms send over the tarp from our other neighbor’s chicken coop. Friday mornings, the day after trash day, often showcase a variety of windblown styrofoam and plastic wrappings. Pre-graduation weeks usher beer cans into our wooded lot, tossed just before the road that circles into the cul-de-sac. I add each new find to our trash or recycling bin, knowing a little more about the neighbor’s lifestyles, eating habits and graduates.

Today my haul included hand sanitizer. Maybe tossing away sanitizers and homemade face masks can be a new trash trend and sign of the times? Wouldn’t that be glorious! Trash is dirty, worthless, leftover debris. Our dirtied masks have not been worthless but I hope they are soon just leftover debris. That is my quiet reflection of hope and prayer. There are signs of even better times out there. Maybe even vacations. What a beautiful day in the neighborhood.

Tortilla sunrise

My husband is purely a poached egg and toast guy. Preferably rye or more specifically, pumpernickel. Drizzle hollandaise and he’s all set after cooking up a storm.

I am truly a fried egg and soft bread gal. Preferably flatbread or more specifically, tortilla. Break the yolk and I am all set after minimal effort.

He’s at least three pans and ten ingredients, never mind the fancy plating.

I am one fry pan and one ingredient, never mind the layered circles.

I love that I can slide my eggs onto a tortilla rug and the runny yolk never even touches my plate.

My husband thinks it’s disgusting that I don’t even warm the tortilla.

A tortilla is a thin flat pancake, of corn meal or flour, served hot or cold, typically with a savory filling. I serve mine cold, with savory dripping eggs, and my plate still looks clean when I’m done. I am literally all set for the day.

I think its disgusting that he still has a pile of dishes to do.

I am a writer whom journals about life, family, New England, everything and nothing and whispers of the Holy Spirit.

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