These neighborhoods aren’t so bad, the homes are close together and everyone orders something all the time, so we spend a lot of active time here, sometimes both of us carrying packages to a few houses at once. We move down a few houses, playing leapfrog with the US Mail truck and waiting for the school bus to let the kid off in his wheel chair. I feel bad for his mom. She has to push the chair up a steep driveway – this must be a new condition, this wheel chair. They don’t have a ramp. There’s a cast on the kid’s leg. The bus driver is very friendly and helpful, they wave each other off while the kid just looks miserable. We pull to the next house. Two packages. Zappos – both. Again. Everyday. There are never signs of life at this house. The garage is always closed. No kids or animals coming and going. The front stoop is stark and bare. I have no way to hide the package from potential thieves or nosy neighbors, so I simply set it as close to the edge as possible so you can still open the storm door outward. I ring the bell and go. 22 steps from door to door.
Into the next neighborhood, this one is gated. We know the code. The landscaper knows the code. The mailman knows the code. The housekeeper knows the code. Fedex knows it. The pizza guy knows it. The real estate agent knows it. The babysitter and her boyfriend both know it. It may as well be plastered on the code box. The packages are still the same. Amazon. Kohls. Macy’s. Zappos…always the Zappos. The numbers make sense here, always increments of 10 so even with the decorations and missing numbers it isn’t hard for Allen to find the right house. I try to pay attention, but often get distracted. Today it’s the birds. 100s of them. Singing and chirping and flitting and flying and racing the truck. Finches? Swallows? I have no idea but they have me captivated. Allen brings me back to reality by asking if I see a number. Nope. He looks at his hand-held board and recognizes the address and name and guesses the right house. 15 steps from door to door.
It’s getting darker now, dusk really, but with the shadows and scant street lights, it may as well be midnight as we try to find the next house number. No longer in a tidy neighborhood, but still within city limits, the houses are more spread out and the driveways longer. We finally find the place. It’s a small envelope. I use my headlamp to walk down your driveway since we couldn’t back the truck down and weren’t sure if there was room to turn it around. The garage is open, but there are no lights anywhere. I hear a dog barking, but it isn’t getting closer so I have to assume, and hope, it’s inside or behind a gate. You haven’t raked in years. I guess at where the walkway is and hope I don’t find any surprises. Your motion sensor floodlight suddenly blinds me. I drop, ring, and hastily retreat. You have a creepy yard. 52 steps from door to door.
Stay tuned for more. Upcoming posts will bring you tales of drunken santa, grumpy dogs, and candy canes.