Another day, a different route. The neighborhoods are more established. Not as shiny and new. Maybe it’s the timing. The early time of day or the proximity to Christmas, but you seem nicer now. I hop out, walk your flat driveway to the garage that’s open and slide your package inside with a courtesy “Hi, UPS!” just in case you are lurking in the corner. You immediately pop out of the door and offer a cheerful “Oh, Hi! Thank you! Stay warm!” and I’m on my way. 16 steps from door to door.
We need to back into the next driveway to drop off something too heavy to carry up the steep driveway safely. You are out in the yard looking down at the gadget in your hand while your two dogs wander aimlessly in the yard. We do not get out if a dog is unleashed. Doesn’t matter that he’s never bitten you, or that he’s old. Or that he’s super friendly. I’m not your guinea pig. And even if they don’t bite, they get all up on my feet and could trip me. You finally realize we are there and make a feeble attempt to scoot the dogs back into the garage. But the boxer decides to make a dash for the street. The car turning right lightly glances his front quarters. I gasp and look away, not wanting to know. Allen says the dog was fine and it ran back toward your house. I’m even less interested in getting off the truck now that a distressed and possibly injured boxer is on the loose. We wait a solid minute or two and with no signs of you or the dogs, we open the back of the truck and leave the 42” flatscreen in your garage. I hope your dog is ok. 8 steps from door to garage.
I’m on edge now. Rattled by the poor dog that was most certainly hit, but apparently ok. More rattled by the inattentive human responsible for it. The next house is a few streets over. This neighborhood is lax on covenants and there are all manner of yard decorations in various states of inflation and assembly. We pull up, Allen hands me the four boxes that together are a hefty, but manageable weight. I use the driveway but must carefully navigate your walkway. You’ve done some pruning recently – the clippings are still in my path from last time I was here. But now, there’s also extension cords stretched across the walkway and steps. I drop the packages directly in front of your storm door. I’m not bothered that you’ll have to push them across the stoop when you open the door – or walk around from the garage. 32 steps from door to door.
We make a few more stops like this then head into our last neighborhood. More Amazon. More Kohl’s. More Macy’s. A few Omaha Steaks and several of those chef-in-a box services. Oh, and pills. Admittedly, there may be times when I get a little passive-aggressive about how I ring a bell or leave a package. I can only speak for myself – a seasonal driver helper, but here are a few tips: If you find yourself cursing your package delivery service, check yourself first. Is your house number clearly marked and not hidden by shrubs or decorations? Is the path to your door clear and free of dog poop and other obstacles? If you are expecting a package, do you keep the dog secured inside or behind a fence? Is your doorbell working or does it look like a scary bomb with wires hanging everywhere? Does that tree next to the walkway need some limbs cut back? Is the rose bush getting a little out of hand? Let’s not even get me started on the painted concrete porch you have – it’s a death trap to me when it’s wet.
(UPDATE: The Boxer was ok. The car only glanced his snout and left a few scratches that will heal. So says the owner when we delivered her wine a few days later.)
There’s more…and with any luck I’ll get it all posted before Santa arrives!