author moments

The Doorstep

My doorstep has been an interesting place lately. More traffic than I want. More unique visitors than I ever anticipated. Unexpected. Unwanted. Unsolicited. Just some of the u words that come to mind. Some visitors had two legs while others had four. Oh how life throws you curve balls just to see how you react. 

Below I will give you a sampling of the randomness. Think about how you would react. These scenarios are not in any particular order.

  • The Uber delivery. Yes Uber dropped people at my doorstep. Directly from the airport. Dressed in their cultural attire. Did I mention I am at least 50 minutes from the airport? Limited English spoken. It’s a hot summer day. Sun is beating down. They are so hot. I’m offered water but they nodded no. They may want to rethink my kind gesture but I’m sure they are so nervous. Unknown place. Unknown person. So many stressors.
  • Nobody could pick them up for what seemed like an eternity but it was just an hour. I offered water again. Finally they took it out of desperation. I texted their family members from their phone even though I could not read the language in the text. Arabic maybe or something similar with symbols vs letters. I felt responsible for the cargo left on my doorstep. Complete strangers but dumped at no fault of their own. What would you have done?  Would they know how to tell their family where they were if I didn’t help? What would you do if Uber dropped you in the wrong place. So much to think about. They were understandably nervous. 

Nobody was harmed in the taking of the photo and faces were covered to not embarrass anyone. How many might think this situation could have played out so differently in today’s world? I had to document this bizarre event.

  • The landscape supplies is the next unexpected doorstep instruction. Home Depot was oh so gracious to deliver me a truck load of landscape supplies to my driveway and a few heavy boxes of additional yard items to my doorstep. Everything from heavy landscaping pavers to pesticides to fly catchers. According to the receipt it was worth thousands of dollars. They left a packing slip. I actually inventoried it because I’m that anal retentive. What would you have done if this happened at your place?
  • While verifying the order, I saw the recipient’s phone number and called it. This made for an interesting call. Stranger on other end of phone was wondering why I am calling and why I have his goods and his private information. That’s understandable I suppose. All I wanted was for him to get his stuff off my property so I could leave my driveway. Big sigh. 
  • He drove past my house many times. How could he miss it with me standing outside? I had to stay on the phone to make sure he stopped. He was old. He couldn’t lift the pavers or the heavy boxes. I was already the receiving department. Now I was the shipping department. Off I went to load his car. What would you have done? On a funny note, the delivery ticket clearly stated do not leave without a signature. Guess what? The driver just left it all without a signature. I guess that is contactless deliveries for you.
  • My four-legged friends. One night it was a family of deer passing by and lingering for a bit with their bold eyes. Last night it was two black stray dogs. They started out back then moved to the front. I’m sure they smelled my dogs but geez do I have a sign that says everyone is welcome that translates in multiple languages and across animal sound waves? I shake my head but the more I think about my odd visits, I let out a deep sigh as it’s hard to believe. Of course I can’t make this stuff up. It’s as real as it gets. I’m sure I know plenty of neighbors that wouldn’t be as gracious as me in these scenarios. Some may opt for shoot first ask questions second, unfortunately.
  • I can’t forget the past residents of the home who send a child translator with the mom to pick up her mail repeatedly. This blows my mind when the postal service offers a change of address service. Even the furniture company got it wrong. Their driver delivered a new homeowner’s enormous floor rugs to my doorstep. Those I just left as a large item and said someone can figure out where they got delivered and come get them. They were big enough to see from the road and they lacked packing slip information for me to identify the correct owner.
  • A day later the doorbell rang. The man said I know this sounds strange but I think that’s my set of large floor rugs. Nope, not strange at all.  It’s yours because it’s definitely not mine and they are too heavy to move so I figured somebody would claim them soon enough. 

Most days seem a bit crazy in my world but these weird visits in mass quantities have me thinking I’m good for the rest of the year or maybe two years.

No more random doorstep deliveries for this girl. I guess I need to get a large address sign for the lawn to make it ever so obvious what address one is stopping at. If you have any better ideas drop me a note.

And then…the extra Amazon deliveries. A new trend. Somebody must have moved into a newly build home with the same street number as mine yet the street itself is wrong. Another delivery gone bad and I’m left to do the right thing over and over again.

anonymous letters, author moments

Hey Ass$&/@!

I wrote a post a while back about you. I sat on it for a while. I edited the post multiple times. Each time downplaying the severity of the situation you have created. Finally I deleted the post knowing no person or persons, especially you, were worth my time. 

The time passed. Days, weeks, months, then a year. I was on and off about this dilemma caused by another. Sometimes silently debating the issues. The subject’s actions were questionable and they also gave me the creeps. Add in some environmental conditions and boom their true colors shined. Asshole traits went off like fireworks. They lit up the sky. I was not the only one to see them.

Here I am again revisiting the subject of the same asshole scenario. I’ve been questioning the gut feeling I had to write my story originally and why I didn’t stick to my gut. I was trying to maintain peace. Take the high road. Overall be an adult and a civil one at that.

Unfortunately the asshole that is in my life has grown to the epic asshole level. How sour does one have to be in their own personal life that they need to rain on your happy-go-lucky life? I ask this question of myself a few different ways. It’s inexplicable to me. However this is real life and this asshole is on me like flies on shit. As nasty as that description is, it is realistic.

Unfortunately, you will have to read the book to find out all the nitty gritty shit I’m knee deep in with this epic asshole. Until the book is published and chapter(s) are identified as asshole moments xyz, I would encourage everyone reading this blog to be nice.

Be nice and / or kind to strangers, neighbors, community servants and leaders, family and so on. You never know when you may need a friendly hand in the future and you never know who knows who or who is related to who. Kindness is a best practice in life. It also keeps you from burning bridges.

For those who are just assholes by default, I will say a prayer for you. I also make note that I believe in karma. If you are not a nice person karma will come bite you when you least expect it. And when karma hits it’s normally a doozie.

For now,  I continue to exercise my patience muscles relating to my asshole and the dumb situations he is creating for himself and others near him. I know that one day he will the get the shit storm in his face as payback for all he has been dishing out as a bully. Bullies do exist in adulthood. I can confirm this. I can also confirm an asshole can be lurking in plain sight. Visible daily. Those may even be the worst kind. Some bullies just have too much ego to let shit go when they should.

I, on the other hand, have no problem ghosting somebody. Heck you could live next door to me or work with me and I could easily ignore you. If you are a ghost to me, never expect anything from me. Not a single thing. 

I actually feel better about the fact that I pulled this post out of the dumpster file and put it in relevant. Life isn’t always a bed of roses so now and again I just need to share the shit show moments. 

Just another random post for our diverse audience from around the world. Today’s post is dedicated to curious folks from Canada and the Netherlands who check us out each month. Sending you a virtual wave from the Peach State.

business

At the Car Wash

Sitting at the car wash on this sunny day. I don’t get here often enough but when I do I enjoy the scenery. Today it’s a good bit of sunshine and a slight breeze in the air. 

It starts with the drive in section. Sort of old-fashioned. The soap is applied manually while you sit In the car. The workers use their hands to massage in the soap, scrub the tires. Rinse. Repeat. Then you get shuffled outside to wait while phase two takes place.

To paint you a picture: the small car wash stand is located in a gas station parking lot with a small hair salon. The car wash and hair salon are operated by the same family. Some inside some outside working the day away. I sit observing from the metal chair outside the salon. A little stoop of sorts. Here I have a view of so much action on the street corner. Makes me think of my childhood days In the city.

The parking lot is also home to the local guy with a pickup truck and peanut stand. It’s always loaded with the best boiled peanuts and today he has some watermelons as well. Many folks stop by and grab some peanuts on their way to a day on the lake while others stop by on lunch break or while filling up with gas. Such a diverse group of buyers visiting the peanut stand today.

I like to support small businesses whenever I can. Whether it’s the local dog groomer, mechanic, or the peanut man. Tucked on the corner of a main road I can hear the hustle and bustle of the roadway. The cement trucks accelerating as they leave quarry next door. The rushing of water from all the car washes. The reviving of engines at the red lights from the souped up cars.

Observing the small details while I sit and wait in my special chair. I write. Sometimes I read. Sometimes I answer emails. Today I write as I think about whether I should buy the watermelon or the peanuts before I leave. It’s a tough decision. I will choose one.

As you can see the peanuts won today. They are too hot to eat at the moment but such a nice treat after my trip to the car wash. The good old fashioned car wash.

health, working women

A Girl in Uniform

“If you ever get lost or need help, look for someone with a name tag or uniform on.”

These are the words we told our kids at places like Disney World when they were little, just in case. People in uniforms should be able to help.

I’m an avid sports parent. I love to show up and watch my daughters play, no matter the sport, no matter the team. I even try to go cheer for them when they are coaching or officiating games. Both of my daughters are refs for girls lacrosse.

Recently, one of my daughters had the honor of officiating youth championship games. I showed up to watch her in action. Hundreds of little kids, googles falling off, uniforms that don’t quite fit on their tiny bodies, all trying to get the hang of a sport I love, it brought back so many good memories. Games on Saturdays. Cheering for your team. Trophies and snacks after the game. And my daughter, once a youth player, now the ref.

Being a ref is not for the faint of heart. I know my attitude toward refs changed when my older daughter became one. Suddenly the heckling from the fans and coaches felt very personal. Why are they attacking her? Do they really think she is being paid by one team to make those calls? Don’t they know she’s a human and can hear their nasty insults? And if she can’t, I can?

My daughters each have very different personalities but they exude a cool, calm confidence on the field. They address irrational adults when necessary. It seems it is always the adults, very rarely the players who are ill-behaved. Unfortunately, bad behavior by at least a couple of adults is more the rule than the exception at these games.

In the end, though, it’s about the players. I remind them that the little girls are looking up to them. They are learning how to be fair. How to accept small setbacks like fouls and share the wins with their team. They are learning how to lead from a girl like them, just a few years further down the road.

I also tell them that some of the best refs are also teachers. Each of my daughters has almost a decade of field playing on their resume. They often know much more about the game than the coaches and spectators. So when a young high school team kept making the same fouls over and over, my daughter offered to demonstrate ways to prevent getting those fouls. They share knowledge and grow the game.

It’s a proud mama moment for sure, to see my girls nurture young players through their role. I cheer for the refs.

Before the championships, I called my youngest over to the fence for a quick pregame chat and picture. A minute later, a little girl, goggles half off, uniform all askew, came up and got her attention. My daughter walked her to the stands, helped her find her parents, then waited by the fence until her dad returned from the car. The little girl needed a jacket during warm ups.

I love that this little girl still thought to ask someone in uniform to help her. Despite what some adults might tell you, the ref is there to help.

dare to be different

What Goes Around

Do unto others as you would have done to you.

Treat others the way you would want to be treated.

What goes around comes around.

You get what you give.

There are many ways to phrase this fundamental principle of the world. From the Bible to modern day, it’s pretty much the same. Basically, you will generally get back what you put into your life (or other lives). This goes for all kinds of resources: attention, investment, energy, whatever.

Imagine this: you check your bank account only to find that your employer has paid you double what they owe you. What do you do? Just consider it a lucky gift in your favor and splurge on something fun? Keep it (and keep it quiet) but just save it for a rainy day? Call your boss and let them know what happened? No one will see, will they?

Imagine if you lost your wallet in a store. You get to the checkout only to realize you laid it down somewhere. What do you hope happens? It’s gone forever, or some kind person turned it in to customer service and you get it back and move on with your day? If someone sees a lost dog, should they just keep it or make a sincere effort to find the owners?

Does the reward you seek come back immediately? Not always. Not even usually. Cue the cries of unfairness. Poor, poor pitiful me. Yes, it does seem like nice people finish last sometimes. We can all point to examples of people who are dishonest, distasteful, or just plain disgusting getting the rewards that pass good folks by. We also see good people suffering for what seems like no reason. It can be a huge challenge to let those things go. But in the end, I also believe in…

Karma.

The universe will take care of things. And…

doing good is its own reward.

I try to let these be my guide when I feel that poor, poor pitiful me creeping in. When petty troubles pull me down and life seems to be the thief of joy. I tell myself to trust that things will work out. If I continue to put positivity and uplifting effort into the world, it will return to me. It may take time. It may be repaid in ways that surprise me, but it will return.

“Choose daily” has been a theme since the early days of this blog. What would I choose if you ran across the lost wallet or dog? What energy is my choice putting out into the world today?

I’m sure it sounds cheesy or trite or even naive. In the end, I just try to choose positivity, joy, giving people the benefit of the doubt, and trusting that they are doing their best with what they know at the time. This walks me back from anger and frustration. I focus on what I can control.

Regardless of what I may be faced with, I always have the choice to be kind, generous, and understanding. I’m not perfect at this, but I am getting better. There are still many days when it is easier said than done. My energies and daily choices create the world and return to me over and over.