Sometimes, all the forces in the universe conspire to put Mrs. Hillbilly Mom in the exact place she needs to be, at the precise time she needs to be there. Not often. But it happens.
Today I left the Mansion early for my lab appointment. I was a bit discombobulated, what with fretting over that no-good FedEx, who called me yesterday for directions, even though we've been receiving packages from them late for years now. I took five minutes out of my busy schedule to give specific directions. Then this morning I had an email that they needed directions. I was intent on jotting down the tenths of miles from one landmark to another on the way to town for my lab.
Wouldn't you know it. My down-hill neighbor was waiting to pull out in his work van. I could hardly slam on T-Hoe's brakes and motion him out of his driveway. That would look suspicious. So I bumped on down the hill that put a stick up T-Hoe's bottom, over the little bridge, up the hill, and pulled off on the side road. Let him go by while I wrote down the figures. Then I went on my merry way. I'll be darned if another vehicle didn't run up on me, not even dissuaded by the plume of dust I was feeding its grill. I pulled over at the mailbox area to let that one around, and write down the latest measurement.
That's how the trip went. I had a myriad of delays in the medical building itself, which is a tale for another campfire. I stopped to pick up a driver's guide for The Pony to study for his written test. I dropped by the bank. I called home to check on the boys and see if they wanted breakfast when I returned. I met with my mom on the Devil's Playground parking lot to hand over some tabloids. I picked up a 44 oz. Diet Coke. I knew I could bypass picking up the mail, because the #1 son was expecting a package, and was planning to sit at the end of the road and wait to strong-arm it from the mailman between 11:00 and noon, before he shoved that orange card in there for pickup tomorrow, when #1 will be gone for 10 days at MO Boys State, working in the technology department.
So there I was, at 10:30 a.m., cruising along with a sack of sausage biscuits and hash browns, hoping I could get them to #1 before he left the Mansion on his mailbox vigil. I glanced at every mailbox I passed, looking for flags up to signify that the mailman had not yet been through. I usually pass him coming out of town as I am going in around 11:30 or 12:00. Today, each mailbox had the flag down. Not so unusual, after those thieves stealing outward bound bills and scamming the checks. BUT...all the mailbox doors were closed. That's not right. Usually some hang open, mail sticking out like the tongue of an overheated dog on a sunny day. But now they were all sealed tight like an undiscovered Egyptian pharaoh's tomb.
I rounded the last curve and there he was. The mailman! Ahead of me! I called #1. "The mailman's already here! He's down by where Juno got lost. I'll try to stop him and get the package!" The boy declared that he was on his way. If we still had phones with cords, I could picture it swaying like a pendulum in the breeze of his exit. Lucky for us, the house before our mailboxes has a little semi-circle drive to keep its mailbox off the pavement. I blew past that mailman, down the hill, and whipped into the gravel road, where T-Hoe screeched to a pebbly stop. The #1 son was not there yet. I jumped out and started back to the mailboxes. Here came the mailman!
He looked at me askance, that mailman, sitting in the passenger seat of his car, poking mail in other people's boxes. You'd think he suspected me of wanting revenge for those two tubes of Clearasil that he left out for thieves to snatch. "My son is expecting a package, and I was hoping to get it before you take it back to the post office."
The mailman turned down his 80s music. "Name? Oh, you have TWO packages today. Here. I won't be needing these." He tore up the orange cards. Gave me two packages and a TV Guide. "That's it."
"You got here earlier than I expected!"
"Oh, we didn't have any mail today! Tuesdays are usually light."
"Well, thank you for the packages. He really needed this before he leaves tomorrow."
By this time, #1 had parked his truck and was approaching. "YES! You got it!" Which I will equate with a thank you. If he only knew all the gears that had to mesh to put me there at that exact moment, I think even he would have been impressed.