Going postal
Monday September 28th 2020, 4:48 pm
Filed under: Life

A few months ago, I placed an online grocery order that came with frozen water bottles to help keep chilled things chilled during delivery. They were cheap ones that threatened to break open, not helped by having been frozen, but they did the job the sender had intended.

I’m not a fan of non-reusable plastic water bottles, but there they were, so I put two in the cabinet and one in my car because you never know–hoping it wouldn’t split and spill.

We’re having another freakishly hot spell in northern California. It is 103 out there.

I have an old high school friend who lives in New York City who’s been fighting cancer and, along with her husband, a bad bout of covid that started some months ago. She explained long hauler syndrome before I’d heard anyone else describing it.

Saturday, she was talking about mailing a ballot to avoid the crowds, given everything.

I asked her if she was allergic to wool and what was her favorite color? Thinking, that, at least, I can do something about.

When she answered, I sent her a link to some Malabrigo Mecha and told her to scroll down to the Teal Feather color. She thought it was exquisite. She loved blue greens.

It was nothing fancy but it was very soft and warm and already done and all I had to do was run the ends in and that hat could go off in the mail today–even if it’s not cold here now, it will be sooner there.

She gave me her address and I did that.

But first, I thought about something else I maybe should mail or maybe should wait on and there were reasons for both and why make two trips but really, you should first do… I found myself spending way too much time not putting on my shoes and getting out that door with that one package all ready to go and what was up with all this anyway? Rush hour is coming. Just, go!

I debated at the corner: this post office or that one? Right or left? I started to pull right and then somehow decisively wheeled back the other way and went left and didn’t think much of it.

The air conditioner was very slow to kick in but it had a lot to deal with. Man, it was hot.

I got there, mailed my package, got in my car, and waited as several other cars ahead of me pulled away and out of the parking lot.

There was an older man sitting on the curb over there in front of his old minivan. It looked like he’d had a breakdown. He pulled out his cellphone as I waited for the cars in front of me to pull out, then as I rolled up to the road beside him his shoulders slumped. Whatever answer he’d gotten, it was clear he was going to be sitting there awhile. No tow truck comes fast. Friends might, but the look on his face described his day.

Someone was coming up behind me and I was blocking them. I pulled onto the road.

And thought at myself, Are you KIDDING me?? Is this even a question?!

I swung back into the entrance just ahead, stopped the car, reached into the back seat, got back in, pulled around and back to that point, window rolled down.


There was no way that stranger white lady was talking to him and he glanced the opposite direction so as not to embarrass himself thinking I would.

Nevertheless I persisted, water bottle held straight out.

Sir? Would you like some water?

The thought hung in the air between us a moment as he tried to take it in.

His sun-worn brown face broke into relief, gratitude, love, joy, even–and he stood and, hunched and walking like someone with a bad back and aching hips, he made it over to my outstretched arm and received that bottle. As I knew in that moment he would have offered me had we been reversed. “Thank you!” he smiled, thick with emotion.

He’s someone’s grampa out there.

I figured he could deal with his car and his phone better than I could with my hearing, and the people in the post office were right over there if need be, he just needed to get through this part right now in that heat.

It wasn’t till I got past the next light that it hit me that all that indecisiveness and dithering over whether to leave yet and the string of cars leaving the post office in front of me and every step along the way had landed me at that spot and seeing what I needed to see exactly when I needed to be there to see it for his sake.

I went home and put the rest of those water bottles in the car. And added a coconut water for good measure.

7 Comments so far
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Fantastic! What a wonderful story….really sticking with me.

Comment by Sharon 09.28.20 @ 6:07 pm

You got to where you were meant to be, at the time you were meant to be there. I never doubt there is a plan, I just don’t always see the plan and that’s as it should be.
Another well done day.
Chris S

Comment by Chris S in Canada 09.28.20 @ 6:20 pm

It’s always nice to realize God used you to answer a prayer.

Comment by LauraN 09.28.20 @ 6:50 pm

Finger puppets, water bottles: you are a divinely inspired fairy.

I will do better to listen to guidance.

Comment by Suzanne in Montreal 09.29.20 @ 5:53 am

Mine is granola bars. I keep them in my purse for emergency snacks…more than once, there has been someone hungry on a street corner as the light was red…another chance to do a mitzvah.

Comment by Joanne 09.29.20 @ 6:19 am

It is amazing when you find yourself right there, just when you need to be.

Comment by ccr in MA 09.29.20 @ 6:20 pm

There are no coincidences.

Comment by Sharon Stanger 09.30.20 @ 1:00 pm

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