Friday, September 10, 2010

Mother Connie Sez: Wanna Buy a Newspaper?

Wanna Buy a Newspaper?  We've Got One For You!
It's been eight months since we started our new "career" in newspaper delivery.  It all came about because the route manager for the Lincoln Journal Star dropped a daily newspaper on our porch with an insert asking for applications for delivery of a new route that had been combined into two.  They needed a carrier ASAP.

We looked at one another; as only married couples do, and we came to an instantaneous and complete agreement that we could DO this.

Well, we are doing it and we have to say that we are having a BLAST!  Never mind that we must rise at 1:30 AM to have a quick breakfast and bolt out the door to receive our bundles at 2 AM!  We have time to talk and laugh, we can enjoy one another's company as we make our rounds and we are learning much about our little community.

The Normanator was born and raised here so he used to know everybody, even those who weren't his relatives.  Half a century later, the town has changed hands and all the faces are new.  By dropping papers onto porches we are learning where people live and in many cases, we are meeting them face to face as we conduct our daily lives.

As an example of that, we were in the hardware store when one of our customers walked in.  We asked how he gets along with his paper carrier.  His face brightened as he realized we were the ones who brought his morning news.  He told the story of how he'd found out we are concerned about getting our deliveries made in a timely fashion with the weather in mind and he seemed pleased to have made that connection.

When we began our work, we wrote a letter to our subscribers, telling them when they might expect their paper, how to reach us if there were a problem, and thanking them for the opportunity to serve them.  One dear lady, who lives in the nursing home, phoned us as soon as she read her letter to thank us.  Others, who attended a community function, buzzed about the letter and those "kids" who are taking the paper around now.  Of course, all this fuss makes us grin.

Sometimes those newspapers skitter across a porch; other times they skate or plop.  It depends on the material of the porch and whether there is a carpeted surface, wood, or concrete.  There are a few porches, where yappy dogs live, where the paper is gently placed on the porch and slid toward the door, in order not to cause a ruckus.  We place papers into crocks, on benches, in mailboxes, inside porch doors and in other special places.  Folks seem to like this.

We enjoy keeping track of who rises early; whose garage light was left on overnight; who might be having trouble sleeping; and who is vacationing.  Occasionally we will encounter a "welcoming committee" if the hospital staff is taking a break outside or if the weather invites people to their patios with coffee in hand.  Often we see a man who walks his dog and carries his coffee cup.  We can tell who is working the early or late shift and who has just mowed their yard.  We note if there is a guest's car in the drive or if someone is sporting a new vehicle.  These observations make us feel as if we are getting acquainted with our people and we love that.

When we finish our rounds, between 4:30 AM and 5:30 AM, depending on the day, the weather, and the time we get our bundles, we take time to drink coffee and review our 18 mile trip.  We might discuss how to dispense the extra, complimentary papers we have so as to increase our number of customers.  THEN WE HAVE A NICE NAP.  After rising at 1:30, we are well ready to sleep again!

We are blessed to have the ability and the opportunity to manage this new career.  We owe that to a number of factors:  adequate sleep and rest; eating well, wisely and regularly; taking whole foods supplements; drinking plenty of good water; and moving our bodies.  The little sprint from car to porch or up a driveway serves us well.  We are getting some aerobic activity, plenty of walking in short spurts and we get our blood circulating every single day without exception.

Add to that the regular performance of The Healing Codes, brushing our teeth, and keeping good thoughts for healthy attitudes and we can probably carry those papers for as long as we like!

Connie Baum
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  1. Very nice. You and your husband must get along well. I envision a lot of arguing if my wife and I delivered a route together.

  2. I would subscribe but I don't think you want to add 150 miles to your route. The folks of Tecumseh are BLESSED to have you in their lives!

  3. Love it! You're on a career path! I thought it was too late for me, but you kids are leading the way. The exercise, fun, visiting and researching your clientele are all great. I do wish you had mentioned flossing. Over the past year and 2 months I've had 5 clients 93 - 98, all mentally sharp and physically active. All flossed!!! Hooray! Hang in there. Do you ever get vacations? I don't know what this profile stuff is so Ill just choose one. Will that make it disapear?

  4. Oh, anonymous, you make me giggle! NO VACATIONS EVER and sometimes on holidays we have to deliver extra papers! That's life for ya!

    I need to go now and floss. The ToothSoap people have the niftiest thing for flossing...

    Thanks ever so much for commenting. I hope it wasn't too traumatic!

    Mother Connie

  5. I loved this! Just goes to show how the ordinary people you come in contact with on your day to day life have an impact. They are so lucky to have you!

    My husband once delivered pizzas. He was on delivery one day and saw the police parked on the edge of a regular customers yard. He was an elderly suicidal vet who wouldn't let the police onto the property yet. They were being cautious and giving him space. He did let the pizza guy sit on the porch with him and talk a while. It all ended peacefully and he received the help he needed because someone stopped to talk!

  6. That is a GREAT story, love. Keep them coming. It is so wonderful to have you pop in and leave your mark.

    Your kind words fell on grateful ears. Thanks, kiddo.

    Mother Connie

  7. Just think how wonderful this world would be if everyone approached their JOBS with as much care and sensitivity as you and the Normanator do...real relationships would be formed and people would feel connected to one another as they should; so that no one feel alone or un-cared for. Keep up the good work.

  8. Thank you so much for your kind words.

    Today our doorbell rang and when I answered it, there was an elderly man in well worn farmer overalls, smiling and holding three ginormous plastic bags. They were filled with plastic bags he'd saved from earlier paper deliveries. He apologized for not having any rubber bands!

    We shook hands and I told him how delighted I was to meet him. He lives near our home but I had never had the pleasure of meeting him.

    I told him that I was surprised he is not eleven feet tall...he looked puzzled. Then I explained that I had heard SO MANY good things about him that I just expected him to be larger than life.

    He just shrugged. And his smile stayed put.

    This is a man who is 89 years old and only recently gave up a paper route of his own! If we can conduct our paper route with the kind of integrity and superb service Mr. Mahoney provided, we will be doing well.

    I'm just not sure I want to do that until age 89.

    Mother Connie


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