My Newspaper Man

My Paper Man

My son hasn’t taken the school bus to get to school. Ever. There’s a wide variety of reasons for that, most legitimate, some not. At some point, I got addicted to the gifts  in driving 180 days every year for the past 10 years. 1800 days (rounded to the nearest hundred). There have been more positives than I could imagine. Here’s one of them.

In August Jordan began high school. I had to master a new 30 minute commute  to a new high school. (yes, I rock.)  After surviving downtown traffic, the road opened up to 8 lanes – and a paper man balanced himself and his stack of morning papers in the middle esplanade.

Earphones in, he swayed to music and rhythmically pointed to every single passing car. He looked at every driver. It wasn’t a mindless dance. It was intentional. He’s blessing every car. I thought. I have NEVER had a paper man before. Ever. I was halfway between stunned that one will now be a part of my mornings and stunned that I couldn’t figure out how to get to him. I just started pointing back to him.

It took me about a week to figure out how to navigate all the traffic, lights, and lanes. Finally, I pretended I was in 8am,  I-95 traffic in downtown New Haven, CT and within a day, I bought a paper. I do this every Friday.

Every Friday we have the same interchange.

“Good Morning Miss!”

“One paper please” and I smile because he has no idea how glad I am he’s there.

I give him the money and he says every time, “You keep that pretty smile and have a blessed day!”

“You too sir!”

And I drive off- unless there’s a red light. Then he tells me the highlights, “Coupons in this one.” Or “Information on the circus on page 4”. One day he told me his name is Gregory and allowed me to take a photo of him.

 Gregory

                   Since August, I have been blessed not because he points at my car. Not because I point back  (although some days, it’s good to remember someone had my back for unselfish good in the beginning of the day).

I’m blessed because he’s there.

His presence remains a monument to stability, community and spirit.

From my second post until now, you know that the one thing I absolutely never take for granted is paper men. Especially when there is one every morning on my route.

Snow Prep – North vs. South

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This first photo is a nod to all my Yankee friends who are prepping for “Nemo” the huge blizzard hitting the Northeast today.

This photo  is how I prepped for a Southern “snowstorm” 3 weeks ago that left us with .5 inches.

What’s pathetic is not that I hit the donut aisle in the gas station (that’s where the DD’s are here, not their own fancy buildings except for one -30 min. away). What’s pathetic is at the end of January, they still have Xmas boxes because they didn’t sell enough donuts to change the box.

Okay. I’ll be honest. What’s really pathetic is that I filled the box with a double layer. I endured the stares of people trying to pay for gas and get cigarettes, the smirky laughter of the man behind the register as if he’s never sold 24 DD donuts before.

Forget them all. All they have is bread and milk. For what?  Peanut butter and jelly or french toast? Not us. We go all the way, baby!

We built a nice fire, had a great dinner with friends, and left the box open the rest of the evening… made it through breakfast and just like the snow that fell, nothing left by 10am.