Saturday, December 27, 2008

Blessings: My Old Paper Route

One of my favorite pastimes is reading over my past journals. It amazes me what little details I recorded or what important milestones were left unmentioned. The journals remind me of where I have been, what struggles I have been through, what celebrations I have rejoiced in, and how my relationship with the Lord has grown.

Often, there is just something fun that makes me want to laugh. For instance, I retired from my paper route one and a half years ago, but shortly before I gave my route up I recorded a list of the entire vocabulary needed by a news carrier. Here Goes!

Thursday, January 4, 2007

On my daily route very few phrases are needed. There is,

1. Hello!
2. How are you today?
3. Good! How are you?
4. You’re welcome!
5. Have a great day (or nice day, good day, great evening, nice evening, good evening)!

The combination possibilities are endless! Using the above expressions and a rudimentary knowledge of the weather, you have it made. For collecting you need a few more.

All of the above
Is right now a good time to collect?
Yes, it is about that time of the month again!
Thank you! [or]
That’s alright! [regardless of what you actually think]
I will try to come back tomorrow. [or]
I will be back on Friday. [and the next and the next]

Do you notice all the exclamation marks? Well, that is because almost everything I say has to be happy, enthusiastic, and friendly. It is not always easy, but what else can I do? They don’t know me as me; they know me as a paper carrier who (hopefully) does the very best job she can, smiles, is polite, helpful, and efficient. They also know me as the one who will stop by every month and cheerfully request $7.50. In some ways I prefer my Office Pay Customers; I don’t need to ask them for money. My Carrier Collect Customers have a closer relationship with me, and, depending on the customer, that can be either good or really bad.

What fun! And yes, I did have real conversations with many of my customers. Several of my relationships formed on the route last to this day. My paper route was a blessing that lasted four and a half years, and I know God used it to draw me out of my little circle and give me a bigger perspective.

It also gave me a good hour on my bike every day where I had a chance to think and pray. Even as I was working, the time alone gave my mind an opportunity to work things out and bring my concerns to the Friend that is always with me.

So, enjoy this last week of 2008. Count your blessings!


Wholesome Works said...

Good post, Elizabeth.

Those are some good phrases for all areas of life and being "happy, enthusiastic, and friendly" makes everyone nicer.

Good point on the difference between office pay and carrier collect customers. The first is much easier to deal with, but the latter allows better opportunity to a great friendship at the risk of bad experiences.

Thanks for the reminder to do a blessings roll call. There always seems to blessings than I can't remember receiving. Our God is good!


Susanna said...

Nice post, Elizabeth!!!

I still receive comments from your old customers about how much they miss you! You did a wonderful job with that route.

Under Southern Skies said...

That must have been fun! I enjoyed the post. :)

Maria Pauline said...

Hilarious. You certainly write in detail-- my journal is a mess of thoughts and musings!

As a lifeguard, I do recognize the lack of interaction with people. Most weeks I just nod and smile to the lap swimmers... I don't know most of their names, but know random facts about them and always remember their swimsuits.


faithful lofgren said...

I think it would be awesome to look at 10 different people's journals and compare the style of writing, thought patterns, and subjects. Of course who's going to let me do that?! Thanks for letting us take a peek at your journal, Elizabeth! <3