The Packages Are Mailed!

Yesterday, T was out all day running errands. It was a very rare occasion for him-- going to the dry cleaner's, the mall, etc. Usually his errands are limited to either the farm supply or hardware store. But since he retired I request that he get the presents for his family. Not even all of them-- I generally take care of presents for our nephews so I'll make sure they arrive on time for Christmas and birthdays (although I did miss the date for one last year, so I'm not great at that either). But since he'd be near some places we had household errands for anyway, I added them to his list.

The plan was for him to wrap and get the packages ready to go to the post office this afternoon while I was out finishing up the Christmas shopping with W this morning. But when I came home, T confessed that he was unable to wrap the packages. He was too afraid of "messing them up". Given that the presents were all in normally-shaped boxes, I am skeptical that he actually couldn't handle the task (although I've seen presents he has wrapped in the past, so it is plausible that he couldn't face wrapping even a plain box). He did manage to box up the present for his mother, although I suspect he didn't gift-wrap it. The shipping box was already sealed when I got home, so I'll just have to trust that he packed everything adequately so that it won't get broken.

So I spent the afternoon wrapping presents for his family and sorting through our recycle bin for shipping boxes. Then wrapping those boxes with brown paper since of course I can only find printed cartons and not proper shipping boxes. I went ahead and wrapped some of the presents that we'll bring to my parents' home this weekend, too, since I had the paper out. I'll probably finish wrapping the rest of them on Thursday.

Although T had been watching W for over an hour already (while I was wrapping), I declined to take W with me to the post office. When I went out yesterday morning to drop T off at the shop where the truck had been getting inspected, I thought I'd swing by the post office to pick up a package that the mailman was unable to deliver last week due to our driveway not being plowed immediately after the snowstorm. But when I pulled into the parking lot, I could see that the line was out the door. That happened in NYC fairly often, but I hadn't ever noticed such a crowd at our little outpost before. But I guess I wasn't the only person who they couldn't deliver a package to last week. . .

So I didn't even park the car, I just went right on home. So today I expected a line, and it's hard enough keeping W entertained in line when my hands aren't full that I didn't want to have to deal with him while I was carrying large boxes. But today was my lucky day! There were only two people ahead of me (which is pretty typical for our post office year-round), and one was my friend Allie and she wasn't really in line since she was still trying to figure out what box to use to ship her short pile of presents. So I got right to the counter.

While I was up there, I saw our mailman in the back. Usually we get our mail by 2:30pm, but not lately. Yesterday W and I walked to the box and it still wasn't there at 5pm (and it took an hour to walk to our mailbox and back, but he walked the full 1/2 mile!). I wanted to yell out and ask if he had our mail, but then let it go, figuring he was a professional and they have their system and I didn't want to slow him down when he must be overworked already, having to fill his truck up 2x in one day to fit in all the mail. But I was lucky again, and he saw ME! I guess one of the benefits of being home all the time is that I answer the door for him whenever we get packages, so he recognized me and yelled out to me to wait while he got me another package. He also gave me today's mail, so I got it way before it would have arrived at the house. The next homes off Jones Mill Road past our own road have a Charlottesville address instead of Crozet, so I think we are literally the very last stop on his route. Allie remarked that you gotta love small-town service. I agree, I always go to the Crozet post office; even if I will be driving right past one in Cville while running errands, I make a special trip to the local spot because everyone (even those waiting in line) just seem to be more pleasant than elsewhere.

Tonight T and I had a rare night out (this was the only night all month our sitter has been available) and when we got home I tried to get an extension for our pond permit. But I just couldn't figure out the process from the forms and letters I've received, so I just emailed one of the contacts listed. Hopefully I'll get a straightforward answer out of him and I'll be able to take care of this quickly. I thought I had read somewhere that extensions had to be requested 30 days before the original expires, but I didn't find that part when I was reviewing the documents tonight, so I don't know if I just imagined that, or what.