What a terrific lightning storm across West Michigan today! I highly recommend delivering mail in one of these awesome displays simply for the sheer experiental value. Early in the route an elderly lady told me of a story of how she was struck by lightning as a child. She and her dad were walking their dog when a storm came up with no warning signs. Lightning came out of nowhere and struck the metal dog chain that they were walking the dog with. The dog was instantly killed. This lady, who was eight years old at the time, got a burn on her hand. Her father, however, had on a metal watch so the lightning went up his arm. He received third degree burns on his arm and neck. That story produced some comforting thoughts as I continued delivering in the middle of this lightning storm today.
The weather was changing so rapidly today it was hard to believe. One street I deliver takes me about seven minutes. When I began the loop, it was lightly sprinkling, the skies were only partially cloudy, and the sun was peeking through in some places. When I got to the end of the street to begin heading back down the other side of the street, it began pouring. Then after one minute of that, gumdrop sized chunks of hail began falling. After two minutes of that, it went back to pouring rain. Then when I got back to my truck, it cleared up, the sun started peeking through again, and it was just sprinkling again.
The day that the gang and I went to the talking points conference at Cornerstone, I took a vacation day from work. Since the Postal Service has short staffed the carrier craft so severely, they don’t have enough "substitute" carriers to cover all the vacation time that is taken. So what happens is those who are on the overtime desired list will receive a portion of one of these routes to be split up. So on that Monday, my route was split up. Those carriers will do their own route first, then between roughly four and six o’clock they will deliver the portion of the route that they have to help on.
I was walking through the parking lot when I saw Hollywood. (Not the city, that’s a carrier’s nickname.) Hollywood says, "Hey Darrin, I did a section of your route on Monday. It was about quarter after five when I was delivering the nursing home. I walked in there and everybody is all over the place, it might have been dinnner time. I said, ‘Whoa! Am I late or what?’ Then when I went to leave, I opened the door and set off the alarm…"
Explanatory interlude: This nursing home has a code that has to be punched on the front door otherwise an alarm will go off. This keeps residents from wandering off without the staff being aware. I know the code, but substitutes don’t. So they wind up setting the alarm off.
"…I opened the door and set off the alarm. I’m like, ‘What did I do?’ There was this lady sitting on a bench near the door just sort of staring off into space. As soon as the alarm went off, she blurted out, ‘Yer Good Fer Nuthing!’ Yeah that’s me. I’m good for nothing."
I was cracking up. As I got into my truck, I drove past Hollywood and I just couldn’t resist. I opened my door and yelled out, "Hey Hollywood, Yer Good Fer Nuthin!" He was cracking up.
Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13
-The Orange Mailman