No matter how hard you try to plan and anticipate various factors in a major lifestyle change, there are aspects of life that will not register on the planning radar, but they will bleep on the real life radar.
One of these surprises for us has been UPS delivery. Our first indicator that it might be unusual should have been the fact that when we first viewed our home, our realtor got stuck on the road leading up to it. In October!
The second should have been the fact that the Postal Service does not provide mail delivery to our home; instead, they give us a free post office box at the Kila PO.
Would you be surprised to learn that UPS does not provide four wheel drive OR snow tires to its drivers?
It surprised us.
Six or so months out of the year (roughly May-October), our delivery driver, JO, makes the trek to our home to deliver packages. When he found out that Jim, another driver, is a friend of ours, JO declared to him that we live at the very end of the worst road in the county. I will not dispute that. From the (well maintained) state highway, our home is two miles up a very rutted, pot-holed road that climbs 1000 feet in elevation. Probably the only reason that he can make it in dry weather is because he drives one of the smaller trucks that is an adapted Ford F150.
November and April are sketchy; it all depends upon conditions, namely, how much precipitation we’ve had. Usually these two months are wet and seriously muddy, and delivery involves a phone conversation about road conditions.
December-March, it is a given that JO cannot make it up the mountain. He has both of our phone numbers. When we have a package, he calls John about a half hour before he is going to be at the point where our road meets the highway. One or both of us pulls on our outdoor gear and makes the trek down the mountain to the highway. This drive can take up to twenty minutes one way, depending upon our road conditions, so it usually takes the better part of an hour to retrieve a package. This is a lot of fun at Christmastime. Down, up, down, up.
If we are not home, we have a couple of designated “hiding places” where JO puts our package in a large plastic bag, which we then pick up on the drive home. Another option is that (are you ready for this?) the vet office in Kila accepts packages for residents, and we can pick it up there.
But our most recent delivery was reminiscent of something that might have happened on “Green Acres” or “Andy Griffin.”
We are part of a life group in our church, and Jim (our UPS friend), and his wife Karla are members of the group, too. Usually, Jim cannot attend because he works past 7 PM, our meeting time. Last Wednesday night, before our Thursday night meeting, we had to make a last minute change in meeting locations because out leader was not well. John went to bed early while I was texting with Karla and others about meeting at Jim and Karla’s home.
Thursday morning, John got a call:
JO: Good morning, John! I have your package. Since you are going to be at Jim’s house tonight, would you like for me to give your package to him?
John: ?? Hey, JO! Hang on. (To me: Are we going to be at Jim and Karla’s tonight?). Sure, JO, that would be great. Thanks!
Wait, what? How did JO know that we’d be at Jim and Karla’s before I had a chance to update John? I puzzled about that all day.
Turns out that Jim and JO were chatting that morning, and that in passing, JO mentioned a package delivery to us. You know, the ones who live at the end of the worst road in the county, the road he can’t even navigate right now in his truck. Jim told him we’d be at his house that night and offered to deliver the package to us.
Can I just tell you how handy this is?! Now I wish that we would always meet at Jim and Karla’s house, and that packages would always be delivered on Thursdays.
I realize that some people will read about this unusual delivery and feel like it’s an example of too many people knowing each other’s business, but I don’t mind. It gives me a warm fuzzy feeling of folks in a small town looking out for each other. It’s one more reason that I am happy to call the Flathead Valley my home.