Tag Archives: neighbors

Lending a hand

26 Jul

My back was turned to the road, keeping the midday sun out of my eyes and Lucy trotted along the curb as though it were a balance beam. I heard the car behind me, so I pulled the leash, tugging her away from the road and onto the grassy parking strip . The driver of the white SUV and I made eye contact, letting each other know we would both make sure Lucy was safe. I pulled again on Lucy’s leash, getting her out of the way of whoever was about to emerge from the SUV. Her attention turned to a blade of grass as the SUV parked.

As Lucy took care of business, I  half watched  my neighbor get out, open the hatch and start unloading the groceries that filled the back. She pulled out the bags and package of paper towels while I tore a bag off the roll and performed the duties of a good neighbor and responsible citizen. Lucy and I turned to carry on with our afternoon walk as voice called out, “Could you give me a hand?”.

I turned to see the driver juggling the packages.

“Could you close the hatch?” she asked hopefully. “My hands are full.”

I smiled and nodded. “Sure, no problem.”

I tugged Lucy close to the SUV again and reached up, barely able to grab the hatch, but I got it and pulled it closed.

“Thanks,” she said.

“No problem,” I replied, smiling. She didn’t know how tall she just made me feel. At not quite 5 feet tall, I often rely upon the kindness of strangers to help me reach things that are too high for me. Finally, I had a chance to repay the favor.

We smiled at each other one last time, then, she walked off with her groceries.  I tugged on  Lucy’s leash once more and walked away in the other direction, my heart a little lighter.

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Package thieves: A Slice of Life Story

15 Dec

sol

You can’t see our stoops from the street.

I smugly thought that would keep us safe from package thieves. Unless they actually come up the 10 steps to the courtyard of the 10-unit condominium where I live, package thieves won’t even know anything has been delivered.

I guess they are getting more brazen and devious because I was hit last week.

A few months ago, at our last Oregon Basset Hound Rescue meeting, I suggested we send out an end of the year appeal letter. As with most small organizations, the work falls to the person who made the suggestion, but I accepted it readily. I wrote the letter and wanted to include a small envelope so people could mail in their checks. I looked around in stores, but found none that fit #10 envelopes, so I decided to look online. I found the perfect envelopes at Amazon and ordered 300. Since I would also have to go out and buy 300 #10 envelopes, I decided to order them at the same time, assuming they’d all come in one package.

Well, Amazon sometimes works in mysterious ways and they were shipped separately.  The small envelopes came first and  I was tracking the progress of the larger envelopes. They were scheduled to be delivered last Monday, a day I had a late meeting and wouldn’t be home until after 8. It was also a day of the torrential rain that darted the flooding in Portland.

As I mounted the steps after my long day, I could see the box on my stoop. It was larger than I expected, but you never really know how things will come packaged.

As I got closer I could see that one of the flaps appeared to be open. Weird, I thought.

When I arrived at my door step, I saw that the box was completely open and all that remained inside was the packing material. I was confused and disheartened. How could this happen to me?

Once I had the box inside, my eye caught the address label. The box was not addressed to me. It was addressed to someone who lived two streets over and four blocks down. How did it get to my stoop? Was this a massive conspiracy? Are the holiday package thieves so devious they’d swap  large empty box for a smaller one?

I sent out e-mails to all my condominium neighbors. I’m our HOA secretary and have them all in my address book.

My neighbor on my east side works from home. He e-mailed me back saying he saw my package and had gone out around noon to put a plastic bag over it because of the rain. He has since offered to pick up any packages that appear, and  I picked up that last one I expected from him yesterday.

The whole thing has left me with a swirl of emotions. I feel disheartened and violated by the thief; strengthened and supported by my neighbors. And, I can’t help laughing, trying to picture the thief’s face as they opened the stolen box and found 300 envelopes.

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