Wednesday, December 30, 2009

An Early Morning Letter

We subscribe to three newspapers:  The Cowtown News, The Wall Street Journal and the San Francisco Chronicle.   Each are delivered in the morning long before anyone on this street is up and at 'em.

Having been a paper boy I know well the rigors of the business.  Today's carriers drive a car.  At age ten I rode my bike to deliver the papers - all 100 of them.  It's mostly a thankless job.  People bitch more at how and when their paper is delivered than they do at appreciating their carriers.

Come time to pay for each subscription I make it a habit of including a tip for the carrier.  Like how much can this job pay?  Not a lot.  How much money for fuel for their car is paid for out of their pocket?  A lot.  Bearing those things in mind I know that it's the right thing to tip the carrier generously.

Several weeks before Christmas the carrier who delivers the WSJ and the Chronicle included a Christmas card with the morning papers.  The card included her address.  Normally I would have seen this as solicitation for a return card from her customers and some money for Christmas - - - and not liked that.  But this carrier is different.  Each holiday she includes a little candy treat or a card for her customers.  Nothing is asked in return.   I've also received thank you cards from her for the tip I include with the bi-monthly subscription money.  Neat lady.  You don't find carriers like this.

So we made out a Christmas card addressed to our carrier and included a nice little amount as a gift.  After all, it 'tis the season.

This morning tucked in with the morning papers was an envelope addressed to us and from the carrier.  Inside was a letter that had been word processed and printed:

"Gabriel and Nathaniel (last name omitted) would like to thank you for the money, gift cards and goods that we got for Christmas from my paper people.  Because it gave them a good Christmas.  I know the times are hard and in my family we are feeling it a lot, too.  Your help gave the boys their Christmas.  The boys send all their love to all who cared this  year.  The boys like you to know that Gabriel is 6 years old and in first grade.  And Nathaniel is 3 years olf and goes to Head Start.  I'm thankful too for all the gifts and help because we would not have had a Christmas this year.  Thank you." and signed by our carrier.  

Nothing like welling up and shedding a few tears in the wee hours of the morning.  God bless people who are appreciative of a hand up and not a hand out.  Ya just gotta love them.

As we look at the coming New Year I thought that including this letter would help each of you to frame your resolutions.

Be thankful for what you have and help others who have little or nothing.

5 comments:

Max said...

I used to have a paper route in Marin and another in Sonoma Country delivering via car. The Marin route was all home delivery, and I never collected the money. I guess it was done by mail. There was this one guy that lived up in the middle of nowhere, it was a always a nuisance to deliver his paper because nobody else on the way got one. When I tossed his paper, I'd always yell out, with a Mexican accent, "here's you paper, holmes!" That tradition continued with my friend who took the route and we still joke about it. The thinking was that he'd cancel the paper, because of some nasty Mexican delivery guy... but that never happened. We should have just skipped his house occasionally and hoped he'd cancel.

La Roo said...

We have a gift exchange in our family where we draw names, like I'm sure many others. Each of us makes a list of things we want and we then put it into a basket and so on. This year hubby and I just struggled to think of some items that we really wanted to put on our list. That was just the reality that we didn't "need" anything. I finally said this just isn't right if we are just trying to pull shit from our butts to make a Christmas list. There are people with real "needs" out there. So we both wrote on our Christmas list donate to Muscular Dystrophy.
Gift opening included nice little boxes with notes telling of their donation in our names. That felt much better than body lotion or a hand mixer.

Joker_SATX said...

That's a great post Bob! It made me well up too, just reading it.

Thank you for including it in today's post. It will help me frame my resolutions for 2010.

Bob said...

Max: I love this story of yours. Next visit I want to hear - here's your paper, holmes....

Laroo: Spot on. We think alike.

Joker: I'll love to see what you've resolved to do in 2010..

evalinn said...

Amen to that!

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