The post office called me, apparently, on Saturday. I was not at the office, and they promised they would call back. I was rather surprised at the quick response. In fact, I was rather surprised at any response, and decided that I had perhaps not given them a fair trial. They did call back, on Monday, and were very apologetic, and asked a lot of very relevant questions. The also explained to me that any letters that did not have a return address, were sent to Atlanta. They did not tell me what happened to them once they arrived, but I was not interested in their untold demise. My letter did have a return address upon it. It always has a return address on it, as our envelopes are printed. Another investigation would be started, this time in the capital of the peach state. I was advised, however, that the amount of letters passed to the essential 'graveyard' of the post office, do not always find a way home!
Rain poured down during the earlier part of the morning, and I waited until it was dry before going on my walk. On my way around, I saw an older couple, pushing an empty pushchair. I smiled to myself, and contemplated the comments that I would have made to Samantha, or that she would have made to me, about whether they knew they were missing a child! The couple were rather frail looking, and I started to wonder whether they used the pushchair to carry their groceries. It was a short thought, and my mind went to other matters as I continued to walk. I ventured into the supermarket. Someone made the comment that it was busy, and another person said that most people had probably waited for the rain to stop. Other people around joined in the conversation, and before long there was a jovial congregation of like minded locals discussing the heavy, yet brief liquid interval that had taken place an hour earlier. I picked up what I needed and headed to the check out, picking up several cans of flavoured sparkling water, for the office fridge.
Standing at the check out, I noticed the gentleman behind me was carrying one item. I offered to swap place, but he declined, telling me that it would be 'good practice' for him to be patient. The young man at the end of the counter took my backpack, and started to pack the cans, and other purchases. "It's gotten really busy!", he commented. "Most people probably waited for the rain to stop", I said, repeating the sentence I had heard earlier. "Hey, yeah. You are probably right. Never thought of that", he said, as if I had just made a sparkling revelation. I did not tell him that I had borrowed it from another customer, and smiled as I walked away. Stopping to readjust the items in my bag, as they had not been packed in a way that was comfortable to carry, I heard, "Have a good rest of the day". It was the gentleman to whom I had offered to swap places in the queue. I looked up, just in time to see him perform the action of doffing the top of his cap, and I smiled in response and extended the same courtesy. I left the supermarket feeling rather upbeat, as the events, despite being nothing particularly grand or even noteworthy, made me feel as if I had traveled back in time, into a world of courtesy and friendliness.
Making my way back, I spotted the frail couple with the pushchair. They had found their child! However, the child should have been pushing them! It was a good thing that the walk back was downhill, as the occupant of the pushchair could have been in training for the next generation of sumo wrestlers! I watched as (I assume) grandma pushed with what appeared to be all her might, the package that filled the entire seating space and spilled over the edge. I smiled at the scene, wondering if the couple in charge of the giant baby were making assumptions about me!
Samantha returned to Austin in the early hours of Tuesday morning, amid threats of the plane being diverted due to the tremendous storms. Fortunately, they landed in between tempests, and arrived at their house a minute before 3am. She was rather tired when she arrived at my house the following morning.
We walked at lunchtime, again in between storms, and she had to make a trip inside the supermarket. "Come prepared today, then", said the young man who had packed my bag the previous day. I smiled, and replied in the affirmative. I had made a new friend!
Friday arrived late this week! It was as if several days had been added in between Monday and the end of the working week. We were very busy, and so it seemed strange that the week would drag as much as it did. All but a handful of courthouses were closed due to it being 'Good' Friday, and our local courthouse fell in the category of those that remained open, hence our having to work when most others did not! Dana was inundated with emails, and we were two men down! One server was sent out with several papers when another arrived. This was to be delivered to a person whom officed just a few blocks up from the supermarket! I did not hesitate to run the paper, and walked out to the car. It was as I was on my way that I started to feel the anxiety rise. I have no idea as to why I should feel any level of apprehension, but the thought of handing someone a piece of paper that would compel them to appear at a hearing at the local courthouse, was rather daunting. It was not a 'writ' which starts, "You have been sued", but it was demanding their attendance. To disregard the instructions would entail consequences, and although we are only the 'delivery men', it always makes me conscious of how our business can impact lives of others. However, someone has to do it!
The lady to whom I was to give the paper was not there. In fact, like most other offices, this on was closed due to the holiday! I was somewhat relieved. I returned to the office, having done my duty, and continued to work in my capacity as an administrator, which suddenly became very satisfying! I did not crave adventure, especially when adventure was giving an order (although not directly by me) to alter someones plans!
Saturday morning was also busy. I had wanted to return home early enough to have some 'downtime' before heading out to the theatre! Yes, tonight was the night of the play for which I had won tickets! I was very much looking forward to the performance, and hoped that Dana would enjoy it! In the event, Samantha and I arrived back much later than anticipated, and Dana had taken a nap which lasted much longer than he had anticipated. We left the house later than we had anticipated, and headed out to get something to eat. The restaurant was not very busy, but our meal took a long time to be brought to the table, and I was already starting to fret that we would be late for the show! Apparently, the theatre was in the back of a church building, and once the performance started, the doors were locked and there was no access. I had received an email reminding me of the 'procedure' and was pleased to note that there was a sentence that started, "If you have to leave during the performance, do so quietly", which meant that we would not be 'trapped' inside should , for any reason, we feel the need to depart!
Despite all the late happenings, we arrived downtown very quickly, and parked in a car park. Dana did not realise that parking meters were in force until midnight on a Saturday. He remembered the days when parking on a Saturday was free. He did recall that there was a push to charge until midday, but did not know that it was ever put into practice. He was also unaware that the different zones charged different amounts, and whereas a dollar would cover you for an hour on 10th Street, it would only cover you for about forty minutes where we were heading! As neither of us had any quarters, the parking was limited to a covered facility which charged a flat rate. It was amusing watching him contemplate the charges. My husband is rather a generous man for the most part, but when circumstances change and he is unaware of the change, (such as the parking charges on a Saturday night,) he sometimes finds it hard to come to terms with a new era! I just sit and watch him, as his mind adjusts, and then we continue with the plan!
We walked up to the large church building, and tried the doors. They were all locked. We started to walk away, to see if there was another entrance, when we heard someone call to us. "Are you here for the play?" she asked, and we replied in the affirmative. "This way", she beckoned us. The magnificent building housed the 'sanctuary', on the second floor, which is where we entered, and theatres on the forth floor, which they 'hired out'. I realised why the 'doors would be locked' and no admission granted, after the performance began, as no one would be there to let latecomers in!
My name was on the list, and we were told that seating would start around 7:10. Dana and I walked around the forth floor, and then down to the third, where there appeared to be a lot more rooms. Venturing down to the second floor, he pulled on the door of the 'Sanctuary',and finding it unlocked, walked down the aisle to the pulpit. The lady who had admitted us to the building appeared around the corner. "Is it okay to go in?" I asked, feeling as if I were trespassing, despite it being a place of worship. She looked into the large arena and shook her head, but then saw that Dana was already inside. "Well if it is open....", her voice trailed off and she shrugged her shoulders. "I promise we wont touch anything", I said, hoping to ease her fears, and she nodded a little nervously. My promise was short lived, as my husband lifted the cover off the piano keys, stating that this too was unlocked, sat down on the stool, and started to play. "What are you doing!" I asked, somewhat rhetorically, as it was obvious. I ran to the end and peered through the glass that separated the large room from the rest of the building. "Stop it", I said, but my words fell on deaf ears, as the acoustics made it impossible for anything to be heard but the melody being played. Sensing my anxiety, (I would have preferred to serve this lady with a paper demanding her appearance in court, than to encounter her presence in the 'Sanctuary',) he stopped, and made his way back up the ramp.
After exploring the first floor, and feeling as if eyes, or cameras were upon me, and that I would receive a summons for failing to adhere to 'no trespassing' signs (which were non-existent, but probably not needed, as no one but my husband would think to go anywhere other than the forth floor!) we went back upstairs, where the doors to the theatre had been opened.
The small room (much smaller than the 'Sanctuary') was set out with about sixty seats. Thirty faced the stage and thirty were to the side, although both sections provided perfect viewing. The play started at exactly 7:30, as indicated, and lasted about an hour and forty minutes. It was excellent. "The Herd" was set around a birthday party for a disabled boy, and a rather dysfunctional family. It was funny and sad, and thought provoking. The acting was quite superb! I noticed that one of the actors was the man with whom I had been corresponding about the tickets, and was quite pleased that I would have an opportunity of telling him, personally, (via email,) how much we enjoyed the performance.
With no consequences to our touring the building uninvited, we left via the front door. Most of the people in attendance appeared to be familiar with each other, and were huddled in small groups in the courtyard.
Arriving home shortly after nine thirty, we agreed that the experience had been worthwhile, and it was nice to do something 'different', although I would not want a repeat performance of playing 'look out'!
Sunday morning sped into Sunday afternoon, and I wondered why the weekend could not have dragged just a little bit more than the week. It is back to work as normal tomorrow, and I shall be making notes to see how much I excitement I can store for ...... another story!