Without hesitation we made a commitment to the city new paper for 42 houses, one route. Knowing that when we achieved the first route additional houses and a second route would be added to ledger. I clearly underestimated the number of people who still read the local paper many people still start their day with a cup of tea or coffee and the smell of printers ink under their noses.
The first morning out we spent most of time trying to read the house numbers, or understand how the ledger balanced up with the city infrastructure. Why houses that should follow in chronological numeric order did not and why others houses had no numbers at all marked. How the heck were we suppose to deliver all these papers? By weeks end we discovered, "Hey, if we had lights on our heads we could see the house numbers from the sidewalks." Wow, there was a light bulb moment.
By the first week of February we had increased our route house number to 92 week day regulars and 114 weekend customers. We had accomplished knowing which homes needed to have their papers placed in special area of the porch or screen door. My daughter had her even numbered homes memorized, my odd numbered route was nearly committed to memory and we had completed both routes within 2.5 hours. From waking at 4 A.M., dressing, driving to the pick-up site, retrieving the bundles, folding and rubber banding, then bagging and walking each paper to the door step of every customer, to sharing a morning banana and bottle of water......DONE!
Today we topped out at 5:38 A.M., sitting in the van and sharing our morning fruit and H20.....we had shaved minutes off our normal and we're home by 5:50 A.M. record time. Now we're thinking getting up at 3:45 A.M. so we can be home by 5:30 A.M. Its a round trip drive of 17.5 miles, 7.45 miles there to the paper pick-up spot.
Suppose not everyone would be comfortable with this schedule or early morning, often it feels like night time, but my daughter and I have found that its a pleasant way to spend time together. Dressed warm, bundled with wool hats, recycled crocheted wraps and gloves packing jumbo canvas totes filled with folded papers we speed walk the entire 114 house route. Chatting with each other from across the street and breathing in that fresh morning air, occasionally being greeted by a lonely jogger or cyclist and their pooch.
Our early morning route has become a pleasure, commitment, needed exercise and shared friendship with each other. When we get paid......new sweat pants are on the list to purchase, my daughter has lost 13 pounds and I have lost 17 pounds....who would have thought that the need for income would produce thinner thighs and a tight butt. We hope to be running the route by spring.....
Maybe your community needs you?