Mature Life Features

Cecil Scaglione, Editor

Archive for August 2014

We Found It!!!

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Or rather, The Box we mailed to ourselves turned up. It took  almost three weeks to get across country.FoundItstar

From the beginning: Bev almost always mails a box home from Pennsylvania when we go back there to shop the Reading outlets between visits to her relatives. This time, she had her uncle mail The Box — about 25 pounds — at the Leesport post office. The postage cost $37 and change and it was mailed Wednesday, Aug 6, the same day we flew back home from Toronto.

After getting our luggage unpacked and the laundry done, we reviewed what goodies we still had coming in The Box.  Among other things, Bev had several  tops and a jacket she unearthed at bargain prices in eastern Pennsylvania and some bottles of specialty syrups and sauces from Canada (we  flew to Toronto and drove to Leesport and back to Toronto this trip). I had acquired a driving cap made of denim  — they’re more scarce than a kid  without a cell phone — and tucked it in The Box with some clothes I’d over packed.

Bev’s folks were told by the Leesport USPS people The Box should arrive in San Diego Wednesday, Aug. 13. That meant a week in transit. It was a no-show.

We got The Box’ invoice number and began Internet tracking from this end. We found it had been “accepted” at Leesport, PA 19533 Aug 6 at 9:08 a.m.  and had “departed Post Office” Aug. 6 — the same day — at 2:32 p.m.  And that was that.

A couple of days later, we managed to catch our postman and asked if he had a box for us. He said he hadn’t, would check,  and keep an eye out for it. Then we got “arrived at USPS facility”  Aug.19 at 1:35 p.m  — IN JERSEY CITY, NJ 07097!!!

It took almost two weeks to move 120 miles.  The  postal service must have used its Tiny Tot Tricycle Team.

I caught the mail man that day and asked who I could talk to about getting The Box out of New Jersey. He said visit the local Post Office and ask for a customer service supervisor.  We decided to let the weekend pass and, if The Box didn’t arrive, we’d start shaking trees at the Post Office. We received an alert that it “arrved at USPS facility” in Bell Gardens, CA,  90201 Saturday, Aug. 23 at 1:19 p.m. The great thing about this tracking process is you’re notified as soon as any action occurs. I assume the electronic reading of the mailing label bar code scampers throughout the system.

The next alert was  “departed” the Bell Gardens USPS facility Sunday, Aug 24, at 5:20 a.m. Things tumbled quickly from there. It “arrived at Post Office” San Diego, CA 92109 Monday, Aug. 25 at 8:25 a.m., “sorting complete” at 8:41 a.m., “out for delivery” at 8:51 a.m., and “delivered” at 9:42 a.m.  — that’s when the mail man who said he’d keep an eye out for it rang our front door bell with The Box in his arms.

Our reaction throughout this process ranged from “hunh?” to “wot the F—?” and, finally, “It Got Here OK.”  As I wrap this up, I’m wearing my denim driving cap. They’re more scarce than … but you know that already.

— Cecil Scaglione

Written by Cecil Scaglione

August 26, 2014 at 9:32 am

Posted in A Musing

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Take the Red Eye …

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… if you’re traveling  during the summer — or any peak travel season — to avoid getting jammed into a packed jetliner wedged between a dozen or so screaming, yelling, crying, complaining and bawling kids. Toddlers may be cute when they’re playing hideyseek around the airport boarding gate but they can  throttle any pleasure out of your flight because you can’t escape the destruction they do to the decibel level at 35,000 feet.

This jaunt was our first summer one in a few decades and  I discovered they’re also making the little people a lot louder these days. The red-eye out was peaceful and permitted us passengers to nod off for a few hours so we could enjoy the arrival day OK. We began the return flight to the West Coast from Back East at 3 p.m  and were left with no doubt it’s the last midsummer flight we consider for leisure travel. It was even difficult to read.

I did learn something else. While the arm rests in middle seats can be lifted out of the way simply by pulling up, the ones on the aisle always stubbornly refused to budge for me. A friendly fellow passenger showed me there’s a little button at the rear underside of the aisle armrest that you push to pull the armrest out of the way. It makes getting in and out of the seat much easier.

The hiatus in Pennsylvania and Canada was wonderful fun but it’s grand to be back home.


Written by Cecil Scaglione

August 7, 2014 at 8:06 am