Flashback Friday: First Job & A Mixed Bag

I was barely ten years old when my I pedaled my way into the newspaper business, delivering door to door headlines. My older sister and I shared an afternoon route, which made it nice when it was time to collect from the crazy old man who thought we were solely responsible for the unconscionable price hikes on the Dayton Daily News. But not so nice when we had to split the chocolate bunny that the sweet old lady gave us for Christmas.

And no, I'm not mixed up on this. I think she must have stocked up on them in a price-slashing-after-Easter sale. And no, it didn't bother me that the chocolate was at least eight months old. I was 10. And it was free chocolate.

On Sundays, when the papers weighed more than we did, Dad would wake us up before dawn, drive us down the street to pick up our share of the comics and coupons, and we'd load up the Radio Flyer and make our way through the neighborhood. And almost every Sunday, my sister would barf. Usually right before we started the route. She wasn't much of a morning person.

My parents used to threaten to take away the paper route. Seriously. Isn't it supposed to be the other way around? Like, be more responsible with your things, kid, or I'll make you get a job to pay for that!

But no. Not me. I was already a bit of a workaholic in the fifth grade. By the time I reached junior high, I had saved and scrimped enough to buy those super cool Ocean Pacific shorts at Elder Beerman. And oh, I had a Field Day in those shorts. Literally. I had a Field Day, at school. You know, where you did all kinds of fun outdoor games and McDonalds supplied the Orange Drink in those bright yellow barrels with the little white taps? Yeah, that kind of Field Day.

So there you have it. My first job.


I feel like I ought to let you know that I wasn't feeling the Flashback Friday enthusiasm this week. (As if you couldn't tell.) In fact, I typed out my little spiel in about 15 minutes last night, and just as I typed "there you have it," we lost power. I thought I'd lost the whole thing, and I didn't care, which is a pretty clear indication that my heart wasn't in it.

Last night I laid in bed listening to God's storm crew power washing the house. I jumped up twice in the dark hours, ran to the window to see if the swing set was still right side up. I noticed the grill turned 180 degrees, hanging on for dear life by the gas line. I shivered, debated whether to bring both kids into our bed to keep them warm. I ran to their rooms, lowered my cheek to hear them breathing, repositioned kicked-off covers.

I sipped a strange cocktail of worry and thanks, of fear and reassurance. I tossed and turned.

This morning we woke to sunlight, to clean siding, to shimmering pavement.
We also woke to no power, no warmth, and no coffee.

I carry this mixed bag around, sometimes wishing I could just put it down for a few hours, sometimes clutching it for the dear life it is. Is it possible to be grumpy and grateful? To be anxious and calm? To be hot-headed and collected? I think it is. And I think I am.


If you survived my disconnected rambling, I'd still love for you to link up here for Flashback Friday. Grab the FF button on the sidebar, include it somewhere in your post, and include a permanent link to your post here. See? Easy peasey.

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