Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Leaving Home Leaving Worry Behind

Was there ever a time you could close and lock your door, leave for a day, a week, a month or a year and not worry about s**t happening?

Nothing bad occurred during our week grandsitting in Florida, but minor foibles makes one wonder…

Before leaving on trips lasting more than a couple of days I stop the newspaper. Subscriber services offers two choices to temporarily halt delivery - vacation stopped and vacation hold. Hold means the newspaper stockpiles papers and drops a huge pile at your door when delivery resumes. I choose the vacation-stopped button on the online form; the newspaper can do whatever it wants with my missed issues. Yet when returning from 2 ½ weeks overseas in December, a mountain of papers greeted us.

This past week, despite my instructions, the papers were delivered daily. Luckily they are not easily seen from the sidewalk and street. Nothing like a banner across the front yard reading, “Owners out of town! All thieves and robbers come on in!”

While in Florida hub received an email from Fed Ex informing him a package would be delivered Friday or Saturday. He filled out a form online requesting Fed Ex deliver the package the following week.

One day later another Fed Ex e-mail arrived indicating Saturday delivery. Hub called and after impatiently waiting for a human being on the other end of the line, the customer service representative informed him the company received the new delivery order, but the original order never canceled. The rep purportedly canceled it.

Saturday a third e-mail arrived informing hub the package had been delivered. He called a neighbor who retrieved the parcel.

I stopped mail delivery during our December trip. Or thought I did. An e-mail confirmation verified my action. Returning home, a pile of mail awaited our perusal. The mail kept coming, and our trusty neighbor retrieved it daily.

An overflowing mailbox, newspapers piling up at the doorstep, a package on the porch – the inhabitant(s) of the home are inside and in distress, or out of town, either situation a welcome sign for nefarious individuals.

Whether working with live human beings, a computer or a combination, preparations before leaving home do not always transpire smoothly. Minor problems are annoying, but other difficulties cause major migraines.

Concerns of a catastrophe occurring while away, such as storms and subsequent damage, lost electricity and the aftermath (such as shorted out appliances) and other calamities splashed across 24/7 news generate fear to leave home, or stay home for that matter. Remember pictures of Katrina victims on rooftops? Or people crouched in their homes barely surviving a tornado slamming through their neighborhood? How about flash flood victims frantically evacuating?

The more I think about it, the more dangerous a home can be. We might relocate, but no place is immune from lesser difficulties or major disasters. Maybe we never leave home and hope for permanent fair weather. But pipes leak, stuff breaks…and what happens if a drone hits the house?

I am exhausted thinking about the calamitous possibilities.

One solution comes to mind. Perhaps we will win the $1.5 billion lottery and not have to worry about these things. We will pay somebody else to worry for us!


  1. There you go! Good plan for those millions do pop to mind.

  2. Good grief! It seems nobody can be trusted to do what they are supposed to do any more. Good thing you have a trusty neighbor. Maybe you should hire that person instead of trying to get your mail stopped, etc. :-)

  3. You have identified why it is necessary have neighbor put papers and mail in your house while you are away. Or leave hubby at home and travel solo?

  4. We quit getting a paper edition of our papers for that very reason--the delivery person never got the message. We now get our papers online only. Sure work well for when we are gone, plus we still get to read the paper. As for mail, you just have to have a good mail person.