Days 22 & 23: From Chicago to Detroit and then – – Home! (At Last).

8 October, 2009 § Leave a comment

(Written on Tuesday, 6 October,
in the air during a Northwest flight from O’Hare to Detroit)

Isn’t it funny how the most unexpected persons can bring you the greatest sense of comfort? Case in point: I realized today as I was attempting to wrestle my display board, my educational materials, my clothing and my 5 pounds of books (that’s a whole different story…) into my dear, well-loved burgundy suitcase, that something wasn’t going to fit. I’m sure I was quite the sight, standing in the Chicago drizzle and puddle-covered pavement, growling under my breath and pushing and tugging at an invisible suitcase in the back of my car. Ergo, I decided to mail the extra materials back to the office instead of lugging them all the way back to New York with me via the airports in Chicago, Detroit and Buffalo. Good thinking, eh?

Well, several snafus… I pulled up to the little stone building housing the post office in West Chicago, only to realize that I had access to neither mailing tape nor mailing label. The look on the small Filipino woman’s face behind the desk when I showed up and plopped a rather sizeable, somewhat tattered square cardboard box of profile sheets, viewbooks, visit day brochures and more onto her counter with an audible smack was truly priceless.

That dear, dear woman, however, proceeded to help me unpack my box, fit all of the materials together in a complicated paper puzzle so that they could be mailed in a flat-rate box (thereby saving Uncle Willard almost twenty bones), offered laughing commentary the entire way, told me the area code of the county from which I was mailing the box and, in general, demonstrated a multitude of saint-like qualities. I’m sure I looked like I had everything but it together since I kept on having to ask rather self-evident questions such as, “What town are we in again?” and “Do you accept credit cards?” and even, “Could I borrow your mailing tape?”

Seriously, her gracious demeanor, willingness to pitch in and help out a discombobulated stranger and calm words were exactly what I needed today. Cecilia, thank you for putting a great face to the US Postal Service!

Quote of the Day
“It’s a perfectly sound idea to make a beautiful thing of what you know.”
– – from The Place of the Lion


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