July 10-11, 1970
As Nate got acquainted with his rural paper route, his start-to-finish time became more efficient. The weekend, however, was another story. For starters, his boss told him to plan on more time at the office to “put the Sunday papers together.”
Apparently the many extra sections had to be collated by the carrier, which took a while. That’s when Nate said, “Want to come with me? It might be fun. And you could see how everything works with my new job.”
Without even thinking, I said yes. Had I taken a moment, I would’ve remembered how quickly I get car sick from starts, stops, twists, and turns.
The bundled papers were due to hit the deck around 1:00 AM. Nate and I decided not to go to bed at all Saturday night but to have a late dinner with Cathy and John, after which we’d go straight to the newspaper office.
Other carriers arrived shortly after we did, and we watched to see what they would do.
There were no tables on which to lay out the newspaper sections, so the guys began collating on the back seats of their cars — far from convenient.
When we began a photo session and some collating fun (along with shooting rubber bands), the other drivers looked askance at us – but we didn’t care. With 4 hands working instead of 2, we knew we’d be the first car out of the lot.
Nate had his route memorized, so once we got into open country, he put some pep into his rapid zig-zagging. I admired the way he tossed the papers into each mailbox, not missing a one. But it wasn’t long before I was feeling queasy.
“Look out the window,” he said, but nighttime in the country doesn’t leave much to see.
I climbed into the back seat to lie down and close my eyes, but with his down-shifting, up-shifting, and many sharp stops, I had to fight rolling to the floor. Hanging my head out the window didn’t help either, and the route seemed to be taking forever. When I told him I might feel better if I drove, he quickly let me take the wheel.
“I’m a wreck,” I said. “You’ll just have to take me home.”
“But we’re nowhere near home,” he said, picking up speed. “From this point on, though, we’re more than half way. So think of it as heading toward home.”
By the time we finally pulled in behind our building, I was ready for a barf-bag. Nate apologized repeatedly, but all I wanted was to go prone and (with any luck) go unconscious. It was 5:00 AM.
“Get wisdom. Develop good judgment.” (Proverbs 4:5)