Table of Contents

    Knock. Knock. “UPS!”

    Our shouted reply, “Thank you!”

    We weren’t being rude. We were following routine. During the last 12 months, we’ve grown accustomed to the social distancing rules. For package delivery, that means no signature required and no face-to-face interaction. The drivers signal a drop-off via the doorbell or a knock, we shout our thanks, and a few minutes later we go out to the vacant porch and retrieve the latest arrival.

    We rely on our trusty delivery services. We order almost everything we need online. Days later, supplies appear. With their trucks full, the drivers are working long hours to complete their routes. The last thing they need is to wait for every customer to come to the door. Faster to put it on the porch and leave.

    Because of their route, UPS deliveries are the latest in our neighborhood, usually between six and eight p.m. We thought nothing unusual when he knocked while we put dinner on the table. The package would wait.

    I came out of the dining room as I was setting the table and caught movement in the corner of my eye. Through the glass front door, a shadow shifted in the porch light. I looked out, surprised to see the UPS driver in his brown uniform shifting from foot to foot. I opened the door and greeted him with an apology. “Sorry. Thought you were just dropping off.”

    In typical good-natured UPS fashion, he smiled and assured me it happened all the time. “I have a package that requires a recipient over the age of 21.”

    Oops. Wine. When I say we rely on delivery of everything, I mean everything. I didn’t know we had a case coming, but I rarely know what’s happening around the house. “I’m definitely over 21.”

    He could’ve argued. It would’ve helped my ego. But he was probably not much more than half my age, so he simply said, “Yes, you are.” He paused for a second—I hoped he was going to insist on ID—and said, “Rules require I get a last name for the records.”

    “Wall,” I reply. I wait for his request to spell it—that happens more than you would think a four-letter name would require—but he hands over the mystery package and bounds back to his waiting truck.

    I’m confused. It’s not a box. Definitely not wine. It’s a large, sealed plastic bag. Whatever is inside is soft and pliable.

    Back inside the kitchen, I cut open the packaging and extract…a pair of pillows. Yes, pillows. Not sure why that required a signature or proof of adulthood.

    I have no explanation. As Sergeant Joe Friday would say, those are just the facts. I just file it away as another unexplainable quirk of the times.

    Books I’m Reading

    Adam Warner’s idyllic holiday weekend careens into chaos when his wife is kidnapped in front of him. One neighbor claims to have witnessed the same thing, but other neighbors give conflicting accounts. Adam’s father-in-law has no doubt Adam is the murderer. The detectives sort through the clues, but that’s complicated since one of them is a childhood friend of Adam and shares a traumatic connection with him. As the story unfolds, we discover that isn’t the only secret the participants keep.

    Amazon affiliate links result in a small commission to me, though they have no impact on your pricing.

    Interesting Links

    As I mentioned in my opening, this past year has meant a lot of changes for all of us. Two of those are highlighted via these interesting links. What are we doing with our time in isolation?

    Is your library part of the million digital book club?—Overdrive, the world’s largest supplier of ebooks and audio books to libraries, reports that a whopping 102 library systems had over a million digital checkouts in 2020. The Toronto library system again topped the global scale with over eight million digital books loaned.

    Netflix tops 200 million subscribers—Not only were we reading books, we were watching TV. Netflix crossed the 200 million subscriber count in 2020.

    Gratuitous Dog Picture

    Some days, I find it best not to ask what conspiracy these two are cooking up. I will, however, keep my guard up because Roscoe and Typhoon are clearly plotting and planning.

    Background title image courtesy Claudio Schwarz via Unsplash

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    1. Jean B Burkhardt on January 25, 2021 at 7:11 am

      Hu-Dad-I first have to comment on your story about the pillows. I remember as a kid I was always afraid to cut the tags off certain things like pillows because there were warnings on there. I always thought IF I did that the PILLOW POLICE would ring our bell and haul me off to jail!!
      AS far as those two trouble makers Typhoon and Roscoe-who KNOWS what goes on in their sneaky minds? Good luck and yes-keep an eye on those two!

    2. tammy j on January 25, 2021 at 7:25 am

      I think they’re speaking in code.
      and that picture is absolutely gorgeous!

    3. HokiePack on January 25, 2021 at 7:52 am

      I love love love seeing those 2 together! So sweet!

    4. Debbie and Ruby on January 25, 2021 at 8:00 am

      Oh yeah, up to no good sometime soon!!

    5. Lori & Izzy Bear on January 25, 2021 at 9:05 am

      Brotherly love ❤️❤️❤️❤️

    6. Juno's mom on January 25, 2021 at 9:48 am

      Perfect picture of a conspiracy in progress.

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