Adjusting to life's changes with hope… through poetry, haiku, and commentary

Odds and Ends No. 59

Forms… a labor of love


Winding down with a double espresso.
After a trip to the post office I needed
a drink, but a sweet and creamy

coffee will do the trick this late in the
day. Here is the deal. After lunch I
was on a mission to renew my

passport by mail. Five no brainer
questions and I qualified. Mine
expired a bit ago. Unused, I’m

embarrassed to say. Ten years ago
when I got the thing, my plan was
to be in demand and travel the world

doing all kinds of neat stuff. Didn’t
happen. (Indiana to Arizona has been
and remains stressful enough!) Well,

obviously God’s plan for me was not
to travel—yet. Hence, the renewal. I
filled out the forms using Adobe

Reader DC with Fill & Sign. One of
my favorite tools. The form was neat
and clean as could be; it will bring

a smile from the lucky government
bureaucrat opening it on the receiving
end. That is what I thought before I

went to the post office. Using a manila
folder, I paper clipped my old passport
to the left side; and, clipped my forms

with my check and my new photo on
the right side. Closed it up in a large
envelope, Used clear tape on my

beautiful mailing label, and taped
down edges. A thing of beauty to be
sure. Let’s see—an hour to do the

form and a half hour down to the drug
store to take and wait for the photo
and back. (I found a pair of large sun

glasses for my new glasses. A win-win.)
Ran home to make my super clean
mailer, then off to the post office.

They are open till five and I’m a little
ahead of rush hour. Shouldn’t be too
bad. I parked and walked in. Waiting

in line. Then I heard, “Next!” I looked
up. Oh no, it was the old four-foot
“dragon lady” from hell who should

have retired in the last millennia.
I approached her scale with caution
and put my envelope down. “It is a

passport. I need some form of tracking.”
“No tracking in that envelope,” she
said, moving only one corner of her

mouth. She was waiting for me. “Why
not?” “Not a Priority envelope. Must
be Priority for tracking.” The corner

of her mouth went up again. She was
tasting the victory! (But my envelope
is beautiful! Could she stamp it? No.

Could she stick a label on it? No.)
She turned around and grabbed a
Priority window envelope from under

her counter and tried to put my mailer
inside. “Can I fold it here—on this end?”
“No,” I countered, “that is the fat end

the end with the passport.” She mashed
down the other end and forced my
mailer into the window envelope. Oh,

we weren’t done yet! She couldn’t close
the window envelope either; she had to
mash down the long side of my mailer

too. I pointed out that it was still
sticking up a bit at the ends of the
sealed edge. She crunched her eyes

down, “I’ll staple it after you go.” You
guessed it; the corner of her mouth
went up again. Kind of a half snarl.

I wanted to ask her if I had to pay her
in rubles, but I decided not to push it.
She totally violated the don’t bend

or fold rule. God help me on the other
end of this to not be rejected! Well,
coffee all gone. Time to cook dinner.

Mushrooms on the edge. Sautéed
them with onion, grape tomatoes
that were looking like prunes. And

garlic, plenty of garlic—all in a touch
of olive oil, butter—salt, pepper, some
broccoli and a little basil. Good therapy.

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