Snail mail solution...Tasks piling up...

I don't like snail mail.  Everyday between noon and 3 PM, the white rickety US mail trunk comes bobbling down our private road, the driver bouncing about, oblivious to the numerous potholes, the narrow road and the little dogs.  

Living on a private road of six homes, situated on a narrow peninsula, the little dogs can roam freely.  Sorrowfully, about 15 years ago, our little five year old Aussie, Bart, was run over by the then mailman who later commented, "Yeah, I though I hit something but didn't think I needed to stop to investigate."

Had it not been for the second kiss goodbye to Tom that day that inspired me to follow him outside and kiss him through open car window, I wouldn't have noticed Bart lying dead behind Tom's back tire.  He would have backed up driving over him, assuming he had killed him.  Thank goodness, Tom was (and still is) deserving the second kiss. 

That's one reason I don't like the mailman, the truck or the mail itself, an endless barrage of junk indicating we are on some kind of arbitrary, categorical list that perpetually invades our privacy. 

The second reason I don't like the mail is simple: about halfway through every vacation, I start thinking about the fact that this glorious experience has to come to an end.  And...what is the first thing you do when you get home from a vacation???  GET THE DARNED MAIL!!!  The therapeutic benefit of this much needed time away turns into a dreadful experience of wading through the annoying pile of useless paper. (We went paperless years ago on all of our monthly/annual/quarterly obligations).

After rifling though this mess, there remains perhaps one item worthy of a toss into the pile on the kitchen counter, which invariably requires some type of task in order to warrant its eventual disposal.  I hate mail.

In my mind, one of the major contributors to my desire to travel the world is this:  We won't have to come home to the mail!  Ah, but who are we kidding? Do you think its easy to get rid of mail?  Mail is relentless! Mail seeks and finds. There is no freedom from mail! 

So when we started making the daunting "to do" list that will make this many years-long adventure possible, at the very top is "what do we do about the mail?"  

Its not that simple. One might think...get a PO box, sending all the mail there. No, this won't work.  It piles up and then what? Have a family member collect it, go through it and send it to us?  No, that's too much to ask with every one's busy lives and their own mail to contend with. 

Every dilemma has a solution, right? We're assigning a mail forwarding company the task of our mail.  They give us an address, receive the mail, toss the junk, scanning and sending by email anything we may need to review and assess its value.  

If we choose to touch it for some odd reason, they will snail mail it to us anywhere in the world, overnight if need be. Its not costly and requires little time commitment plus, partial mail freedom.  Full mail freedom only occurs a period of time after one's demise.  We'll settle for partial.  Cost: about $10 month plus additional fees for sending us anything oversees.  One task resolved. 

Now back to the required second passport for obtaining visas; the visas themselves; the scanning every photo we've ever taken; the international health insurance issues; the medical evacuation insurance;  the immunizations; the process of renewing prescriptions; the packing of two suitcases each with enough to last us for however long; the disposal of everything we have owned for 26 years; the estate sale at the end; the international cell phones and new computers with an external hard drive loaded with 100's of movies, TV shows, e-books; the ability to have Internet access worldwide; Tom's retirement party; the comprehensive spreadsheets of all projected expenditures including fixed expenses, taxes, banking, exchange rates and of course, the itinerary... including cruises, ferry rides, air travel, train travel, vacation home rentals, the safari, all of which is already booked out into January 2015.

Oh, oh, I just heard the mail truck bouncing down the bumpy road, the bobble headed driver behind the wheel.  I'd better go check it out!  Just think...only 7 months and 21 days left to partial mail freedom.  Yeah!


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