Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

A warning from the U.S. Postal Service on a snowy Friday February 5, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 3:04 PM

WHAT DO A MAILBOX, snow and taxes have in common?

Well, thus far, they’ve all factored into my Friday.

I started my day with one simple objective, to get all of our tax information together for the tax preparer. I admit that I’ve been putting off this task because, honestly, I detest it. I am not a numbers person. I am not a person who likes forms. And even though I’ve kept meticulous records of expenditures throughout the year, gathering tax information still takes time, time I would rather use for writing.

So I am taking a break now from the tax stuff to get my writing fix, and to tell you about the mailbox and the snow.

I opened my mailbox around noon to discover two unwelcome pieces of mail. One, from the United States Postal Service, tells me that mail delivery to our house will stop unless we shovel our sidewalk and steps. Uh, yeah, when my husband cleared the snow the other day, he forgot the front steps and short sidewalk leading to the steps.

A snippet of the U.S. Postal Service warning delivered to my mailbox on this snowy Friday morning.

We are first-time offenders, but it is clear to me that “To Receive Mail delivery during the Winter Season: Snow covered or icy sidewalks, steps and driveways must be kept clear.” Now, if I knew how to underline that warning in red, I would, because the mail carrier used a red pen. I feel like the student with the failing grade, with a big red F printed across the top of my homework.

The second piece of unwanted mail comes from University Accounting Service, telling my second daughter that her college loan account information may have been compromised. Great, I think, as I email her and wonder if the mailing is legitimate.

Now, as I’m writing, snow is falling. There’s no sense, I think, in clearing the path for the mail carrier until this snowfall stops. And that could be spring.

Writing about snow makes me think again of my college daughter. She’s planning a trip from La Crosse to the Twin Cities today, so I hear from her sister. I’ve already emailed her, suggesting that she cancel the trip because of the weather. I doubt she will listen, but at least I’ve tried.

Now, I should get back to those taxes, because I really don’t want another federal government mailing with warning words bold-faced and underlined in red.

© Copyright 2010 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

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