“I was a postman one Christmas and I developed a morbid fear of dogs.”

Today is another rainy, dark day. Everything is damp. The humidity is thick, but today is cooler than yesterday so it’s more bearable. The sun did appear for a little while in the afternoon, but not even close to long enough to be appreciated. Today is dump day. I always think of Gracie who loved going to the dump.

When I was a kid, the trashman came once a week as did the milkman and the garbageman. I remember the sound of the glass bottles clicking together in the wire holder the milkman carried from his truck. Besides the white milk, my mother always got one bottle of chocolate milk. We never drank it straight but rather mixed it with the white. I think that’s the reason I am not so fond of white milk. The garbage man carried his own bucket held by his hand on his back. His clothes were always dirty. I used to wonder if he smelled bad all the time. The trash barrels were put on the sidewalk outside our house by my father on trash day. The trash truck slowly followed the trash men along the side of the road so they could empty the barrels into the back of the truck. They’d empty the barrels then throw them back to the sidewalk. Most of the barrels landed on their sides and would sometimes roll into the street. My father picked up the barrels when he got home from work and put them into the cellar. He complained about the trashmen and the barrels.

We all remember the ice cream man, but my favorite was the knife sharpener man. He rode a bicycle. The front of it had a grindstone, and the man would pedal to keep the grindstone moving. My mother would send one of us out with a knife or two and a pair of scissors. I liked to watch him. He didn’t come all that often. The paper and rag man had a horse and wagon. I remember him coming because of the horse, but I was young when he stopped coming.

The mailman came very day and twice a day at Christmas time. He slid the mail through the slot on our front door. We used to take turns opening the Christmas cards. There were so many back then. I remember how much fun it was getting and opening all those cards. I think that’s why I still send cards.

The mailman is the only one left

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8 Comments on ““I was a postman one Christmas and I developed a morbid fear of dogs.””

  1. olof1 Says:

    We have another storm passing by today so we didn’t take a walk after work because one never knows when the trees fall. I have to say that the dogs didn’t seem that keen on taking a walk either, Albin and Sune ran around in the garden for a while and then they came in and fell asleep on the sofa 🙂

    I do remember the knife sharpener, a gypsy man that came once or twice a year but we never had the paper and rag man, nor did we have a milk man, I don’t think we ever had that here in Sweden. But I do remember the musicians that came to our apartment building. They stopped for a while and sang a few songs. If they were lucky and they had chosen the right music people tossed out some coins wrapped in paper so they easily could see where they fell. Sometimes it was an organ-grinder. I always liked when they came but I guess they had a tough life because it wasn’t many coins that were tossed out.

    Have a great day!

    Christer.

    • katry Says:

      Christer,
      Today turned out to be a lovely day with sun and in the mid 60’s. It may rain late tonight. Some dogs just don’t like rain. I used to have to force Gracie out but Henry doesn’t seem to mind.

      I would love to have that knife sharpener man back. My knives are far too dull. I use sharpeners but they don’t seem to work well or I don’t do a good job.

      In the city where my grandparents lived a truck with a small Ferris wheel on the back used to come. My sisters would run out for a ride.

      I wish we had the musicians.

      Have a great day!!

  2. Bob Says:

    Yesterday the cool front came through and the rain ended. The high temperature was only 71 degrees. This morning the temperature went down to the upper 50s for the first time since May. Autumn is coming. Our average first freeze date is November 22nd. 😦

    I remember when the mailman delivered the mail twice daily. I’m waiting for the postal department to do away with Saturday delivery. Since the advent of email I’m amazed they still deliver snail mail daily. When I was a kid we had a milkman who came in the mornings with milk and other dairy products. When we had milk delivered in Dallasin the early 1950s we would leave the back door open and the milkman came into the kitchen who placed the milk in your fridge to keep it from spoiling in the summertime.. The level of trust has decreased over the years. 🙂

    I’m amazed that some folks get the newspaper in hard copy form delivered to their house. I read my news online and not from any News Corp. Outlet like Fox News. 😦

    • katry Says:

      Bob,
      The upper 50’s is even colder than we are. We were in the mid 60’s today with sun. Last night I had the window open as my bedroom was so warm. Tonight may rain so I’ll have to shut the window.

      I get a lot of mail including catalogs. Most of my bills come in e-mail except for odd bills, one time bills. We had a metal milk box on the steps which is where the milkman put the bottles.

      I get two papers delivered. When I travel, I read them on-line but don’t find that as satisfying.

      • Bob Says:

        When I moved to NYC after my mother died, my aunt had the metal milk box on the porch. The milk home delivery business has been replaced by Peapod and other grocery delivery services. I don’t know how they can produce hard copy newspapers and still stay in business. I gave up the newspaper delivery because the next day it becomes just old trash that goes to the landfill. 🙂

      • katry Says:

        Bob,
        Newspapers don’t become trash. They are recycled.

        There are still milk delivery trucks here on the cape, but most people shop at grocery stores. I’m not so sure that Peapod has replaced anything but grocery shopping.

  3. Birgit Says:

    Besides trash, ice cream and dairy trucks we still have scrap metal collectors on the streets here. When I was young they came with a horse wagon and played a melody with a flute but they also use trucks nowadays and the flute melody comes from a usually scratchy tape. The dairy truck plays a cock-crow.

    • katry Says:

      Birgit,
      I love that the metal collector played the flute. What a neat way to announce his arrival.

      When I was first in Ghana, the call to prayer was live. When I went back, it was recorded. It just wasn’t the same.


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