Through the good offices of one of our Red Hat friends, my daughter has been working as a back-up delivery driver for Edible Arrangements on Blancofor the last couple of years, on those holiday periods when the rush of orders for arrangements of fruit cunningly cut up to resemble leaves and flowers in a suitable container overwhelms the regular delivery drivers. Mothers' Day, Valentine's Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years are peak times for this kind of thing, for which the main requirement seems to be a well-developed sense of responsibility, possession of a driver's license and a vehicle with a well-functioning air conditioning system. A good GPS unit helps also. Blondie has had a great deal of fun with filling in as a driver. She has also amassed a huge repertoire of short-cuts, and encyclopedic knowledge of areas - housing developments, neighborhoods, office buildings and industrial areas - that normally we would have known nothing of, save for driving past. Who would have known, for instance, that there are a great many industrial parks north of the airport, between San Pedro/281? Or there is a development out Eisenhower road called Camelot, with all the names of the streets taken from Arthurian legends. Or that the hills begin to stack up, almost as soon as one gets north of 1604 . . . But I digress . . . The friend who referred us to this is a realtor, and so - curiously enough - was one of the other drivers. It's a wonderful way to keep tabs on the city, generally . . . and to see bits and pieces of San Antonio that are normally out of one's routine.
This year, my daughter roped me into driving - well, one of us driving, and the other helping stage and pack the deliveries, and match them to the appropriate delivery tickets. That was the original scheme, but as it turned out, we both were driving - she the refrigerated delivery van, and me in her Montero, in the back of which one can fit nine arrangements and so many helium-filled balloons that being able to use the rear-view mirror is impossible. So, clipboard, extra pens, delivery ticket and a nice little Google map print out of each delivery . . . unfortunately for me, no GPS. Fortunately for me, having been driving for decades before their invention and subsequent ubiquity, I'm good with maps. And I was delivering within in the north-east quadrant, which I knew fairly well from having commuted to various jobs.
So, I spent three days bouncing around the north-east and Stone Oak, like a maddened ping-pong ball, unloading yellow-insulated carriers from the back of the Montero - and with luck, not re-loading them. It's actually kind of a nice deal, being able to see the recipient's faces at getting surprise gift like that, especially if they were not expecting it at all. One of the things that I was reminded of - the same thing that struck me when we walked the Salado Greenway - was how compact San Antonio really is. In some places, the tiny plain 1950's Levittown-style tract house with a dusty front yard fenced in chain-link, is fifteen minutes drive from the 1930's architect-designed Spanish Colonial style mansion, shaded by hundred-year old oak trees and swathed around with a velvety green lawn. Doing deliveries like that is instructive: from a gated community to the ghetto in nearly the blink of an eye . . . but no matter what the address, the recipients were just as pleased to be remembered for Mother's Day. So that's how I spent Mother's Day weekend - what about you?