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  #1  
Old 06-22-2007, 08:10 AM
SwampYankee's Avatar
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For the 1st time in 10 yrs I did NOT see the sunrise!!!!

Well, almost 10 years. Today was my last day as a paper"boy"!

I started delivering papers just after my oldest son was born so that my wife could become a SAHM. Seven days a week and 365 days a year I was up between 3:30-4:00 am. Rain, sleet, hail, blizzards and snow I was out there. Unlike the postman, we didn't get holidays and Sundays off. Our family "vacations" consisted of day trips because I always had to be back for the next morning. Substitutes were wasted for business travel for my real job.

Nearly 10 years and 4 kids later I finally hung up my bag. There were a lot of changes in the newspaper business over the years. I started out loading my 1 ton pickup full of bundles and leaving them with the paperboys/girls. Then that position was dropped and all the carriers had to pick up their papers at a local shopping center parking lot. And finally, all carriers had to pick their papers up at the central distribution center in a not overly pleasant section of Hartford. That was the death knell for kids delivering papers.

There were times when I felt embarassed to be a paper carrier. But in the end it paid my mortgage and, most importantly, left my wife able to put her teaching career aspirations on hold until all of our kids are in school (only 2 more years, but who's counting? ). It helped bail me out of some pretty massive credit card debt, also. Being a paper carrier and my self-inflicted financial woes (now both former!!!!) aren't things I'm proud of, but doing right for what my family needed and not taking the easy way out when it came to over $40K in revolving debt are.

I slept late this morning, got up at 5:30 and went for a 45 min. walk around the hood. I'm hoping to make this a daily ritual. After my walk, that leaves me with 35-40 min. of free time every morning before everyone wakes up and I have to go into work for 7:00 to tinker with my cars, my boat or weed the flower beds and lawn and other little projects that I've neglected over the years.

I will miss the Christmas tips and a few of my subscribers that were standing there waiting for me no matter the time or the weather for a quick conversation, sometimes a cup of coffee on the fly or some homemade baked goods. Some were actually teary eyed when I saw them after reading the letter I put in last Sunday's papers.

Other than that, I'm looking forward to becoming a more active dad instead of the coffee-chugging crab who often fell asleep on the couch by 8:00. Going away for a long weekend and heading up to Maine for a week or two are finally a real possibility. I'm looking forward to taking the older two out for overnight trips on the boat to give the Mrs. a break. And no more dreading Patriots' night games, getting home at 2:30-3:00, sleeping for an hour and then peddling papers and trudging into work at 7:00 with little to no sympathy from the wife.

What freedom!
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  #2  
Old 06-22-2007, 08:19 AM
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An honest job that helped you live a good life is hardly a thing of shame.

I LOVE getting-up before the Sun and having a quiet cup of coffee before the birds and family awake. It's an old habit that I am grateful and happy to indulge.

Bot

One of my kids seems pretty sure the Sun rises and sets around her, so don't worry.
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  #3  
Old 06-22-2007, 08:26 AM
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Thanks, Bot.

Actually at 5:30 the sun was peeking over the trees this morning so I can still catch it if I so desire . I'm really looking forward to the peace and quiet time before my zoo awakes.
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1980 300TD-China Blue/Blue MBTex-2nd Owner, 107K (Alt Blau) OBK #15
'06 Chevy Tahoe Z71 (for the wife & 4 kids, current mule) '03 Honda Odyssey (son #1's ride, reluctantly) '99 GMC Suburban (255K+ miles, semi-retired mule) 21' SeaRay Seville (summer escape pod)
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  #4  
Old 06-22-2007, 08:33 AM
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Congratulations!

I used to help a friend out when he needed assistance with his paper duties.
He only ever wanted help with Sunday editions. It was a tough job and I only helped occasionally. You must be a very disciplined individual. It must be a HUGE relief to be out from under the weight of that debt. That is an amazing accomplishment considering most people with that level of debt end up paying minimums to the grave.

Congratulations, and enjoy your new found freedom!
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  #5  
Old 06-22-2007, 08:47 AM
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Congratulations! You cannot imagine how much my FIL complains about the paper carrier. It's not easy being a paperboy these days. The sacrifices you made will pay off in due time, if not already. You should be proud of your accomplishments.
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  #6  
Old 06-22-2007, 08:54 AM
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Thanks, Chad. Sundays do suck, but with the Courant it's gotten to the point where it's more of a sale flyer and coupon delivery source than a news source. When I started you had 2 sections M-Sat and the big ol' paper on Sunday. Now it's 2 sections M, Tu & Sat, 3 sections W-F and Sunday. They're so desperate for subscribers they're trying to find ways to keep them on board.

Disciplined now, but unfortunately not so much through my college years. Imagine what having an extra $500-750 every month could do instead of going to the CC company for crap you pissed money away on years ago and don't even have anything to show for it. It kills me to think of that now and how much different things could have been. We're headed in the right direction now and I'm going to try damn hard to make up for it!
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'06 Chevy Tahoe Z71 (for the wife & 4 kids, current mule) '03 Honda Odyssey (son #1's ride, reluctantly) '99 GMC Suburban (255K+ miles, semi-retired mule) 21' SeaRay Seville (summer escape pod)
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  #7  
Old 06-22-2007, 08:59 AM
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Congrats to you! I am so impressed with what you did to help your family out and the sacrifice you made, may the rest of your days be filled with sunrises and sunsets you can watch when you please...
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  #8  
Old 06-22-2007, 09:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kuan View Post
Congratulations! You cannot imagine how much my FIL complains about the paper carrier. It's not easy being a paperboy these days. The sacrifices you made will pay off in due time, if not already. You should be proud of your accomplishments.
Thanks, Kuan. I feel kind of bad for many of my customers who were on the elderly/advanced side because I know they've gotten used to the hang-on-the-doorknob or between-the-door treatment and probably won't be so lucky. As you can imagine, the majority of the people delivering them just don't give a crap. I picked up a 72 unit elderly housing complex because the other carrier couldn't grasp the concept of "open door, put paper in". As close together as they were, it was an easy extra $40/week for an additional 15-20 minutes a day.
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1980 300TD-China Blue/Blue MBTex-2nd Owner, 107K (Alt Blau) OBK #15
'06 Chevy Tahoe Z71 (for the wife & 4 kids, current mule) '03 Honda Odyssey (son #1's ride, reluctantly) '99 GMC Suburban (255K+ miles, semi-retired mule) 21' SeaRay Seville (summer escape pod)
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  #9  
Old 06-22-2007, 09:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mistress View Post
Congrats to you! I am so impressed with what you did to help your family out and the sacrifice you made, may the rest of your days be filled with sunrises and sunsets you can watch when you please...
Thanks, Mistress. What a difference it makes when you want to see the sunrise as opposed to having to see it!

Although I have to admit, I used to like being out there just before the sunrise and watching it creep up over the hills to the east, listening to the birds.
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1980 300TD-China Blue/Blue MBTex-2nd Owner, 107K (Alt Blau) OBK #15
'06 Chevy Tahoe Z71 (for the wife & 4 kids, current mule) '03 Honda Odyssey (son #1's ride, reluctantly) '99 GMC Suburban (255K+ miles, semi-retired mule) 21' SeaRay Seville (summer escape pod)
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  #10  
Old 06-22-2007, 10:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SwampYankee View Post
...There were times when I felt embarassed to be a paper carrier. But in the end it paid my mortgage and, most importantly, left my wife able to put her teaching career aspirations on hold until all of our kids are in school (only 2 more years, but who's counting? ). It helped bail me out of some pretty massive credit card debt, also. Being a paper carrier and my self-inflicted financial woes (now both former!!!!) aren't things I'm proud of, but doing right for what my family needed and not taking the easy way out when it came to over $40K in revolving debt are...
No embarrassment there! I wish I could have been able to do just that! Then maybe I would be enjoying the sunset instead of seeing it because of of yet another sleepless night!

Enjoy your newfound freedom!
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  #11  
Old 06-22-2007, 10:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Botnst View Post
An honest job that helped you live a good life is hardly a thing of shame.
x4. I am actually ashamed of myself after reading your post. You on the other hand have every reason to be proud.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Botnst View Post
I LOVE getting-up before the Sun and having a quiet cup of coffee before the birds and family awake. It's an old habit that I am grateful and happy to indulge.
.
So that WAS you at the CDM having beignets at 5 am Saturday?
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  #12  
Old 06-22-2007, 10:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Doe View Post

So that WAS you at the CDM having beignets at 5 am Saturday?
I got the impression Bot was a night person.
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  #13  
Old 06-22-2007, 10:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Doe View Post
x4. I am actually ashamed of myself after reading your post. You on the other hand have every reason to be proud.



So that WAS you at the CDM having beignets at 5 am Saturday?
Thanks guys. I'm looking forward to some semblance of a normal life. Well, at least as normal as like with 4 kids gets.
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1980 300TD-China Blue/Blue MBTex-2nd Owner, 107K (Alt Blau) OBK #15
'06 Chevy Tahoe Z71 (for the wife & 4 kids, current mule) '03 Honda Odyssey (son #1's ride, reluctantly) '99 GMC Suburban (255K+ miles, semi-retired mule) 21' SeaRay Seville (summer escape pod)
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  #14  
Old 06-22-2007, 10:58 AM
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Swamp... One of the most heartfelt posts I've read. Good for you!

I had an "adult route" in Madison, WI while looking for full time work after I returned from Wash DC. Yes, it was embarrasing at times, but I met other carriers with "normal" full time jobs (some PhD's) to help with the bills.
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  #15  
Old 06-22-2007, 11:32 AM
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Thanks, Swede. It was little more than passing embarassment. It was kind of surprising who were carriers, former and current, that I ran across.

For a part-time job though, it's tough to beat the money.
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1980 300TD-China Blue/Blue MBTex-2nd Owner, 107K (Alt Blau) OBK #15
'06 Chevy Tahoe Z71 (for the wife & 4 kids, current mule) '03 Honda Odyssey (son #1's ride, reluctantly) '99 GMC Suburban (255K+ miles, semi-retired mule) 21' SeaRay Seville (summer escape pod)
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