My postmaster told us yesterday that they were giving a 20% pay increase to attract postal drivers to move to North Dakota.
In the “Fracking Fields”, that would put us among the lowest paid people in the area. I don’t know if you could even afford to find a house in that frigid region on those wages.
Now, I’m far from complaining. I have nothing to complain about. Postal wages are good. We can be comfortable down in the Carolinas where it’s warm…we have things pretty “dialed in” down here.
It’s a good life.
But, to move to the Dakotas where it’s impossible to find a cheap place to live anymore, would be a goofy decision….and 20% really isn’t a good incentive.
The days of being able to find a great house for thirty thousand dollars….just because it’s in the “Dakotas” (who would want to live there?)….went away when they started drilling sideways for gas.
That ship has sailed…and it sounds like it left without filling up with enough mail delivery workers first.
I wrote a post a couple of days ago about a really maudlin song.
My friend Joel commented on the post and mentioned that I’d put it on a mixtape that I’d made for a road trip that we’d taken together back in the 80’s.
I guess that if you put anything into the context of listening to it while you looked up at the Wind River Range for the first time….well, shoot…it kind of turns a maudlin song into something different.
And because it’s something different now, if you think about it, from then on the “maudlin song” becomes something more important than it probably deserves to be.
It becomes another “trigger” for remembering a really good and important time in your life.
Here’s another “trigger”…and I’ll set the scene a little before you play it.
Imagine two “late stage” adolescents, cruising down the highway in an early 1970’s Dodge Dart, laughing and pointing out all the new and strange…to them…sights they were seeing.
I am on a road trip with my friend, Joel.
That’s a good and hilarious place to be.
I’m in my early 20’s…that’s why I say “late stage” when I mention adolescence.
Big vistas and wide open road ahead of us and behind us more of the same.
Road construction…so we’re slowing down…gives us a chance to add some more highly philosophical musings on the cassettes we’re recording as we meander across the country.
And then this song comes on…
By the time the chorus had made its way around again, we’re singing the lyrics like we’d known the song all our lives.
“Just look at them beans, doooodoooodoooo, and look at that corn….dooodooodooo…and I bet that watermelon must be three feet long….dooodooodooo”
Where did that song come from? It’s not a radio staple anywhere I’ve ever lived…that’s the one time I’ve ever heard it on the airwaves.
It came out of nowhere…out of the ether…from Johnny Cash’s mouth to the grooves of an old record…then to a disc jockey’s hands in Nebraska? Wyoming?….then to the cheap Jensen speakers in an old blue car….and from there, almost instantaneously, to the ears of two young wandering souls.
Bam….instant trigger for the rest of my life.
That is a funny little miracle.