Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Neither rain, nor sleet, nor snow....

     I have a million things left to do before 8am, when I must open the Post Office for a few hours...and then home to our Christmas Eve Feast (which is not quite yet finished)...but I had to jump on here and tell you about the mail run today.

We had snow, like the rest of New England. We got about 9 inches, topped off with a lovely crust of ice.

A White Christmas!!!

But, back to the ice...
Chris has plowed, sanded, shoveled, back-hoed the places the plow wouldn't reach, and sanded some more. it's really as good as it's going to get. It's just too cold for the ice to melt. What are you gonna do? 
I'd stay home.  But the Post Office has this rule about always getting the mail through...and they don't care if the boat ramp is covered with 3 solid inches of ice. So, off I go.

I knew the roads were slippery. I'd already fallen the day before, so I was gingerly picking my way across our driveway, etc. (think: the snow equivalent of gun-shy). I made arrangements with (read: bribed) The Big Guy to swap out the mail for me. At the designated hour, I picked him up, and drove to the Town Dock, where the mailboat comes in. 
It was, naturally, dead-low-tide. 
That ramp was straight vertical.
And covered in ice.  *(Chris had thrown sand down it. I knew it wouldn't help me one bit, except to embed in my skin when I slid down the length of the ramp...)
But Paul wasn't at the dock- he was holding the boat back a ways. He hollered out, "I can't pull up to the float- there's ice on the water, and it will get sucked into my exhaust."
Now I don't know what that means, but the end result is that he won't pull to the float.
Um, so am I supposed to swim to ya?

No, he said, he'll have to go over to the other dock. I had to think about this one. Other dock? This is the only dock that's had any ...attention...since the snowstorm. There's the ferry pier, but it's dead-low-tide, and about 20 feet from the water to the pier. Nobody's aim is that good!
And there's David's wharf, the buy car where we sell lobsters. I looked over there. Nobody's been down since it snowed. Nothing is shoveled. The ramp there is also in a vertical position.
But there goes Paul, headed over. 
Uh, ok.
I drove over to the wharf. There are 482 stairs from the road to the wharf. And there were footprints, so somebody had been down. While I thought about who I could get to tend my life while I recuperated from the countless injuries I was about to encounter, I realized the truck was sliding on ice. That whole side of the island sort of...slants...towards the harbor. That did it for me!
I jumped out of the truck as fast as I could. It only slid a few inches, but that was enough to scare the pants offa me!
By this time, The Big Guy has lost ALL patience with this whole situation; Paul's reluctance to dock, my inadequate ice-driving skills, and the fact that there were 15 boxes and 3 mail bags waiting to be delivered. 
Up 482 stairs. 
He went down those stairs 3 at a time. When he got to the ramp, he took 2 steps, and had to drop the outgoing mail bag to keep from sliding into the water. Paul said, no-no, I'll come up with some of this stuff...and made it 3 steps before he was sliding back down. 
I would have been laughing, if I wasn't so busy chewing my fingernails. We've already had 2 guys overboard in the harbor; I was sure I was watching the next two.
I decided that reinforcements were in order. The ramp was un-passable. We'd have to dump all the mail there on the dock, pick it up with a skiff, bring it to the Town float, wait for the tide to come in some, and get the mail up the ramp then. 
I made a couple of phone calls, to get somebody to run a skiff over to the Big Guy and all the mail...but, news travels fast 'round here (most of the houses are clustered around the harbor; some people could watch our antics from their living rooms), and neither guy answered their phones.....
And so...
Paul dumped the mail, and left.
The Big Guy stomped back up the 482 stairs, in a VERY festive mood.
We drove back over to the Town dock. He got in his skiff, and put-putted over to the wharf. Took him 3 trips to get all the mail across the harbor. I slid down the ramp on my butt, and helped him unload the skiff.  I grabbed the lightest of the mail bags, and fell on the ramp 3 times before I quit. "Waiting for the tide," I said. "I'm done. " And I went up the ramp leaning over the rail, so my feet barely touched the floor, praying the rail wouldn't pick that moment, with me 12 feet off the ground, to break off...
The Big Guy was fighting a mail bag up when Davie drove up. Davie helped him get the rest of the boxes up, and I loaded them. 
And I tell you, if it weren't for those two guys being there this afternoon, I would have had no other choice but to have yelled to Paul- take it back with you, and send it on the ferry tomorrow! 

Can you just see me getting in a skiff???? 

I leave you with this solemn vow: 
I will have a hoist and boom at the ferry pier, so help me God.
And you know I will not stop, not BUDGE, until it is installed.

But, there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Tomorrow is the feast that I wait all year for. It's all my favorite dishes, all in one day!
I will likely not be blogging until after the festivities, to let the annual Pepto Bismol -fest run it's course, but I have lots of news, some knitting (I won't be able to show a lot, my gifts are not given out yet!!), and a couple of funny stories (including the 'man overboard in the harbor' one), but here's a preview:

smoked clams
hot crab dip
bacon wrapped scallops
shrimp cocktail with super spicy horseradish sauce
cold lobster salad

Lobster Fra Diavolo with angel hair pasta
Baked Stuffed Lobsters, with scallops and shrimp
Stuffed Shrimp
Stuffed clams
clam fritters
mussels steamed in garlic and white wine
crab cakes

and if you aren't moaning on the couch:
pecan pie
cherry pie
toll house pie
The Frosted cookies
stained glass windows
amaretto and kahlua truffles


And that's why, Christmas Day, we make two things:
 -a giant anitpasto platter, with salad, olives, vinegar peppers, portabella mushrooms, hot peppers, roasted peppers, cold cuts, parm cheese, smoked gouda, beets, and pickles. (Those last two are at thing Two's insistence.)
- and phyllo triangles filled with a sauteed mushroom mixture. (Actually a Weight Watchers recipe!! We love these, an they're fairly easy to do. I don't have a recipe, but I'll show you what to do next week.)

Merry Christmas, everybody!!


  1. OMG what time do we eat!?!?!?! I'll be sharing the mail story with my mom, she's the Postmaster in Sunset & was upset that she had to shovel off 18+ inches of snow from her loading dock the other day! And she thought she had it bad!

  2. I think it's time to relocate. Please tell me my 3 boxes arrived safely.
    kissy xo

  3. I'm coming to your house for Christmas Eve!!! Oh, that's tonight and it sounds like it would be quite an adventure getting there!

  4. Yikes!

    ::really appreciating my mail carrier here::

  5. Hope you are surviving all of the food Merry Christmas

  6. You poor thing! but your dinner sure does sound lovely!