Thursday, August 16, 2012

Picking Up Mail: My Neighbors Might Be Dead

Here's my question: When do you file a missing person's report on someone who you barely know?  I'm sure there's a protocol for this, but I don't know it.  I do know that I'm seriously worried moderately concerned about my neighbors.

Remember Mary & Harold?  The one's with the beautiful yard?  The giggly old man and his super-hero wife?

Well, back in APRIL, about mid-way through, Mary came over to the house.  It was unusual, but I was happy to have her.  She sat at my table in the weird walk-through-maybe-a-dining-area-but-definitely-not-a-room place, and we chatted.  She scraped at the dried-up-something that was on my table with her fingernail.  I was embarrassed, but tried to ignore it.  After all, there wasn't anything I could do about it now.  Plus, at least it gave her something to do with her hands.

When our visit was nearly over, she told me about her grandson - great baseball player.  Her & the mister were going to be traveling up to Illinois here in the next couple of days.  Gonna be gone for 6 weeks.  And don't you know, the post office will only hold your mail for a month; after that, it gets returned to sender.  She asked if I would mind picking up her mail for her.  Said she'd bring me back some cheese, if I liked cheese.  

I love cheese, almost as much as I love getting mail.  It was a great proposition.  I wish people propositioned me like that all the time.  But as I said, this was in April.  It is now mid-August.  April to May, 1 month.  May to June, 2 months.  June to July, 3 months.  July to August, 4 months.  FOUR MONTHS.  Instead of the stated 6 weeks.  Like, three times as long.  

My objection to this delay has nothing to do with getting their mail.  Although I have become a little more lax, picking it up only every 2 or 3 days, I don't mind doing it.  It's the fact that they said six weeks and it's been four months, combined with the fact that I watch too much Law & Order.  Handsome says that since their lawn keeps getting mowed (by a company) and their electric still turns on, they must be alive to be paying the bills.  However, I think I've gotten to him.  I told him it could be a direct draft situation.  So next time they come, he's going to ask them if they've actually talked to Mary & Harold.  

Do you have any other suggestions for us?  We don't have a phone number, or even know the names of the family they went to visit.  For the record, if I'm ever gone for 3x as long as I said, please come looking for me.

Wanting to be a good citizen,


  1. Wow, that sounds like something from a mystery book or movie. If I had advice to give, I would offer it, but I haven't a clue...

  2. Man! I can't wait to hear the rest of that story.

  3. Have you tried calling their phone number? Maybe an answering machine says something??

  4. This made me laugh out loud.

    But seriously. I hope Mary and Harold are ok.

  5. This made me laugh out loud.

    But seriously. I hope Mary and Harold are ok.

  6. Whew...I'm so glad you finally released this story. Maybe now, someone will get to the bottom of it! It might be time to start ripping open the mail and see if there are any clues. Federal offense? In this case, I think not.

  7. It's not that strange that people disappear from the south for several months during the hot/humid season, but I don't know why she wouldn't just tell you if they were "Snowbirds" that fly south for the winter, and back up north in the summer.

    Do you have any idea if they were from Illinois, or somewhere else up north, originally?

    My parents have a home in the north Georgia mountains, and also one in Florida.
    It's funny because a lot of people from up north come to Georgia in the winter, where the winter is more "mild", but since my parents are from north Georgia, the winter is cold to them, so they go to Florida for the winter.
    Several of their Florida neighbors also disappear for several months during the summer, because it's too hot for them to stay down there.

    So if your neighbors aren't originally from SC it could be the summer is too hot for them, so they go north, and will probably be back when the weather breaks.

    Are you sure she said weeks, and not months? Six months would be October, which would be about the right time to return South I think.

    (PS, cheese from Illinois? I thought cheese came from Wisconsin.)


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