The other day I had a conversation with a delivery man at my front door. He was obviously new to our route and a little in awe of the place. I’m not talking about my house, but the area. And the conversation started out like most conversations I’ve had with first time visitors.
“Wow, I had no idea this place was out here?” looking around at the houses that line the canyon ridge and the ones that sit in its shadow.
“Yep, it’s a well kept secret.” I smile as I jump from foot to foot trying to ward off the cold north wind that is finding its way through my open door.
“You know that sign on the frontage road by your exit? That is crazy, is there such a hotel around?”
“Crazy stuff. Like those Cadillac's stuck in the ground just down the way from the sign.”
“Cadillac Ranch, that’s pretty cool isn’t it?” I reply, wondering if his delivery truck is now empty or if he just likes to chat.
“Then, I’m driving up and down this road.” He waves his arms in front of him as if he is about to launch into rendition of the Macarena. “And suddenly there is a neighborhood!”
I’ve seen that look of wonder many times as delivery and service men have arrived in our little canyon for the first time. And it always makes me feel like I’ve found a treasure that the city, just ten minutes from my house, is oblivious to.
The delivery man begins to chuckle at this point and I feel a nudge from one of my daughters. I look over my shoulder to find her staring at the man dressed in brown as if he is an escaped convict. Then she looks at me and without opening her mouth easily conveys the message that she wants me to stop talking and close the door.
But before I can say anything he stops chuckling and says, “Did they find Milton?”
“Milton?” I ask confused. “Oh, Milton. Yes, they found him.”
“I’ve never seen a missing donkey sign in a neighborhood. Cats, dogs, even a bird once, but never a donkey!” He continues to chuckle.
I hear the phone begin to ring and the daughter by my shoulder runs to answer it.
“Oh, hi Dad.” I hear her say from the kitchen.
The delivery man starts to back down our stairs. “Yep, this sure is an amazing place.” Suddenly, he looks down at his feet. “But, I bet you have snakes.”
“Yep, we do have those.” I reply as I hear my daughter on the phone behind me.
“Oh, she’s just talking to some man again…No, I don’t know who he is.”
I wave goodbye to the man, who is now studying the ground cautiously before he suddenly leaps into his truck from my sidewalk step.
I close the door and whirl around to face my daughter, who is holding the phone out to me.
“Man? Again?” , I whisper to her as she smirks at me.
“Mom, you talk to everybody about anything. Geez, just take the package next time.” She says loudly as she hands me the phone.
I groan as I take the phone and put it up to my ear, anticipating what the first words out of my husbands mouth are going to be. But first I have to wait for him to stop laughing.