I was nursing my daughter this morning at 3:30. I was sitting in the glider in the dark, and noticed headlights on the street below. "Who," I thought, "would be out at 3:30 in the morning?!?" As I pondered which of our neighbors might be out at such an hour, and what on earth they might be doing, the car circled back around our neighborhood. I realized it had a flashing light on the top and that it was delivering our paper.
What happened to the cute neighbor boy who would throw the paper at our front door? He used to come to "collect" every couple of weeks, sending my parents scrambling for their checkbook. These days, I get a bill in the mail, and I pay by the month or even the year. No tips for the boy who lives down the street, no before-school job - just a car going around the block, with a flashing yellow light.
I suppose it is much safer now to have adults delivering the paper; I wouldn't want my sons out on their bikes in the dark. But for some reason, as I sat there in the dark this morning, I felt sad; like an era had passed.