Wednesday Deliveries


Wednesday’s deliveries wind through the mountains of western Maryland. It’s the most difficult route especially in the winter then the roads are sometimes impossible to navigate in the light duty, delivery truck. But except for those snowy Wednesdays in midwinter, Charles likes the long drives through the back country from one small town to another. It’s October and the first snowstorms are still a few months away

He wakes up at 4:30, showers, eats his breakfast and slips out the door while his wife and two daughter are still asleep. He'll be back home for dinner at 6:30 when the girls are be finishing homework and his wife, Silvia, is be setting the table for dinner. At the end of his work days, when he comes in the door, Silvia always stops what she is doing and gives him a, welcome home, kiss. The girls, Julie,13 and Missy, 10 look up from whatever they are doing and smile. For his family, Wednesdays are a typical day but, Wednesdays have become unusual for Charles because of a small food market just outside of Grantsville. It was a new stop added to his route back in the spring.

The Harvest Whole Wheat bread truck sits beside their modest home on weekends when they enjoy family activities and attend the Methodist Church. Charles and Silvia had not attended church but his parents were Methodists so that’s where they were married. When Missy was born they started going regularly so the girls would have Sunday school.

By ten-thirty Charles had made five stops and he is approaching Grantsville. It’s raining and dark clouds fall across the mountain. The back road is covered with orange and gold leaves. He slows down because he know how slippery those wet leaves can be. Like a typical stop, he parks to the side and loads his hand cart with six boxes. Each box contains a dozen loaves of fresh whole wheat bread. Ten more boxes will go into inventory in the store room. He pulls the handcart through the front door and says hello to the young and pretty checkout girl. He heads on back to the bread shelves and pushes the out of date bread to the side. When he has filled the shelves with the fresh bread and is putting the few loaves of old bread into an empty box, Sheryl, the female store manager walks up with her check out sheet. She smiles and says hello to Charles. She counts the seventy two fresh loaves and records it on her sheet. Then counts the seven, out of date, loaves being returned and records that number. She then says, I’ll unlock the storeroom door.

This is where it becomes unusual because at most stops, Charles just wheels the additional boxes in the front door, continuing though the store and into the back storage area. Sheryl has always requested that he drive around and bring the extra stock in the back door. He know what to expect and feels both excitement and anxiety. When he drives around the building the rain has stopped and she is standing at the open door. Sheryl appears to be in her late thirties and has a trim figure. She never says much but she has a beautiful smile. Charles finds her to be attractive but he was dumbfounded the first time it happened. He parks the truck and wheels the boxes of bread into the storage room while she holds the door open. She then closed the door and says, “Come here Charles.”

09/20/2017 © Don Lehman