Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Your paper is on the roof



these were very similar to the bags we wore on our shoulders or on our bikes


No, no i never left it on the roof...well actually i think i did one time and just gave them another one...

I can't remember what age i was when i became an official newspaper girl but i think it was around 12. When i first started we threw papers in the afternoon which i barely remember...i remember very well on the other hand once they switched it to being delivered before the crack of dawn!

My poor mother trying to wake all of us. I would sit up and as soon as she went out i would lay back down, i don't know how many times i did this but i'm surprised she was so patient with us.

We would then head out to the garage in a state of being half asleep and roll the stacks and stacks of papers...i hated the days we would see the bundles of papers covered in plastic which meant we would then have to bag all the rolled papers, ugg, those days were the worst. We were some darn fast newspaper rollers let me tell ya...after rolling all the papers we would load up in our over the shoulder bags...or the over the board on the back of the bike bags...man we must have had some real balance back then, if i tried that now i would crash for sure!

My first time out i was terrified to even walk next door in the dark...i quickly got over that but there were still fears...seeing things behind trees...hearing something move and stopping dead in my tracks...and then there were dogs...i have a very big fear of dogs...if i see one on the loose i panic...so when i met up with a pit bull(i honestly don't know if it was a pit bull but it looked similar to one and in my mind it was a killer pit bull) on the loose one morning i instantly went to tears while we had a stare down and i used my entire can of halt spray (which by the way was useless and didn't phase the dog) he just continued to have a stare down with me and bark and growl like he was going to kill me while i screamed at him to "go home"! It ended with me taking off on my bike...mean killer dog chasing me (wanting to eat me) and me throwing newspapers at it all the way home. My dad then had to take me back to pick up all those newspapers in the streets because they still had to be delivered. But i wasn'teaten by the killer pit bull!

I always had lots of time to think, lot's of time to daydream, lot's of time to pray...even if over half of my prayers were consumed with "please don't let the boogyman get me...hey don't knock it, it was d.a.r.k. outside!

I would be so tired walking some days i would barely peek out of my shut eyes while i walked, wasn't praying those times...nope just sleeping while i walked...others in the family had issues with shutting their eyes, and would close their eyes while throwing papers on their bike and see how far they could go with them shut...won't name any names (cough, julie)...i was never quite that adventurous...remember several times of having to go get either my mom or dad to help get a paper off someones roof...wiped out someones plant one time...can't remember how i resolved that one...most of the time i had impecable aim and could nail the front porch, along with the front door (i'm sure the customers loved that) i walked through snow and rain and would come home and thaw my frozen toes and fingers by the fireplace and read the "funnies" (comics).

Collecting...i hated hearing my mom say "you need to go collecting" we would go door to door collecting payment for their newspaper delivery. I hated going to peoples doors...don't know why, i just did. Christmas time and tips was the best part. We would get a ton of cards with money in them...loved it!

Our family had at least 3 routes at all times while growing up (correct me if i'm wrong guys), pretty much all of the neighborhoods surrounding ours. I threw papers till i went to college and then even did it when i came home from college on breaks. One fun memory i have is picking up the newspapers at midnight on Christmas Eve and delivering the papers in the middle of the night...my brother would usually drive and we would all do them together.

As much as i complain about how awful it was...i believe it was key in teaching me to be a hard worker in life...even though i was almost eaten alive by a pit bull!

17 comments:

Journaling My Journey said...

That really brings back the memories. Did you ever nail that "man eating dog" with one of your papers? Nice blog memory, Lisa. I hope Susan doesn't get started on the subject of paper routes.

grammaneir said...

I loved folding the papers with you kids but not going out until John said he would pay me:) I'll always bite on that one. John & I had to get a few off the roof - I would let him step on my shoulders and he could reach it then. Lots of memories and you share it well Elisa.

John and Elisa Seaba said...

yes daddy i did nail the man eating dog but i dont think he noticed and the thought of john standing on your shoulders getting a paper is making me laugh out loud :) Oh now wasnt john the smart one...he paid you to go out?? thats hilarious!

June said...

Back when we threw papers we didn't get paid enough to pay mommy. I think John might have made out a little better on pay.

I told Maggie what we used to do today and she said she would NEVER do that. It scared her just thinking about having to go out in the dark. We were her age when we started. :)

I was most scared of the skunks. I always thought there was going to be a skunk on the "brown house" porch. (about 5 houses down from Arnold's) Then on the dirt road I would ride as fast I as could so no car would come while I was on that it. Then the apartments...oh my.. the stairways scared me to death. I would run up and down the stairs as fast as my legs would go.

I had a pit bull chase me too. I threw papers at him. I was riding around on Acres and he cut across and almost caught me.

I loved the collecting/banking part of it.

grammaneir said...

No June, he didn't get much more than you but remember, yours went for braces and he had straight teeth.
Also, he didn't care if he got much of anything as long as I would fold and he only had to get up when it was time to throw and I helped him with that a lot of times. So I guess with only 2 left at home I needed more to do:)

grammaneir said...

Remember, John asked if it was a law in this family to have a paper route so he wasn't really to excited about doing it.

A Full House said...

I remember throwing a paper at a neighborhood boy once who was trying to steal papers as a joke from me. I think I was worried I would have to buy some more to cover the lost ones, so it must have really ticked me off. Once I pelted him w/a paper, he took off pretty fast! Can't forget the dog bite either - so nice when yet other neighborhood boys yell sic' em! As for riding w/ my eyes closed, well, that was just plain stupid. Luckily, I landed in the yard and not on top of the parked car!

Barbie Wilson said...

What a fun story! That was great :)

The Lanker Family said...

Well I think I have a few memories of my paper route if I think real hard. First of all Grandpa Neir was married off before he could help me fold my papers. I was the fifth kid to get one of these awesome jobs so I guess I was just assumed to be a pro and need no help?! I do remember being excited to turn 11 so I could finally get my own check book like my older brother and sisters. But the first real memory I have was going out alone and being scared to death of the dark. I had to go almost a mile from home down a busy street(Main) and into some streets with NO lights at all. I was scared to death of dogs but really can't remember coming face to face with any. I remember scary noises, moving shadows and nasty spider webs that would about make me pee my pants but don't think I ever did. I remember stuffing the bags so full so I wouldn't have to make two trips. My neck and back would hurt so bad and if you didn't turn the bags soon enough I would get choked by the back being so heavy. I remember riding so fast throwing papers right an left just sure someone was chasing behind me(hard to go to fast on a three speed granny bike. At 13 or 14 when I graduated to a 10 speed and the paper route right around our circle I became quite a speedster. I was able to do the entire route in 15 minutes. Yes, I may have been accused of ruining the Neir name because of riding through peoples lawns but how oh how I loved having a smaller "safer" route. Well I am sure I will think of more, but that's all for now :)

John and Elisa Seaba said...

I am laughing my head off...Julie, you had some pretty mean boys on your route, good grief! Susan i'm so glad you joined in :) the "riding through lawns about made me spit my pop laughing! I do remember being choked when you needed to turn the bag!!!

Journaling My Journey said...

Susan, I am so sorry we were not more sensitive to your fears. I am glad you survived.

Journaling My Journey said...

I always had wished that we could raise our family on a farm where you had to feed the animals and milk the cows. We decided that paper routes would accomplish the same thing, but a little scarier. It also helped with paying for braces and Christian education.

John and Elisa Seaba said...

June, i was actually going to mention the apartments but my post was getting too long...i always thought there was going to be someone under the stairs so i would race up the stairs so they couldnt grab my ankles. Daddy, i think i'm glad that we didn't have to milk cows! :)

Neirly News said...

Oh my we never knew what memories we were making. I'm very glad we all got started in the business world at such a young age. I guess I started at age 11 and didn't quit til 17 I think so I have too many memories to write them all but I know the scariest was when I zoomed into a driveway on Plum and there was a skunk right in my path. I still don't know how I got away without some nice new cologne. It was really neat how grandpa Neir and mom helped out so much and were very happy to. I know I loved the collecting because I've never not liked collecting money! The apartments were a different beast when we had to go in so early in the morning. Before that it was in the afternoon and it wasn't near as intimidating. I remember playing b-ball with Denny Stoecklein and leaving just enough time to finish my route and have the papers done by 5pm. Too bad out kids can't carry on the tradition maybe Susan & Greg can have the boys go apply. I'm sure glad we had them it seems like ages ago but was always fun and neat when I could help out when I was back from college. Mom I'm sure you don't miss all the black on every wall in the house from our hands after folding all the papers!!! Thats all for now folks from your former carrier of the year

Dorothy Dresser said...

Lisa - I just love the way you write and relay memories. And then your siblings picking up the line and running with it. (although did I miss an entry from John?). Keep the memories coming. They are delightful to read.

John and Elisa Seaba said...

thanks Dorothy, and yes we are are waiting for John's take on paper routes :)

John and Melanie said...

Ok here is what I remember some of which has already been said.I took over Julie's old paper route which was behind Ken's pizza so I didnt have the luxury of being right by the house and riding around the circle like Susan.So I hired mom to drive me while I ran and it was usually more of a sprint because I always thought I saw an animal or a person but was always a bush.One
time while I was sprinting all of the sudden a deer came running down the road right at me which almost gave me a heart attack. And I did have to get on moms shoulders and have to get a paper off the roof and once I broke a guys storm door by throwing the paper right through it. While some of you might think I had it easier because mom folded the papers and drove me you might be right but just remember after school was over I would have to go to my second job of cutting down trees and hand chopping wood.You know just what every 12 year old boy does:)