How did they find me?

 

Ok, we should probably start off by saying this isnít some deep and dark espionage situation. People werenít launching drones, placing tracers on my vehicle, or setting up surveillance efforts in an unmarked van across the street.

Netflix and Amazon have not reached out, are not conducting interviews with me, and do not appear to be seeking the rights to some incredible tale where a few gifted screenwriters could bring about a multi-episode season of exciting suspense.

Not that I know of.

Take from this that I wasnít trying to hide, nor do I believe I was the subject of some massive search. Still, I was most definitely sought (and found). Sought (and found) in a casual, no ulterior motives where someone actually is stalking me or my whereabouts. Itís just a general observation.

When you move, you understand that some change of address notifications will need to be processed. Itís part of the ordeal. You know that. I know that.

Some are prioritiesÖ like making sure your snack of the month club package is delivered properly. Some are just funnyÖ because family and friends need to know where they would have sent the card if they decided to send one (even though they wonít).

And, since weíre being simple and naïve in who we set as those looking for us and what types of scavenger hunts they conduct to find us, we can basically agree that when you move, over time pretty much everyone that needs your new address gets your new address.

But recently I walked to the mailbox, retrieved the contents, and while flipping through assorted envelopes and catalogs, I came across a couple of pieces of mail that set my mind wandering.

One was from a charitable organization. A group that does fine work. Iím sure they are wonderful people. Terry and I simply have other causes that are more personally important.

The original connection to the group did begin with a donation though. Terry and I were invited to a wedding about fifteen to twenty years ago, and the couple suggested considering this group instead of gifts. So yes, we had sent them money once, as wedding contribution on behalf of the happy couple.

One donation. Slightly less than two decades agoÖ and they have mailed us material at every place weíve called home ever since. And here, once again was an envelope with our names on the label.

The second was from a group that has been sending me mail for almost four decades. They have managed to send me mail at every address Iíve ever called home. And when I say every address, I do indeed mean all of them.

In both of these cases, neither sender was on any of our change of address lists. We werenít worried about hearing from them. We hadnít accidentally forgotten to let them know where to send a Christmas card. You could have asked us a thousand times to provide some type of detailed list of places and organizations and people and more that might at some time be mailing materials to us, and we never would have included either of these groups.

But there they were. Envelopes in our mailbox.

They keep finding me. Over and over again.

I have friends from olden days that arenít on Facebook. (That I know of.) No Twitter. (That I know of.) Time moves on, things in common become weaker connections, and eventually contact is lost. Every so often, I check things out in an attempt to find them. Google search and such. Usually end up with nothing, but it should be noted Iím not looking to start a detailed stalking, overnight surveillance or scavenger hunt of my own. Definitely not seeking donations.

And that donations word appears to be the key to all of this. Because within that thought we seem to have the motivation for trying to find me.

Mail often fascinates me. Whether being sent to the generic current resident, a former occupant, or directly to me or a member of the family. I like getting mail. (Love getting cards.) But it never ceases to amaze me when an unexpected source knows where I am.

(Maybe I should pay a bit more attention to those drones that have been around lately.)

 

If you have any comments or questions, please e-mail me at Bob@inmybackpack.com