I was determined. I knew it wasn’t my gift set, but what was I to do?
Over the past six months, my mailbox has slowly shown signs of its demise. After work, I’d walk to the street and pull down its lip. Day by day it became shakier; clearly rotten wood near the ground.
Each time I’d approach, I would cross my fingers. Let her live one more day, I’d beg the mailbox god. But one Friday afternoon, I pulled, and she fell – smack dab on Dellwood Drive. My J Crew catalog and Ad Pack tarnished and wrinkled from their asphalt demise. A pack of termites were feasting like a family reunion at Thanksgiving. I considered what might be next. Are they secretly consuming my house?
I questioned to no avail: God, why did you make termites? And taxes by the way?
I searched the internet for mailbox fixers. There is no such thing. This was a job I would do on my own. How hard could it be?
I put on my work boots and set out for the Home Depot. That place freaks me out. I’m always afraid the high shelves are going to collapse on me. I had a great-uncle who was wounded by a falling Depot item, and he was never the same.
I have no remembrance of how the last mailbox was installed. I’m guessing my father, a man of many talents, was the culprit. I’m sure I assisted by holding a nail and providing the lemonade as he dug the hole, but I’m certain I did not go it alone.
This time was different. I am 50. At some point, a man has to do what a man has to do.
I went to three neighbors searching for a post digger. I called my best friend; he’s a tool guy. Nada. Who in the heck is planting our Raleigh mailboxes? We all have one! Someone has to have an appropriate weapon.
Finally, Charlie came home. He lives next door, and although he didn’t have exactly what I needed, he did have a slender shovel that would certainly do the job.
I dug and I dug – far enough from the current post that the family of insects would have quite a journey to move their little get together. And this time, concrete! Ahh. Try to eat that, and you’re little white winged ass is gonna end up at the insect dentist with a broken bicuspid.
When I tired from the hole, I erected my new post. I went across the street to measure. Robbie’s mailbox crossbar came up to my love handle. Mine appeared to be slightly higher. But again, I was tired of digging.
I removed the post and dumped in the bag of quick dry concrete. As I poured the water and repositioned the post, it occurred to me that I might not have taken into account the fact that several inches of gray dust, and water, would lift the entire apparatus.
And now, my mailbox is nipple height. It is the highest in the land.
Na nan a na boo boo, my box is the tallest…
And Michelle, my youngest daughter is happy.
“Dad, you can’t send me to get the mail anymore, ‘cause I can’t reach it.”
I should stick to desk work.