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For many years I had a street number and every day except Sunday 1 saw a nice man or woman in a uniform bring my mail and deposit it in my mailbox, which was usually some sort of wrought iron affair attached to the wall on my porch. I got to know my mailman or woman, and we exchanged comments about the weather or how much mail I got. They always complained about how much mail I got. When I became a resident in the mountains, one of the first things that happened was a nasty note from my mailman. It told me my mail box was too low. I hadn’t thought about it, so I watched him the next time he delivered my mail on my dirt road. He pulled his truck up to my small, regulation rural mailbox, and sure enough, he had to lean down to put the mail in. And, because my mailbox is on the right side of the road, he had to lean a very long way to put the mail in.
I knew I was being needlessly cruel to a dedicated public servant, so I got out some tools and raised the box. All was well.
Pretty soon, though, I began to get little cards which told me I had packages at the post office. Every card meant an eight mile round trip, so I asked my friendly postmaster. what I could do about it.
“Get a bigger box,” he said.
A truly brilliant idea.
I went out and bought the biggest regulation mailbox made, and it wasn’t cheap. I figure, though, it’s been paid for several times with gas I haven’t burned claiming packages. The mail situation was perfect. Then it started snowing, and mailbox began to disappear. Soon, I knew, I was going to get another love-note from the government.
I have a very low threshold of pain when it comes to criticism, so I installed a post for the mailbox which permits the box to slide up or down depending on the snow level. It wasn’t cheap, either.
Now, however, I have a mailbox which is the envy of my neighbors. At precisely the correct height, with my name on both sides, large enough to hold even Time/Life books, it is a shining example which puts to shame the nameless, cockeyed, two-foot high, rusting, warped and battered pieces of junk which pass for mail boxes on my road
There’s just one other thing.
You have to keep the snow away from your mailbox or your friendly mailman won’t deliver your mail. There are two ways to do this: you can dig it out by hand, or you can use a snow plow, which in one clean sweep...
I recommend digging it out by hand.
© 1985 – 2003, David E. Steiner
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