The tale of the mailbox

When searching our new address on the official US Postal Service website I discovered it does not exist. Several frantic phone calls to the local post office confirmed that there was no mailbox on the property. The previous owners must have used a PO box. So upon arriving, one of the first things to do was fill out a form to request a new rural route delivery, and to put up an approved mailbox at the appropriate height and distance from the road.

This didn’t seem too complicated until we realized the ground was frozen and would remain so until spring.

We bought a mailbox and a post at the local hardware store. It was supposed to be no-dig, which meant that instead of digging a big hole you pounded a little metal post into the ground and inserted the big wooden post on top of that. It seemed like the best option.

First off, the little metal post was nowhere to be found in the box. We had to go to a different hardware store and buy an unrelated piece of metal tubing that ought to do the trick.

Second, driving even a thin metal tube into frozen ground still isn’t especially possible. The internet told us to pour several gallons of boiling water onto the ground to soften it. We tried that. Ruth burned her hand carting the water back and forth. Eventually I managed to get the tube pounded in deep enough, and the whole mailbox set up. It was wobbly, but it stood.

The mail carrier happened by as I was finishing. “It’s a little low,” she told me. Maybe seeing the look on my face, she added, “But it’ll do till spring.”

Subsequent snow and ice has made the mailbox considerably less wobbly. Here it is, in all its glory. At least until spring.

We can get mail now, by the way.

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