Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Going Postal

The rural mailbox: an opportunity for self-expression.
According to Doug, who lives down the road, Polly, my cross-the-street neighbor, is already pissed at the new people, who haven't even moved in yet. Seems they parked their mailbox on her property without even asking. Here in our rural neighborhood, the mailman likes the boxes all on one side of the street, making delivery easier. And so the new neighbors, whose house is directly across the street from Polly's, had little choice but to plunk their mailbox on the edge of her lawn. Making matters worse, the ground is frozen, so instead of digging a hole and having their mailbox standing on a proper wooden post, they've stuck it in a bucket filled with stones to hold it until the spring thaw.

The alternative to having a mailbox around here is a box at the local post office. Mitch and I opted for that when we moved in, since the ground was frozen back then too, and we weren't as smart as the new folks in dreaming up a solution. Instead, we pay $70 a year for the pleasure of picking up our mail, which is in many ways the best part of living in Maine. Just the other day I overheard the following:

Crusty Old Lady: Morning, John. How's your wife doing?
Crusty Old Man: Not very good.
COL: Home from the hospital yet?
COM: Yup. Third time since Christmas. I'm hoping they fixed her up this time.
COL: Don't count on it. I had a nephew who passed from the same thing.

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