Tuesday, April 13, 2010

the mailbox, the deer, and the car

In the last post I mentioned that after selling some land our mailbox might need to be moved, but that the Post Office said we could leave it where it was for now.

Well, guess what...

I had gone to bed a little early and was sleeping soundly enough that I never even heard the noise outside, but a soft knock on the bedroom door woke me at about 11:30pm.


"Yes?" I scuttled to the door quickly in the dark and moved into the hallway.

"Did you hear it?"

"No...hear what?"

She took me to her brother's room, across the hall from mine, and through his window we saw that a car had gone off the road and had it's headlights pointing in a direction no headlights should point. We live at the top of a hill, and in the black of the cloudy night, it was hard to tell what had happened way down on the road, but they both told me of the sounds they'd heard: first a loud screech... and she thought then she heard a "thunk, thunk, thunk". Two cars had already stopped to help -- they must have been close behind. I called 911 and they thanked me but told me they had already been called. We watched as flashers pulled up -- first a police car and later a "flatbed tow truck" as we called it. No ambulances. This was a good sign. We watched from the window, we watched from the deck, we watched from the porch, but we did not go down there because there was already help and we would most likely just be in the way.

An our or so later the phone rang, and the deputy was on the line. He was calling to let me know that there was some damage to our mailbox. Well, to the post. And mail had been scattered but he'd picked it up already. And here, he said, is the driver's insurance information if you need it.

Turns out that a deer had caused the accident, there were no serious injuries, but the car was a mess. We went down the next morning to look things over and discovered that our mailbox post was broken in two places, one below ground level! Snapped right off below the ground!! The little tree bush right by the mailbox is pretty skinned up, too.

Do you know what this means? We are moving the mailbox, that's what. We will not wait after all, because half the work is already done! Husband went out and bought a new post and paint, and new numbers. (I have to find that insurance info tomorrow.)

And as convenient as this is for us, I feel bad for the woman who must have been scared to death when that deer ran out in front of her, and thankful that she wasn't hurt badly, sorry that her car was totaled and thankful that the deer got away.

But also, it makes me keenly aware, once again, that life has changed. The place where the mailbox was is no longer our land. It belongs to someone else now. It's funny how grief rises up at the most unlikely moments after a loss, even a loss that you chose, and sort of smacks you when you least expect it. Grief is not polite.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Spring Rain

Thunderstorms rolled through here yesterday, loudly announcing the arrival of spring! The sun rose but we didn't see it though the clouds, and about midmorning, it got dark again as those clouds turned black. There was lightening and thunder and all kinds of fun, and we watched out the window and didn't get much else accomplished.

About 11:25am, some 15 minutes after the storm passed and all that was left was the gentle rain and the brightening skies, the power went out. I love when that happens. The world gets quiet like no other time. Usually I don't call the power company right away. I expect some neighbor already has and anyway, why spoil the fun?

But this time I happened to call within about 2 minutes to report the outage. I called again later to get an update on their automated line. Some time after that I received a phone call from the power company asking about our house.

Ok back up a minute - until January, we have owned 15 acres here. The mailbox is at one end of the land and the house is at the other end, which places the driveway around the corner from where the mail box is. We have sold some land and maybe at some point we will have to move the mailbox closer to the house, but the Post Office says they are fine with things the way they are for now. Our address is where the mailbox is. Not where the house is.

So I got a call from the electric company asking me where is my house?? I told her and she said that the guy was in his truck looking for my house. I could see his truck out my window, so I understood the situation. "At the top of the hill", I told her. I could hear her pass the info to him. I asked her if any other houses were without power and she said no, only ours had reported... but she said there could be others that didn't call in because people sometimes figure other neighbors would have already called. Hmmm... yes they do, don't they?

About one minute later a nice young repairman rolled into my driveway. He told me, "Your house doesn't... it isn't..." I think he wanted to say, "it isn't right!" but was trying to be nice about it. I finished his sentence for him and agreed that the house is not where you would expect. He told me it was frustrating (twice) and I apologized(twice). I told him I get calls from the UPS guy sometimes, asking the same questions.

He went out to look at the power pole on the side of the house and sure enough there was a broken switch. "Must have broken when lightening hit it, and then took a few minutes to burn through." I nodded as if I had a clue what he was talking about. I understood enough to know I didn't need any further explanation.

He couldn't get his truck close enough to the pole, so he called another truck to come and he left. When the other truck full of power company men got here they went right to work. They climbed up the pole with those spike-things they have on their boots. Two of them at a time on that pole and one on the ground. They got it fixed -- we were only without power for 2 1/2 hours.

I went outside to tell them thank you, and found the truck alongside the driveway, sitting quietly. "Hey," I said, "I just wanted to say thank you... we have power now."

"I know that," he said. (Well of course he knew, he's the one who fixed it.) "But we can't go anywhere. Flat tire."

Yes indeed, that huge blue and white had a flat tire and sat right there for another Idon'tevenknowhowlong until the another truck -- the tire people -- came and helped them out.

Couple hours, I'm guessing?

Fun day.