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.

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