For the first 20 years we lived on our small farm in Iowa it didn't bother me that our mailbox was on the other side of our road. The only thing across from us was a field of corn and the road wasn't busy. In fact, the area was wild enough that coyotes built dens in the field and woke us up at 3:00 a.m. feeding their yelping pups.
Eight years ago, the land was sold for development. Quickly, a huge retirement home went up directly across from our lane. Our mailbox looked like it was a part of the retirement complex and we often got their mail by mistake. Next, several medical clinics went up, followed by a giant YMCA. A hotel, gas station, and restaurant are being built now. So long, coyotes.
Traffic on our road is intense. Crossing to the mailbox during the evening commute was impossible. I started waiting until 8:00 at night to get a safe gap in the cars and trucks. Our older neighbors had it even worse, as their acreage is directly across from the medical clinic and YMCA. They were scared to get their mail, too. They had called the post office a year earlier and been told they couldn't move their mailbox. The route was set.
A few weeks ago, I called and asked for the postmaster. I told him we were risking our lives to cross the road, and we must move the mailboxes to our side. He said he would check with the driver. The next day, he called to say we could make the move. Thank goodness. We didn't waste time. February has been so mild that the ground wasn't frozen and Bob could dig the hole.
Life is full of small victories. Not having to cross the road to get the mail is one of mine. I wrote about it on Twitter and immediately heard from someone who said, "How do I get that done so my 87-year-old father doesn't have to cross the road?" Talk to the postmaster and insist, I said.
When Bob was digging the hole, the letter carrier pulled up with our mail. "I'm so glad you are doing this," he said. "I don't know why we didn't make this change five years ago."
Welcome to our side of the road, Mr. Mailbox.