Off the Grid  Retirement at our remote log cabin in Colorado

Saturday, May 28, 2016

It Takes a PhD to Move a Mailbox

Posted by: Rick

The same day that a neighbor planted our mailbox at the Wooden Shoe Ranch, someone knocked it over with their car/truck. They probably were not used to it being there and hit it with a mirror or something. Anyway, that broke a hinge on the door. And, while it had limped along working well for a long while, the other day it broke. 

Of course, I used duct tape to provide a temporary fix, but realized I needed to get and install a new mailbox. Lynne suggested we get a larger box so it can hold small parcels. That made sense to me, so we bought a larger (but not the largest available) mail box at the ACE hardware in Laramie the other day.

The duct-taped mail box

Yesterday, I decided to install the new box. It is about a 25 minute drive from the cabin to the row of rural mailboxes. So, I wanted to make sure I had everything I needed. I charged the battery powered drill. I had studied the old mailbox enough to know how to remove it. I needed a hex driver for the drill. Then, I knew I needed to remove the old mounting board, and not knowing exactly how it was attached, I took an assortment of tools. I took several kinds and lengths of wood screws. And, since the new box is longer than the old box, I figured I might need to move the post, so I took my trusty post hole digger. Hammers, saws, drills, bits, screws...I was ready.

Lynne went with me. I got the old box off easily. The mounting plank also came off using a phillips head bit on the drill. I screwed some long wood-to-wood screws into the post here and there to tighten it up some. Then, I installed the new mounting board. 

It was clear that I would need to move the post back about 8". I don't want my box sticking out in front of everyone else's. It makes it harder on the mail delivery person, and increases the risk of it getting hit again. So, I took the post hole digger and began to chop away at the ground. It was as hard as a rock. Maybe it was a rock. I gave up quickly and decided to go ahead and mount the mailbox, even though it would stick out too far, and then come back with additional tools to dig a new hole.

I asked Lynne to hand me the new mailbox from the back of the truck. "What mailbox?" she says. Oh crap. All that preparation and I'd forgotten the damned mailbox.

So, I mounted the old one back on the new mounting board with a couple of screws hoping it would last another day.

Then, today, I borrowed a gasoline powered post hole digger from a neighbor. Equipped with that, I got a new hole started easily and then was able to finish digging the 2 foot deep hole with the manual post hole digger.

Various hole-digging tools

Luckily, I was able to simply pull the post from the old hole and drop it back into the new one. I filled and packed dirt around it, and am pretty happy with my job. I even "future proofed" the new post location, placing it further back than absolutely necessary so if we move to an even bigger mailbox in the future, I won't need to dig another hole.

So, it does definitely take a PhD (post hole digger) to move a mailbox.

Comments:

Haha…thanks for the good laugh! It was fun visiting with you and Lynne today and meeting the adorable new pup. We’ll have to tell you the joke by our friend, the infamous Gary McMahan (Old Double Diamond fame). He has a PHD (post hole digger) from MIT (Milliken Implement & Tire). smile

I confess that the punchline is inspired by the Gary McMahan joke wink

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