One morning last week, a driver decided to leave the road for a path less traveled through my neighbor’s and my mailboxes.
That path of travel worked about as well as you would expect and both my neighbor and I are now the owners of broken lumber and mangled metal no longer up to the task of holding our mail. The driver in question continued on down the road, and I resigned myself to the fact that I would be out several hundred dollars for my new mailbox.
That afternoon, what to my wondering eyes should appear but a young driver and her dad, full of apology and offering to pay for the damages. I am still in a little bit of shock and awe that the mangler of my mailbox stepped up to take responsibility. I guess I will have to hold off a bit longer on my supposition that good manners and moral obligation are things of the past.
The driver in question said she doesn’t know what happened, and that she was obeying the 20 mph speed limit. Hmm. Like any experienced parent, I know a whopper when I hear one. My guess is that there was a cell phone or music player involved at the time and that her speed was somewhere over the posted limit. My mailbox bore the force of the second impact and was still pushed across the entirety of my front lawn into yet another mailbox. I pointed out to my children the flaws in the girl’s story, so when they need to make up stories in the future they can avoid some of her pitfalls.
I am not upset about my mailbox, though going without mail delivery until a temporary box could be set up was a bit inconvenient. I am awfully glad I won’t have to pay for my own mailbox repair. I just replaced a mailbox two years ago when my daughter took out a neighbor’s box after sliding on a patch of ice. The one thing that upsets me about this mailbox incident is that it may affect the irises that were planted around the base.
Flowers are just flowers and can be replanted, except these flowers were given to me by my sister from her flower beds. She passed away about a year and a half ago. I am not an expert at raising irises, and therefore don’t know if I dig them up now and replant them after the repairs are made whether or not they will survive. I opted instead to ask the repairman to save as many of them as he can when they dig the new hole. Now all I can do is sit back and wait. At least as I wait, I will be able to take comfort in the knowledge that there are still people in this world who do the right thing because it is the right thing, and some of them even live close enough to be called neighbor.
Amy is a writer living in Hendricks County. You can read more of her work at rubymay1029.blogspot.com.