I was sound sleep last night at 11:30 p.m. when I heard a horrendous crash and raised myself on my pillow so I could look at the window facing Clayton Road. I knew what I had heard; our mailbox getting smashed. It was too late to do anything about it so I laid back down and listened to the car (or more likely truck) zoom away in the distance, gunning the engine all the while. The neighbor's dog, which had finally quieted, began barking non-stop.
This morning, while I was brushing my teeth, I looked out towards Sam's lane and saw his grandson, Jared, placing his mailbox back beside the road. Now, with daylight, I looked out the window to see ours and saw only a hole in the ground!
When I finally got dressed and went out, here's what I found. The post had been smashed and pulled wholly from the ground. Even the mailbox was mangled. So, I grabbed a hammer and nails and a shovel and went out to work beside the road rather than get my other scheduled tasks done.
The post is shattered but I managed to press-fit the pieces together long enough to get some nails driven in. I used a couple of logs from our woodpile as a sawhorse. The mailbox is again vertical and will accept today's mail but it's a bit of a mess. Splinters of wood are hanging out. Nothing is straight. And though I bent the mailbox back into a reasonable shape, you have to close the door carefully and line it up with the box.
Naturally I called the police and a patrolman came and took a report. He showed me where the car, traveling north, was off the road from Sam's property and through the edge of our front yard. "I imagine he was drunk and hurrying home. Kids don't usually hit mailboxes with their car because they don't want to damage them," he said. Baseball bats are the weapon of choice.
We lose about one mailbox per year and it often happens about the time school starts. School nights are less likely than weekend nights, though. In any case, we're back together ... somewhat. But where is the regard for personal property and individual responsibility? I suppose both have been missing from our lives for a long time.