the way out here

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Posted 2/28/24

I do. That was the contract that resulted in a thousand “do’s” since. Careful, young fellas: you want to be mighty sure of the lady to whom you give the power of the …

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the way out here

A new post


I do. That was the contract that resulted in a thousand “do’s” since. Careful, young fellas: you want to be mighty sure of the lady to whom you give the power of the “do.”

Mine was a great choice, I’ll add, before anyone gets the wrong idea. But given the balmy winter weather we’ve been having, it’s a little like spring—and with the normal spring jitters setting in alongside the anticipation of our house being built, my honey-do list is nothing short of intimidating. 

Some items may not seem all that pressing, but we’ve been resorting to the old adage “Why put off for tomorrow what you can do today?” Today, it turned out, we were able to get our hands on a new-to-us milk can for our future mailbox. 

We conversed about setting up a temporary box on our road, and it was ultimately decided that it would be just as easy to build the permanent mailbox that we wanted, rather than taking half measures. 

Our plan was to mount a post inside an old milk can and cement it for base weight and rigidity. The box would then be mounted, as is the usual procedure, on a perpendicular wood platform. Our aunt generously volunteered to help apply custom graphics to the side of the box using her Cricut.

A few minutes on Facebook Marketplace and my wife made plans to pick up an old milk can on our way to the farm. We swung through Home Depot and grabbed a bag of concrete and a wooden mail-post, along with the metal box itself. A short jaunt to the farm, with a friendly parking-lot deal to secure our milk can, and we were ready to execute. 

First step, pacify the urchins. Fortunately, at the farm Grammy was happy to oblige and facilitated a brief playdate at the farmhouse. Shortly thereafter, we lugged our supplies up to the shop to begin our operation. We retrieved the necessary tools from the garage and set to work.

We had done this project before, at our old house. The difference then was that we didn’t have a lid for our milk can. Now we did, and  having lived through the pros and cons of a lidless can, we opted for keeping the lid incorporated. In order to seal it off from rain and weather, though, we needed to cut a patch for the post to go through it. Hopefully, the nice fellow we bought the can from didn’t care if the antique he sold us was immediately chopped up. In any case, out came the grinder and the sparks began to fly. 

We cut our access for the post, then cut our post to length to set it just where it should be according to the needs of the Postal Service. The trick we found after this was that we had to hold the post down in the can to prevent cement from building up under the post and altering the overall height or set. Also, the lid had to be slipped on and held out of the way while we poured in cement mix, cup by cup. 

My wife manned the hose and I scooped cement, guessing at our levels until we could barely see it through the dim lighting and swirling dust. Before we knew it, the cement was fully in and wetted down, and we slid the lid down the post to seat it on the can. We left it to dry and dropped off the mailbox to be labeled. 

We had our mailbox project well in hand, and just needed to set it all up on the roadside. 

The way out here we don’t always get a lot of time to do big projects, but often there’s a project that fits those pockets of in-between time. Another five minutes or so and we’ll have the box mounted on the cured post and five minutes after that it’ll be collecting new bills as fast as we can mail back the checks. Why did we want a mailbox again? Probably because it slows down the bills instead of getting them in a blink through the old interwebs. Anyone want to go back to Pony Express?

the way out here, home, improvement, project,


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