I’ve always loved getting mail.  I still write letters to my friends.  And I look forward to my trips to the post office.  Perhaps it’s genetic.  My grandfather was a rural route mailman.  When he first began making his deliveries, it was with a horse and wagon, and he loved the postal creed that Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.

My grandpa told me that he found most of the rocks for his rock garden along the road on his postal route.

At our current house (for 7 more days) our mail is delivered through a mail slot onto a shelf in the front hall.  From my desk in the basement, I hear the flap swing open and the mail drop in.  It’s a high point of my day.

Though we are going to be living for the next few months in temporary quarters over a business in downtown Mineral Point, we have decided to have our mail switched directly to our unfinished house.  We are out there almost every day, and it will save an extra change of address.  (If you have not changed your address on line lately – you are blissfully unaware of how frighteningly complex and commercial this process has become. )

But to have mail delivered to 3487 County Highway H, we needed to put up a mail box.

We went to the Ridgeway post office and were put in touch with our rural postal delivery person, who advised us on the particulars he would like.  He asked for the biggest mail box possible so that he will not have to drive up the lane with packages.  We purchased one at the Mineral Point Hardware Store across from our new digs.

We decided that it should have a whole tree post to reflect the structure of Underhill House.  There are surprisingly few timbers left after the assembly of the house.  I am amazed how close we came to choosing exactly the right number of trees for the project last summer.  But we found one that has worked very well.  It was from one of the oaks killed by oak wilt, and it had an outer layer of dry rot that we needed to remove with the angle grinder.

Then we stained it with the stain used on the outside timbers of the house.

We used some of the extra stone left over from the slip form stone walls for a retaining wall to level up the postman’s approach to the side of the road, and hauled them down to the road with our good old power wagon.

We dug out the hole to the proper depth and then carted down 8 power wagons full of clear stone to make a well drained area and one that we can access with ease by car or by foot.

Yesterday we set our jumbo mail box on top, so it’s all ready to receive mail.

If you are still inclined to mail correspondence, please consider sending me a card or letter at 3487 County Road H, Ridgeway WI 53582!

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