But I haven’t yet told you about the adding-insult-to-injury end of the trip.
(This is where you say “oh, mom” and roll your eyes in anticipation of there being something you’ll need to roll your eyes about.)
As we pulled into the driveway, I said to Dad, “Um, where’s our mailbox?”
Because right there, where our mailbox has always lived, was absolutely nothing.
“Huh?” said Dad reaching for the garage door opener.
It’s hard to explain the enormity of a missing mailbox. It’s just one of those things in life you assume is permanent—until it isn’t. Like cable TV or the general election.
We drove up the driveway and there—leaning haphazardly against the recycling bin—was our mailbox.
We immediately deduced from its angle that chipmunks hadn’t moved it on a whim. We were tired so we didn’t immediately rule out angry blue jays (hey, I can’t fill the bird feeder if I’m out of state), but it turned out not to be them either.
Several days, a few hours of sleep, and a conversation or two with our neighbors, and we learned that a) the post on the mailbox had rotted out and b) our neighbor who was kindly emptying our mailbox [the better to confuse the robbers] knocked it over with superhuman strength. Then he propped it against our house.
This past weekend, we reseated the mailbox. But it’s now on the other side of the driveway because it seemed like a good idea.