I had just pulled into my driveway when my youngest daughter, who was on her way to deliver my grandson Mason, called. As I excitedly asked my daughter questions about the impending birth, three women, walking a large dog (in hindsight I think the dog was leading the walk) stopped in my driveway. It seems the dog wanted to sniff my mailbox. The two girls and their mother tried to explain to their pet that my mailbox didn’t need inspecting. However, before they could convince the pup to back off, the dogs chain wrapped around the post. The post gave before the dog. It snapped like a twig, it sounded like a firecracker, and just like that my mailbox was gone.
The girls were beside themselves giggling. Mom was mortified. Nearly in tears, she yelled at the girls, and the dog, she looked towards her daughters and said, “IT’S NOT FUNNY STOP LAUGHING!” and then she pointed at the dog and yelled, “PUT IT BACK!” Neither obeyed. The girls tried to hold back their laughter with little success. The dog raced down the street with my mailbox following closely behind.
Mom, with terror in her eyes, came to my car window begging for my forgiveness. All I could do was laugh and then explain I was talking with my daughter, who was on her way to the hospital to give birth. My daughter was laughing her head off as I gave her a play by play description of the crime scene. I told the dog owner I couldn’t talk, but politely assured her it was OK — it was an accident.
But Wait, There’s More!
A few weeks later, Butch and Lynn, my next door neighbors, knocked on my door. Lynn stood back with a sad expression and let Butch do the talking. It seems Lynn had run over my new mailbox. Unlike the previous mailbox, which had been accidentally destroyed by the canine inspector, the new box was installed to withstand wind, rain, sleet, snow, and tornadoes, just not being backed into by an SUV.
The old mailbox post had rotted about six inches below the ground. I learned my lesson and installed the new post into more than two feet of cement. It wasn’t going anywhere, and it wasn’t going to rot. It was set with the intention of never coming out of the ground.
After several hours, and the help of a neighbor, the box was out. Although the post was broken the mailbox itself was unscathed, I hated throwing it away, but I already had another box, provided by Butch and Lynn, to replace it. I hate throwing useful things away, just ask my wife. So, I did the only logical thing, I put the old mailbox in the backyard, next to the gate. I use the backyard mailbox to “send” my wife cards. When the flag is up the postman has visited. Who said romance was dead?
Here’s My Point
Okay, it’s a funny story, and I laughed while it was happening. However, there have been times I didn’t laugh; times I didn’t find the humor in life. Those times when I allowed anger to set in rather than put things in perspective weren’t fun. They weren’t good for me or anyone around me. The bigger lesson for me wasn’t about mailboxes, but taking control of my emotions and holding myself accountable to focusing on the good. I mean, I got two new mailboxes, one in the backyard, a great story, and a healthy grandson. I found humor in a mailbox. What more could I ask for?
Randy Clark is the Director of Communications at TKO Graphix, where he blogs for TKO Graphix Brandwire. Randy is passionate about social media, leadership development, and flower gardening. He’s the proud father of two educators; he has four amazing grandchildren, and a wife who dedicates her time to helping others. Randy is the author of How to Stay Ahead of Your Business Blog Forever and The New Manager’s Workbook: A Crash Course in Effective Management.