While we were in Vermont with my family this past October, we managed to complete one of our first goals in the creation of our homestead: obtaining an address. This turned out to be a simple matter of measuring the distance from the center of our driveway to the center of the next nearest one. We did this with a surveyor's wheel which we borrowed from our friend, Jack. The distance was 480 feet.
The day after we walked from our drive to the next, we called the town clerk's office and gave them this information. In return, they assigned us an official address!
Now that we're actually here, it's time to get a mailbox. I've been looking forward to this task for ages, as I love writing letters, and having a permanent address and a mailbox is such a symbol of home to me. I even got a return address stamp with our new Vermont address on it for Christmas from my friend, Julia. I can't wait to use it!
So, for the past few days, we've been chipping away at operation mailbox. First, we went to our local hardware store, Greenberg's, and bought a sledgehammer, cedar post kit, and a mailbox to put on top of it. We also purchased number stickers and reflector thingies to go on either side of the post.
On the way back from the hardware store, I called our local post master to ask how the process works. A gushingly friendly postal woman answered all of my questions about where it should go (how high and far from the road, etc). She also said we needed to pick up a "route card", which we're supposed to fill out and leave in our mailbox with the flag up. Once our mail person picks it up, we're officially on his or her route!
But first, we needed to see if we could even get our new mailbox post into the ground. The lady at the post office suggested putting it in a five gallon bucket filled with sand and water if we had trouble. As long as it stayed cold, this would freeze as hard as concrete, and would allow us to start getting mail before the ground thawed.
Thankfully, that wasn't necessary because our cedar post kit came with a piece of angle iron to hammer into the ground first. Once Tyler pounded it in, I smashed our cedar post onto it—the pre-drilled hole in the bottom was a tight fit! Later, Tyler returned to the roadside to install the mailbox itself.
The next day, we left our route card in the mailbox, along with some homemade banana bread and a friendly note to butter up our mailman. We'd heard that he was a stickler, and that if he didn't like where your mailbox was placed, he simply wouldn't deliver your mail! After leaving our gift in the box, we put the flag up and waited to see what would happen.
It seems comical, but we were on the edge of our seats about it. Would he come in the morning or in the afternoon? Would he take our route card? Would he leave the banana bread or take it!? Much to our delight, this was what we found a day later: