Thursday, August 7, 2008

Here is Crazy Mail Lady's work, rotated 90 degrees from it's original location. Nice, huh?

Okay, since my last post was so serious, I feel the need to lighten the mood. My mail lady hit my mailbox the other day. Which is not actually very hard because I do it more than I would admit. However, the difference is that I own my mailbox and if I want to hit it every day than I will. Crazy mail lady...a different story. I heard a scraping and looked out my bedroom window to see the mail truck way closer than it should have been, like with it imbedded in the side of the truck. I waited, expecting that she (CML) would come and tell me that she had hit it and then we would inspect the damage together to see what happened. Alas, my wait was in vain since she detangled herself from the pesky mailbox and got the heck out of Dodge. Well, that did not sit so well with me since I saw her do it, and I wondered if she would have done the same thing to my car (I think yes). I called the supervisor of the mail carriers and he said he would have her come back and talk to me (great, thanks!) and that she was in the wrong for not notifying me (really?). About 10 minutes later, CML comes roaring down our road and she jumps out of the truck. I was sort of thinking that was a strange way to start an apology, but it turns out what it started was her telling me what a crummy postal customer I am. I don't give her a place to turn around, I always block the box (huh?) and that it was a choice of either hitting my mailbox or hitting my car. So I guess that I'm glad she made that choice for me. She said that I was going to have to figure something out about how to relocate my box. My response to her was that I wasn't mad that she hit it, I just thought it was a good idea to tell people when you hit their possessions and that my regular mail carrier (a very nice lady) always manages to deliver our mail without hitting our box or our car. I am grateful to NML that she does not make us choose which of our belongings we would like damaged. CML's attitude was that since our box is old, she shouldn't have to tell me she hit it. I told her I was not asking her to pay for a new mailbox, just to acknowledge that she should have told me and she said that she would pay for it and send a postal inspector out (which is not necessary). I asked her how I should go about relocating my box on a random persons property and wouldn't that cause some problems with the order of the mail. She replied that she didn't care what I did, but that something had to change. Which I agree with, but the change I was thinking of was not hitting our box. She then yelled at me that her supervisor called to find out why she had wrecked her truck (again, something clearly my fault!). I finally told her that she should leave, that it was no apology at all and she shouldn't have even come. I walked back inside with her yelling at my back the whole time. At this point I made another call to her supervisor to explain the outcome of her return. He told me that he had told her to come back and apologize. I said, "she came back, but I wouldn't call that an apology". He then explained to me that he had called her to ask when she was going to report her accident and she played dumb about it (I think he might have given her too much credit for playing dumb, but whatever...). He finally asked her point blank if she hit the box and suddenly she remembered something about that happening, but she didn't think that was an accident, since she only hit my mailbox. When he heard what she had done when she came back to our house, he said that he was sorry and that they couldn't have their carriers out there "acting all spastic". I haven't heard anything more, but I can assure you that I park my car way out of her reach so that her choices when delivering mail are 1. hitting my mailbox or 2. not hitting my mailbox. I figured that it was probably a good idea to remove my car from the option of things to hit.

We have the privilege of living near the airport where fallen soldier Army Cpl. Matthew Phillips arrived. Since we have such a military background in our family, I thought it was important that the kids see what the actual cost of the sacrifice is for families. It was very hard to see Cpl. Phillips wife so young and grieving so much, but so brave in the face of what must be the worst thing imaginable. It was a very moving experience to see so many of the people from my town stopping their lives to honor such a brave man. Cpl. Phillips and the other men fighting with him faced an impossible situation and met it with courage. It makes me so proud of all the men and women who have made the choice to defend our freedom with their lives.

The Patriot Guard was in full force and I am thankful that they have committed to protecting grieving families from the nuts that use these situations to prove that they are right in whatever nutcase opinion they hold. I didn't realize that they started the Patriot Guard to show respect for the fallen heroes, but also to drown out protester with their loud engines and singing. Can you imagine what that looks like to have these burly men singing? Amazing...

We are probably very unusual in that we have not isolated our children from these things. My sister's best friend was killed in Iraq in 2006, and it was such a great loss in so many ways, but it was a loss that we shared with our kids as young as they were. I think the positive aspect of this is that my children know that it's not just a cool job, but a sacrifice on the part of many people to be a soldier. My utmost respect to the families who are fighting on the homefront while their precious son, daughter, mother, father or other family member fights so far away. Never knowing what the knock on the door will bring or an unfamiliar car in the driveway means.

To the soldiers who serve all over the world, my family thanks you and your families for your service. We anxiously await your safe return, and send our respect and prayers out to you every day.