I have an old fruit ladder, useless, and I almost dumped it about four months back. Son Doug encouraged me to do something artistic with it, instead. My mailbox post was rotted and wobbly, so I decided to turn the ladder into a mailbox holder. I always wanted to have a fun mailbox holder with a box reading “AIRMAIL” with a set of wings on it. One of those plans that kind of simmers in the back of the brain without exactly figuring out how to do it.
When I went to the super bowl gig on Friday, I asked Doug to bring his tools and he measured and drilled a hole through the box. daughter-in-law Laurie had previously painted it. This has become a multi-person effort as you will see.
Enter neighbor Gary Gonzalez, and our neighborhood critic, Kristi Darby. Kristi giving me a ration about my funky ladder mailbox holder and Gary, a pilot, gave me his wings. How cool is that? He also helped me paint the ladder with anti-freeze as a preservative. This was several weeks ago, as the project takes shape and these pictures were taken yesterday as we gathered around the mailbox to install the unwieldy contraption to my fruit ladder. The ladder was erected by neighbor Cameron Stewart. This is a terrible picture, but I was so excited about the installation, I didn’t do a good job. Kristi is holding the leash for her dog, Keely who also witnessed the installation but failed to anoint the ladder. Tsk, tsk! I forgot to bring champagne, too.
This is what it looks like, sitting on a support, awaiting installation which took the genius and skill of neighbor Mike Cameron. He is a builder and I asked if he’d like to try something challenging.
He rolled up with his truck and tools. Measured and drilled a template.
He drilled the hole, and fashioned a support system for it. The quick favor I asked of him took about two hours.
And up it went. It is top-heavy and the needed bracing was a challenge in a tight space. He showed me how to strengthen the bracing on the the rest of the ladder. And, we ended up changing the position of the mailbox to have the painted side face the street. Again, I was so excited I forgot to take a final shot. But, the project isn’t complete yet. I’ve never had a neighborhood mailbox party, but when it is complete, why not?
And, of course, Kristi, being Kristi, told me I’d better get my regular mailbox painted and she told Gary what trees he should trim. I love creative suggestions. Hmm. Maybe it would look better bright orange?
But then, something else happened. The Email box that sits half way down the ladder had, I thought, caught some stray Christmas ribbon blowing in the wind. I thought I had closed the box after my rude paint job, but having it opened, and the ribbon blowing in the wind made me think it would make a good birdhouse. Mike said to me, “there’s a letter in that box.” HUH?
It had been through wind, and damp and a month of nights. I traced over the letters as I struggled to read them. I loved the “stamp”.
And here is a letter from Santa Claus with this charming poem. I checked with the usual suspect, the neighborhood prankster, Jan Stewart. She claims it wasn’t her. I guess I’ll have to ask Cindy Gonzalez, who has been a regular at the gatherings. I didn’t get her picture either. Cindy? Are you the culprit?