Just when I think Iíve made peace with the situation, I have a day with no mail. Iíve grown used to sliding into my boots every afternoon at about 4:30 so I can walk out through the mud and get my mail. A month ago I wouldnít have dreamed of doing that without complaining loudly. Ten days ago I couldnít have imagined Iíd still be doing it today, with no end in sight. Now itís just another part of my day, like shaving, a bit of a nuisance but nothing to get all het up about.
Except I want my mail every day. I skip shaving whenever I think I can get away with it, but I resent all those holidays when thereís no mail delivery.
So when I tromped out there this afternoon at 4:30 and found the mailbox empty, I stood there for a few minutes, willing the mail truck to appear around the bend in the road. Then I headed back up the drive and stood near the house, where I had the clear view of the mailbox I canít get from anywhere inside. I watched for a while but finally gave up, hosed off my boots, and went back inside.
There were several possibilities. Maybe, just maybe, I didnít have any mail today. This seemed to be such a remote possibility that it immediately occurred to me that I should keep watch, because the carrier was probably just late. So I put the step stool in front of the one window that has the least obstructed view of the end of the drive and stood on it and watched.
As I watched, I thought of a third, more ominous possibility. What if my carrier simply refused to drive the mail truck through the mud? What if my mail wasnít being delivered because of the muck in my driveway? Thatís probably not what happened, since Iíve been getting my mail every day (except for those infernal holidays) since the big storm on New Yearís Eve. But still. What if?