My husband and I often do a holiday good deed to celebrate the season of good will toward man. Usually we do this anonymously, in the fashion of find a need and fill it.
I had noticed a battered mail box on my often traveled route to town. It was a lovely shade of pink and was hanging by one nail on its; post. Obviously, the victim of bored teen-age vandals. I saw and elderly lady hobbling painfully toward the mail box one morning as I drove by. It tugged at my heart, thinking how she had lovingly painted this mail box the sweet color of pink. Adding a touch of prettiness on this stretch of bleak road. Only to have it beaten and nearly demolished. As though mocking her attempts to brighten her world.
I went home and announced to my husband that I had found our good deed project. I ask him to find the new mail box we had bought when we had moved onto our acreage three years prior. Having found there was an old mailbox already on the road, the new one was delegated to one of the storage sheds. He found it still in the box and glieamingly new. But alas, black in color. It was raining and was not conducive to painting. However ingoing through my craft box I found some bright Pink tropical fish decals. I placed them on the mail; box and admired my creative skills. Hy husband mounted some decorative wrought iron pieces on two T Posts creating a protective arch. Assuring the new mail box form being damaged by bashers. Off we went in the rain to install the new mail ;box. Not without some gumbling from my husband about his projects being interrupted on his one day off.
We found that the mail box needed a new piece of wood to mount it securely. Placing the old pink mail box on the ground aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand the new one installed temporarily. I left my husband, entrusting him to return home and cut a new board. I continued on to town to get a card to place in the new box.
I wrote on the card that we hoped the lady would enjoy the new mail box and know that people cared. I signed it simply; “A neighbor”. In placing the card in the box I saw that my husband had not completed the job and the mail box was still not mounted properly. I was very annoyed by this until I arrived home to find my husband in his still dampclosthes asleep in his reclining chair. How could I nag this dear man that was so exhausted on his one day off? I meekly decided to let him sleep. After all this was another one of “My projects”.
The next day, armed with some homemade bread and the piece of wood I headed for the lumber store to barter. They very quickly agreed to cut the wood for me as the smell of the breead and the story of the mail box touched their senses.
I had just finished installing the last screw ont the mai box and stood back to admre our handiwork when the middle aged woman approache dand inquired what I was doing. I proudly told her of my husband and my tradition of doing a good will deed for the holidays. Then handed her the card as I told her the story of the little old lady.
She frowned as she read the card then informed me that she owned the pink mail box. She did not know who the old lady I thought I saw could be. She did not appreciate me removing her land mark. It seems it took her several years to convince the post office to deliver her amil at the top of her drive. The old pink mail box was used as a road marker. It seems all the local peole knew to turn at the pink mail box. And her sons’ buddy who was away at college used the mail box to announce when he was in town by giving it a bash.
With a red face, I dismantled the new box, replaced the old pink one on the post. And thought of my husbbands’ amusement when I told him of how some good deeds should begin at home. I replaced our old rusted out mail box with the shinny black on with the pink tropical fish. I found some solace inthe old saying; “It is the thought that counts”. Hummed a few bars of “Good Will Towards Men”, as I planned how I could bake low fat cookies for a neighbor that was fighting a weight problem.