I have never actually measured the distance from the house to the mailbox, but figure it’s a little more than a quarter mile. Ordinarily it’s a pleasant walk up and back, and occasionally there’s even something interesting inside the box. When you’re a freelancer with no regular income, the mailbox can be your best friend.
Today, though, I’m suffering from the beginnings of what I hope will be a mild cold. Sore throat, chills, brain stuffed with gauze. Still, the mailbox beckoned, as did clean-up duties in the corral. A few minutes ago, shortly before 3 pm, I forced myself out the door and to the corral, then for the walk up to the paved road, where the mailbox stands.
There’s a storm blowing in. The wind isn’t punishing, but it’s constant. The sky is an unbroken mass of clouds, like molten lead poured into a mold with only a few irregularities. Birds have taken refuge, horses are hiding in barns, even the neighbor dogs have sought out cover somewhere.
I made the trek only to find that the outgoing mail was still sitting in the box. I looked at the board between box and post, that I had to install to make our oversized mailbox work on the existing post. It’s splitting and will have to be replaced, but not today. I walked back.
As soon as I got through the gate, a car came over the hill toward us. The weekend mail carrier.
Back up to the road, this time to pick up two magazines and a catalog. At least there were no bills in it. Days when the walk is less than pleasant and all I find are bills, it’s like the mailbox is insulting me.
Under ordinary circumstances, a little extra walking, for someone with a life as sedentary as a writer’s, is not at all a bad thing.
Today, though, wasn’t the day for it.
I think I’ll go back to bed again.