I was blessed to have the parent’s I was born too. My dad passed away in 2009 and my mom is still living today. For years I have watched the changes in my parents. Both were very strong, hard-working people, but as time passes by they are not as well-balanced as they walked. Our mail box is just a few inches from a highway and on the South West side there is a blind hill that every one flies over.
My Mom at first had the mailbox she could go into the ditch to the back of it and safely get her mail and paper. As she has aged her abilities to go into the ditch have become dangerous. This dilemma bothered me to no end. She loves to walk to her mailbox and would never give that up until there would be no choice.
I did a great deal of research on the internet with no real solution. Being raised in the area I have been my mind began to think of gates that swing open and close for farmers. I began to mesh the idea of a mailbox that could swing like a gate. I designed it using four by fours, deck screws, wire support, and commercial grade hinges. I did not like the going into the ditch idea so the birth of a small bridge came to mind and I built it for her. Now, my Mom does not have to enter the highway at all. She can cross her bridge, unlatch the “Mailbox Gate”, swing the mail and paper to herself, gather the all she needs, swing it back to the highway, latch it back, cross her bridge in total safety. I am extremely happy that one of the loves of my life is safer by the labor of my mind, heart, and hands.
I built one for my sister in the same “Mailbox Gate” form, but with a large “T” for support. I painted all the other four by fours in white and painted the large “T” in orange. She is a Vol fan in Tennessee. The one thing I am bothered by is my sister’s short bank of dirt for the main support posts. I feel like I need to rework it, but time and energy seems to what I am short of.
I thought this would be a great thing to offer to other people who have similar situations. I looked into a patent for the design, but the money would cost too much and finding how people could take the patent idea and make a slight change to claim it as their own detoured me from any further thoughts.
The conclusion is if you love something enough, have compassion on their circumstances you will think outside the box until all options have been exhausted or you have created a solution that makes their life better. Have a great day in-spite of what may come your way.