Wednesday, September 5, 2018


I haven't moved for a long, long time. In my youth I lived across the Mississippi on an apple orchard in La Crescent, Minnesota and when my owners moved, they moved me with them. I really don't even know how old I am.  

One week ago my life may have changed forever. You see I had hung around on this same lane for over 40 years with views of a pond where loons, turtles, ducks, muskrat, beaver and many others have visited/lived.  In fact, we usually have a couple of sand hill cranes hanging around nearby. The pond, fed by a spring in the adjacent hillside, has been plugged up by some aggressive beaver so it remains pretty stagnant. Next to me sits a small bridge over Coon Creek known for its good trout fishing. Many a fisherman have thrown a line in enjoying shade from trees lining its banks. It is Coon Creek who is really the main character in this story as I'm just the narrator. 

My job has always just been to hold my owner's mail. I am now dented, rusty with a fading rainbow on my side, a large old country mailbox whose life's usually pretty serene.

I have had a couple of float trips before last week as Coon Creek to my east across the lane jumped her banks and has removed me twice before. In 2007 after 14 inches of rain my owners thought I was gone for good and replaced me with a smaller shiny black version. (You know they don't make them like they used to)... only to put me back on a new perch after the neighbor discovered me down stream. 

The new mailbox became a planter. 

Then nine months later, a 100 yr flood and Coon Creek moved me again. Once again I was returned to my owners and sat on another perch until a week ago a flash flood ripped me up with such fury, I'm not sure if I will be found this time. The water came higher and faster than it ever has before stretching all the way from one hillside to the opposite. I've heard tell that other mailbox who replaced me was herself yanked out this past Monday. I may have even seen her floating by with the neighbor's mailbox this time, that two timer. 

The neighborhood just doesn't look the same after two flash floods in a week. AND they say there is no such thing as climate change. Coon Creek doesn't even recognize herself being a half mile wide with a crazy crash diet shrinking back to her original size in 24 hours. 

This time my poor owners are stuck thanks to Coon Creek coming up higher with almost 2 feet of rushing water over the end of their driveway. Here's a visual so you can see where it normally hits the black top. Yep, this time she left a gaping 3 ft hole that no vehicle can circumvent. Her current was stronger than ever before.

Look at the biggest indentation where I used to reside at its disappeared edge. You can tell how far over the road went from the foreground of the pavement.

Home, sweet home
This is south of the bridge. Yep, somehow even after 2 flash floods in a week, the bridge is still there.  Compromised, I'm sure.

Here's a view of the north side of the bridge even late afternoon yesterday, the water was still running over part of it. The water had covered the bridge's railings again the night before. Who knows what Coon Creek'll look like in 24 hours?

I don't think I will be returning to my old life. But only time will tell. Water is almighty and Coon Creek and the Coulee have had their fill of it. Last night another storm ravaged through dumping another 2 inches according my owner's gauge. If I'm not found, I can say I have lived a good life and Coon Creek will live on ... 

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