Mixing Concrete for Mailbox

We have finally begun to get our share of rain here on the gulf coast. It rains practically every afternoon now. I'm not complaining, of course. We have been under drought conditions for most of this year. But, with our daily rainstorms comes the expected problems. One such problem was my old mailbox. That mailbox has been leaning toward the road ever since I moved into this house six years ago. I knew eventually it would need repair or outright replacement. This past Saturday, I came home from lunch to discover my old mailbox was leaning further than the Leaning Tower of Pisa thanks to a violent morning thunderstorm. I knew I could no longer delay the inevitable. So, a decision had to be made; repair or replacement. I opted for the former. I think the old wood post has a few years left in it. The mailbox itself has a dent. But, I don't care about that. So, off to Lowe's I went.

The hole had already been dug from the previous owner. So, I decided not to fix something that wasn't broken. But, I wanted this fix to last a few more years. I decided on concrete. The problem is that I have never worked with concrete in my life. I found a 40lb bag of Quikrete. Now, for most people, this doesn't sound like a big deal. I have never been what you would call a "handyman" around the house. But, I felt I could do this. So, I got the 40lb bag, a 5lb bag of small pebbles to place on the concrete once it was dry. I wasn't exactly sure how to go about this. So, I read the instructions and it stated 3 liters of water for the 40lb bag of concrete. I tried that but it wasn't enough water. All I had was an immovable sludge. So, I added more water until I had the consistency of oatmeal (which I detest by the way). I mixed it really well with the pipe I had and started pouring it around the post of the mailbox. I then got one of those plastic knifes you use to smooth out icing on a cake (go ahead and laugh) to smooth out the concrete.

I'm proud to say that a retired bricklayer, down the street from me, complimented me on the job I did. He said he couldn't have done a better job himself. I don't know if he was just joking or what. But, the old mailbox with post is set solid and still has a few more years of use left in it. I even got some Thompson's WaterSeal to spray on the post to prolong it's life as well. And, while I was at it, I got some Gorilla Glue so I wouldn't have to worry about the shaky mailbox falling off the post. It is solidly on the post as well. Based on the financial condition of the U.S. Postal Service, it is entirely possible that this old mailbox and post could possibly outlive this venerable government agency.

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