I removed the side rails from the mailbox, following the instructions. Then I started installing the mailbox without the rails, since it didn't look like the holes lined up, so the rails would have to cover the screws and be pinned back on with the plastic spacers it had come with. But Gretchen picked up the rail and determined that the holes did align with the two screws I'd put in, so I took the screws back out and put the rail on with the plastic screw cover / washer.
And then I discovered that the short screws that came with the post were much too short, because the mailbox was way off center.
OK. There were longer screws. I'd use them. So I pulled out the screws that I'd already installed and switched to the longer ones. And I got one side in.
And then I discovered that the long screws weren't quite long enough when used with the plastic screw cover / washer combo which was just this much thicker than a metal washer.
Mutter, mutter, mutter.
I stuck a screw and nut in a pocket and headed back to Home Depot, making this officially a seven-tripper (or six, if you're being kind). I pulled out the screw to measure it against the provided template.
And I dropped the screw.
Somewhere. I looked in the bins of parts below and didn't find it. Maybe it had rolled under the display. Maybe it was buried somewhere. In any case, it was clear that I wasn't going to find it.
Well, I still had the nut, which I used to determine that I needed a 10-24 machine screw. Now if I only knew how long a screw I needed. I was pretty sure that a two inch screw was longer than the one that I had used, but I really didn't want to turn this into an eight-tripper, so I called home and asked Gretchen to measure one of the screws that remained at home. It was 1.5 inches, so a two inch screw should work nicely.
I bought an extra two-pack of screws and a pack of four nuts, because I was tired of dropping things and having to find them.
Then I headed off to the garden section.
See, when I'd put the post in, the concrete was a couple of inches below the level of the old ground, while the base of the square post was about an inch above the old ground level. I'd suggested to Gretchen that we could build things up and plant flowers later, which she thought was a fine idea -- but not today, as we're expecting another freeze this week.
But if I picked up some edgers, I could build a border around this mess, build up the topsoil, and declare victory. So five round edgers, one longer curved edger, and two bags of topsoil later, I finally checked out and loaded up the trunk.
With the longer screws, things went together nicely. Gretchen applied the numbers to the front of the box and then went inside to work on the dress for Katie's school play this week, while I cut out a bit more of the turf, placed the edgers, and dumped in the two bags of topsoil in the light, but persistent rain.
The topsoil still needs to be tilled out, but that can be done when it's dry.
Except for planting the flowers, this renovation is over.