CANTON, Conn. — One woman in Canton needed to find a solution to a daily problem.
She had a hard time getting the mail from her mailbox.
Now, all thanks to a simple idea and a man who could make it happen, she found the answer she was looking for.
Betty Feret can be found perched on her front porch, which looks out on a busy road in Canton.
Every time this 90-year-old wanted to get her mail, she’d have to walk all the way up her driveway while also being mindful of the cars whizzing down the hill.
“The last time I went, I tripped there and fell. If I picked my foot up that much further, I wouldn’t have fallen and that’s when I thought, you better start looking for something. And we did,” said Betty.
Betty came up with an innovative way to get her mail by drawing from her experiences as a child.
“I lived on a farm and I had to drive, take the horse back and forth to pull hay,” said Betty.
She enlisted the help of Mark Wilcox, who owns Connecticut Country Landscaping.
Over the years, Wilcox has done work at her house.
“She kept on asking, ‘you know? What if I use a clothesline,’” said Wilcox.
From there, Wilcox came up with an idea to help Betty
It’s a pulley that Betty can bring her mail-box in and send it back out, without leaving her favorite spot.
“The top cable is what keeps it secure so it runs straight and doesn’t sag. Otherwise, the string would lose its tension and sag down real low,” said Wilcox.
Wilcox says it was Betty who added the finishing touches.
“She put a clip in here and connects it to her mail, so if the mailman goes in there and it falls, she just has to grab the string and it won’t be on the ground,” said Wilcox.
The mailbox invention has drawn quite the crowd.
“They’re interested in what the heck it is,” Betty said.
Betty’s daughter, Susan says this has made a big difference in her mom’s daily life.
“She’s always been creative, inventive, and very independent, and anything we can do to support her and stay independent is great,” said Susan.
Susan says Betty’s neighbors have helped make that independence possible.
“Everyone here adopted her. She’s like everybody’s grandma,” Susan said.
While she might unofficially be everyone’s grandma, there is one title that’s all hers.
“She is the queen of the mailbox! So, it’s worked out wonderfully,” said Susan.