Are you ordering more and enjoying it less?

My husband ordered a pair of shoes identical to the pair he’s worn out and plans to use for gardening, replacing the identical pair before that, which has holes. In one day this order of shoes traveled via FedEx from Knoxville, Tennessee to Nashville. Three days later they made it to Troutdale, Oregon outside Portland, Oregon and more or less 100 miles east of our home. Three days after arriving in Troutdale, they had traveled further away, 167 miles north to Kent, Washington. I predicted that.

If a used paperback book purchased from a charity shop had gone USPS from the beginning, I would have found it in my box the last time I went to the post office. Instead it was shipped via a USPS “partner,” One Stop Mailing. That book’s journey started in Portland, Oregon, then it went to Illinois. It’s in Las Vegas today.

You can’t make this silliness up.

The painting shipped via UPS from the other side of the country is lost forever. Now, every time we see a shipment arrive in Hodgkins, Illinois, we hold our breath till it leaves that hub.

The hand sewn doll from Russia took months to get here. I suspect U.S. customs took her apart because she wasn’t put back together quite right. But at least she arrived.

The US Postal Service does not deliver to our physical residence. This is true for several communities in our county. The thing is, they do almost always deliver.

A FedEx delivery person walked into our garage unmasked a couple of weeks ago, and because of that I tried very hard to find a shipper of the popover pan that would deliver to our post office box. The shipper accepted our P.O. Box address but then could not deliver to the P.O. Box. “We never deliver to Post Office boxes,” I was told by FedEx, the shipper I had been trying to avoid. Well, then why accept the package and ship it across country . . . ? That led to a series of desperate measures on my part and eventual delivery of the popover pan to a drop-off station fifteen miles north, after a replacement popover pan arrived our Post Office box, and eventually yet another popover pan via FedEx. Gary is afraid we have been charged for all three; I am certain we have been billed for just one. I even contacted the company to ask how to pay for the excess, but they don’t want me to pay anything more. The pans are made in America and if I am right about what we’ve been billed, I will go order more stuff from them. (If they promise not to ship FedEx.) They really did go overboard making it right.

We order used CDs and books, fabric and handspun yarn, and the part Gary needed to repair the phantom flush of the toilet. He tried to buy that one locally, but the store was so crowded he decided it was safer just to order online.

Since we try not to pick up the mail more than once (or twice) a week, we pay close attention to tracking. The local drop-off station for private shippers (who eventually received and delivered two of the popover pans) says the rush of shipments has already exceeded what he would normally expect around Christmas. He’s a little concerned about how everyone will manage in a couple of months.

For a few weeks in midsummer, I ordered nothing except food. But yesterday I ordered a skein of yarn and then another skein from the same hand spinner in Texas. The vendor messaged me, suggesting that she refund the purchases so that I could reorder them together and earn free shipping. That was just so sweet! I look forward to yarn arriving though it does mean I will have to get the next warp on my loom sometime soon.

All of this fuss about shipping is trivial, we know. There are more important, life-altering events heading our way.

In the mean time, tracking provides much-appreciated comic relief.


  1. Jan, I had to laugh at your adventures with shipping issues. I’m trying to sort out some of these myself, but even more mysterious is the duplication of three orders from Amazon lately. Fortunately, they are gracious with returns and refunds but that uses up my time getting things to a shipper. As you said, “there are more important, life-altering events heading our way.” The comic relief is appreciated.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. An update: Gary’s shoes were “delivered” this morning to Portland, OR at 7:40. We don’t live in Portland and the physical address they have for us is not in Portland. I am expecting FedEx to transfer our package to the USPS, which does not delivery to our physical address.

    In another three days, Gary can ask for a refund.


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