The Roundup -

Packets, Parcels, and Packages

 


We have absentee neighbors. They live just down the road from us during the summer months, but they have obligations in Nevada so they live in that state for the winter season. Sometimes they need to order items for their Montana home while they are still stuck in Nevada. On these occasions they email us to advise us that a parcel or package of theirs is on the way, sent to us under our name and at our post office box. We collect the parcel when it arrives and stow it safely at their house so their purchase sits waiting for them when they arrive in Montana for the summer.

A few weeks ago, I received an email from my neighbor advising me that she had ordered a lamp and had it mailed to us at our address. About a week later, a parcel arrived. My husband picked it up, griped about the weight, and wondered what kind of lamp our friends had ordered that weighed so much. He used a hand cart to unload this box. He figured it would need assembly as well, considering the size and the odd shape of the parcel. However, he dutifully delivered the oversized box to our neighbor’s house and left the package sitting on the kitchen floor.

I emailed my friend telling her we received and delivered the lamp.

A few days later I received a packet from Amazon. I hadn’t ordered anything, my husband said he hadn’t ordered anything, so I assumed it belonged to my neighbor. I dropped it off at their house on my way by and emailed her that evening to tell her another little parcel had arrived.

She responded that same evening to let me know she was not expecting any other packages. She asked me to go to her place, open the packet, see what was in it, and we would go from there. She also advised me that the telephone number of the person who ordered the parcel would appear somewhere on the shipping label, usually at the bottom.

I decided I would check out the packet the next day. I had errands to do in Virginia City first thing in the morning, so I figured I would complete my tasks downtown, check the mail, and stop at the neighbors on my home to investigate the little package that neither one of us had ordered.

The following morning, I walked down the hill to Virginia City, completed my business, then stopped at the post office before heading home.

We had another parcel waiting for us at the post office. This one clearly said ‘lamp’ on the box. I scratched my head in perplexity. If this box contained the neighbor’s lamp, then what on earth had we dropped off at their house the week before?

I carried the parcel, which supposedly contained a lamp, back up the hill and stopped at the neighbors to investigate the situation.

The small packet I had left there the day before clearly had my name on it, and when I found the telephone number on the shipping label, I knew the package belonged to me. A former neighbor in Crane had ordered it, as I recognized the telephone number, and when I opened the packet I discovered a birthday gift my friend had sent me.

What fun! One puzzle solved. I turned my attention to the large, misshapen box we had delivered a week earlier. According to the shipping label, it contained a replacement part for a Snow Bear snowplow. A snowplow? The only person on this hill with a Snow Bear plow from a Canadian company happens to be my husband. There was nothing wrong with his plow, and I knew he hadn’t mentioned ordering any additional part for it. I checked further on the shipping label, and there was his phone number in bold print.

I walked home and inquired of my husband if he was expecting anything for his snowplow. He looked at me in total confusion and said NO. I then advised him that his name was on the heavy box we had left at the neighbors, that the label said snow plow replacement part, and it was from the Canadian company from Ontario. My husband adamantly maintained he had never ordered a replacement part.

By this time my spouse exhibited signs of complete annoyance with my insistence that the parcel contained snow plow parts and therefore obviously belonged to him, while I uncharitably toyed with the thought that he was in the throes of galloping dementia. We trudged back over to the neighbor’s house. My husband looked at the label, and yes, he saw his name and his address and his telephone number written in plain English on the label, and yes, the box came from the Canadian company and supposedly contained some piece of a snowplow.

We opened the box right there in the neighbor’s kitchen. Sure enough, a part for his snow removal equipment sat in the box. We rooted through the packing material to discover the letter advising us that the company voluntarily replaced a 40-pound hitch attachment on the model of plow that my husband had purchased, and here it was.

Between the two of us, we carried the replacement piece home.

I think at this point we have everything sorted out. I have my packet that I didn’t know was on the way, my husband has the plow part he didn’t know he needed, and our neighbors will have their lamp when they arrive here in a few weeks.

 

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