Monday, May 17, 2021

"Neither Snow nor Rain nor Heat nor Gloom of Night...."


Miracles happen. 

Proof? I finished this quilt, for this beautiful boy,

and this doll quilt for his big (4 yr. old) sister

 in record time. 

Started in March, finished last week. My usual modus operandi, on hearing of an imminent addition to the family tree, is somewhat more drawn out. There are many steps involved. There's the thinking, the planning, the fabric selection, the head scratching, the chin stroking, the self doubt and, always, mid-plot plan changes. And, of course, procrastination. 

All of this takes time, often running into years. The child will usually have advanced to the crawling stage, if not the wobbly walking stage, if not the enrollment in kindergarten stage (but so far not to the college application stage) before they receive their quilt. I love every stitch of it, not least for the serenity the making of it induces. But, in my hands at least, it is not a speedy process.

What prompted the speed, you might wonder, the departure from the usual MO, this time around?

It may be the deafening "Tick-Tock, Tick Tock" that gets louder each year in spite of frequent offers in the mail to "come on down" for the best hearing aid deals in town. And the pandemic, of course, has made us all painfully aware, if we were ignoring the fact previously, that - newsflash - we're all gonna die! And what will happen to all this fabric if my number's up too soon? My shade will wander, disconsolate, in the underworld, finding no rest, 'cause I didn't sew faster when I could have.

Yes. I finished the quilt. And have been in danger ever since of hurting myself, so heartily have I been slapping myself on the back. I took it to the post office a few days ago.

But aye, there's the rub. Will it ever get to London?


In early March I flew to Oregon. The OC dropped me off at the airport. I checked in and made my way to the gate. An uneasy feeling came over me as I waited to board. I couldn't pinpoint what was causing it until, like a missile landing in my brain, it hit me - I'd forgotten my charger. Not only that. A frantic search of my backpack confirmed I'd also forgotten my phone. Both of them safely plugged in at home so they'd be fully charged.... in time for me to swan off to the airport without them. 

Not so long ago (well, at least in my lifetime) phones were implements attached by cords to walls in our homes for the purpose of communicating with other humans. I have travelled, phoneless, many times in my life. The world would not end because of this. It would just be inconvenient.

The OC express mailed phone and charger to Oregon the next day, Saturday, with assurances from P.O. personnel that, no worries, it would reach me by Monday.

Monday came, no phone.

Tuesday came, no phone.

A week passed, no phone

Two weeks passed, no phone.

The OC was irritated. He spoke to the Post Office. They were as bewildered as we were. Assured the OC it should be there. It must be there. Except that it wasn't. And continued not to be, not to show up on any tracking for three weeks.

I was learning to live without it. After all, I had in the past. But the OC kept saying I should go buy a new one. My old phone had been just fine. I had reached a level of comfort in using it that I was sure I would not have with a new fangled device. Who knew? It might still show up, though that  possibility was fading with each passing week.

I bought a phone. At ridiculous expense, and the very next day my wandering phone showed up -

in GUAM.

 Get your head around that.

A few days later it had progressed to Hawaii. I wouldn't have minded if I'd been along for the trip. Who'd object to finding themselves suddenly in Hawaii?

 Not me. But my phone had gone on a Hawaiian vacation without me. Very inconsiderate.

Eventually, none the worse for wear, it arrived at my son's home, where it had been sent in the first place.


So yes, my faith in the P. O. is at a low ebb. 

Checked tracking today. It arrived in Miami. That's a good start, in the right direction. At least it won't go to Guam. But, any bets on Istanbul? 

Only time will tell.


Elephant's Child said...

HUGE congratulations on finishing not one but two be-yoot-i-ful quilts.
And fingers tightly crossed that the postal system plays nicely.

Bijoux said...

Beautiful quilt AND baby boy. Unfortunately, your post office story does not surprise me. I know people who are still getting Christmas cards.

molly said...

EC - The trouble now is what to finish next - procrastination time! Better to grab what's closest to hand and knuckle down.

Bijoux - I've heard horror stories too, but, until now, have had good luck and no complaints re the P.O. I'm sure everything will be fine. Everyone's entitled to a mistake once in a while. If not, I'd better go into hiding myself!

Sabine said...

Well done on these beautiful quilts. These children have a treat in store.

My very clever son-in-law has introduced tracker tiles to our long distance family.
These are small flat gadgets, about the size of a stamp, originally invented to be put into suitcases. That way you can - as my daughter did - locate your supposedly lost-in-transit suitcase at the nearby depot!
Anyway, since we are regularly sending stuff across the planet to keep each other happy, we have started to put these trackers inside our parcels. That way I can see that the parcel with the latest books and two woolly sweaters I knitted for grandchild to wear in the rapidly approaching NZ winter are sitting (still, it's been 3 weeks now) at Singapore airport. Not that it makes things faster but it's psychologically uplifting.

gz said...

That is lovely work! I hope it does arrive.
Those tracker tabs sound interesting...I wonder how much they cost?

Dee said...

Dear dear Molly, I so enjoyed this lovely posting since it gave us so much to smile about because we've all been there done that. Well, with regard to making a gift for someone that is. It does seem to me that this whole post office mail delivery thing is new and very regrettable. I tend to blame the person who heads the post office, but the truth is I know little about the process except that mail used to reach me on time. I so hope that your phone ultimately arrives. And I applaud the fact that you got used to one of the phones because I still haven't entered the 21st-century and I still feel as if the phone my niece gave me is an alien in my midst. Peace.

Ali Honey said...

The colours in your baby quit are really bright and lovely.
The postal story is SO bad. Did you get any compensation?

Marigold Jam said...

Lovely post as always and I can empathise with so much of it. My neighbour had a very premature baby a couple of months ago who is hopefully to come home from hospital in June (his original birth date) and I thought to make a little quilt but so far I haven't even sorted out the fabrics for it and he will surely be a teenager before I get one made! I can also empathise with your comments on dying since my husband went to sleep on Easter Sunday and didn't wake up on Easter Monday!! What a pantomime we had here that morning and in the weeks that have followed dealing with all the formalities and paperwork that his death entailed; and as I attempt to get used to my new way of living I am aware that it could be me at any time and am trying to clear the decks so that my daughter doesn't have any more sorting out to do when that day comes. I doubt I can use up all my patchwork materials before then though at my rate of working. Post too I can understand as my daughter went off to a new job in Saudi Arabia, eventually after many delays and living with us for a couple of months, just 3 days after my world altered forever and I posted a little package to her - partly to check out the postal system and it's now been 2 or 3 weeks in the system and not yet arrived. Hope your quilts will arrive safely in London in due course and that your phone enjoyed its little holiday even if you couldn't go with it!

Thimbleanna said...

As always, a wonderful read Miss Molly! Congratulations on a beautiful quilt finish -- has if arrived yet? I'm sure the parents will be thrilled. I could relate to everything you wrote -- especially the part about leaving a big stash. I lose sleep at night worrying about the mess that I've created. And with each grandbaby, I get later with their baby quilt. The first two received theirs at before and after 2 yrs respectively, but it's not looking good for the third at this point -- maybe by the time she's 3? As for the mail -- it's baffling. I mail a lot with my little shop and the good news is that most packages make it. The screw ups seem to go in waves too which is odd. Anyway, my takeaway from your whole story is that you were meant to go to Hawaii after all. Happy June Miss Molly -- and keep quilting!!!

molly said...

EC - Thank you but the credit goes entirely to covid - see? There was a silver lining after all. It kept me tethered in place and free of the usual distractions.

Bijoux - He is a beautiful baby. My first thought when I saw that picture was that he looked like a baby from an old Dutch painting!

Sabine - Those little gadgets sound amazing. I hope by now that your books and sweaters made it safely from Singapore to your daughter and grandchild.

gz - yes, it is very satisfying to make something useful out of, basically, nothing.

Dee - you give me too much credit! I'm still figuring out the mysterious inner workings of the new phone. The postal mix-up had something to do with the OR's and Guam's postal codes beginning with the same number. All shuffled along by machine....

Ali - We will be, eventually. Like all large bodies, the P.O. moves s-l-o-w-l-y.

Marigold - I have left a reply on your blog. I was so sorry to hear of your loss. I hope you are doing well and will be blogging again soon. Sending you a big hug.

Anna-banana - You are way too modest! I've seen your work and it's amazing and delivered on time. I actually have mostly had very good luck with the P.O. over the years.
If I'm meant to go to Hawaii, it appears I should wrap myself in an Express envelope and address it to OR!

Wisewebwoman said...

Marvelous work on the quilts, more power to your elbow! Creativity keeps me afloat too. Great distraction when engrossed in the work.

That phone story though. Grrr. You'd think with all the technology they could get it right, but NO. I remember my mother getting postcards from friends posted in the morning and delivered in the afternoon arranging meet times in town. Pre telephone. Downhill with the mail since then.


molly said...

WWW - and I remember, all through my childhood, Paddy the Post delivering our mail on his bicycle! For the most part though, I rarely have problems with the mail. That quilt for instance was delivered intact and on time. The only glitch was that my niece had to pay a VAT tax on it. They've got us coming and going!

Wisewebwoman said...

Molly - a book I adored and I think you will too:
A Ghost in the Throat -


Pam said...

Very lovely quilts! Glad they made it all right - how awful if they'd gone missing. I imagine Hawaii is a bit hot for quilts.

molly said...

WWW - I have heard of it and read a review. It may be some time before I get to it though. My daughter is reading Les Miserables over the summer for extra credit in a college course and I am reading along with her. As it is almost as thick as it is wide I think it's going to take me a while, but so far, I'm loving it. Anything else is on hold for the duration, but I'll certainly get to it and appreciate the heads-up.

Pam - That may be true though Hawaii is famous for a certain type of appliqued quilts that are quite beautiful. Quilts can be as light as you want to make them depending on how thick\thin the batting is.