Monday, December 03, 2007

Time flies when...

...your home is under construction, you co-author a book, run a few marathons, lead a Sunday school class and a small group, educate your kids, and live in a small 2-bedroom rental. That's just a bit of what Cindy and I have been up to lately. If we can catch our breath, we'll try to post some pix and updates. In the meantime, here's a crazy little story from our November...

After about a year of consideration, Cindy and I finally decided to update her wedding ring. We planned to do it this past summer as a 10th anniversary gift, but if you remember, our anniversary was also the same day demolition started on our house project. Needless to say, moving from house to house and managing our crazy life quickly become a higher priority.

So on November 1st we finally got around to shipping Cindy's wedding ring (diamonds and all) to Karen Konzuk in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. I was apprehensive to send something so valuable, precious, and tiny via the postal system, but my friendly local postal employee assured me that registered mail was definitely the way to go. I went ahead with the plans, said a prayer, and waited the 5-7 days I was told it would take to arrive.

A week passed with no updates. Gulp.

On the eighth day it arrived in Canadian Customs and I breathed a sigh of relief. Progress! I figured it might take a day or two to be processed through customs and then it would be delivered to the jeweler.

A week passed. No progress. Another week passed. Still no progress. I quickly went from impatient to frustrated to sick to my stomach. What was I thinking sending my wife's ring to Canada? Why was I so honest when I filled out the customs paperwork. Wouldn't it just have been easier if I had written "Small and valuable, STEAL ME!" on the customs form? Dreadful.

Finally on November 24 I spent several hours contacting the US Postal Service (useless), Canadian Postal Service (much nicer than USPS, but just as useless) and the Canadian Border Patrol (just as personable and helpful as you'd think Customs would be).

The conclusion: There's no good reason a small padded envelope should sit in customs for weeks.
My options: Contact the Canadian Consulate (yeah, I'm sure they're dying to help me) or file a postal investigation.

Basically, everybody I spoke with said the ring was missing and it was a lost cause, but for the sake of thoroughness I could initiate an investigation. And that's exactly what I did. It made my physically sick to think of the predicament I had gotten myself into, but I filed the report, prayed, and waited.

48 hours later I received an email from Karen (the jeweler) letting me know the ring had arrived safely in Calgary and that she'd be returning the new ring to us (accurately sized and including Cindy's original engagement diamond along with her old ring) by the end of the week.

Woohoo! What a HUGE relief for both of us. I'm not sure if the investigation I filed kick-started things or if it was completely unrelated, but either way we were quite relieved. Karen did a fantastic job with Cindy's new ring and she was totally awesome and patient in dealing with our traumatic episode. We had the ring back by the end of last week and we're thrilled with the results.

Here's what we ordered for Cindy:

And here's how it looks on Cindy's hand:

Next time I might buy a plane ticket to Calgary, hand-deliver the goods, and save myself the grief....