This was originally going to be a post about my packaging for the Bewilder and Pine Etsy shop but I've decided that this little tale I have to tell, a true story, was far more enchanting and fits the bill for the Makings of a Maker theme.
The Fairy Postal Service Creed- Neither ogres, nor trolls nor wayward customs officials stays these Fae couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.
In the first week of the new year I received a message thru Bewilder and Pine from a prospective customer in France. His question was how long would it take for a package to arrive in France as he was hoping to have a few things in time for a child's birthday party on February 10th.
This, to understate it, tickled me greatly! I do not think there is anything I love more than knowing my little fairy pieces are going to be in the lives of children (of ANY age, of course) and that they would be going off to France? Well, that was all the more thrilling.
I once spoke French fairly fluently. Enough to get around without a phrase book on my three trips there in my late teens and early twenties. Enough to carry on conversations with people I met in Paris or Nice or Calais. Enough to get around on the metro, or on foot with a map. Enough to sit on a park bench with a sweet, white haired grand-mère in the little picturesque town of Menton on the southern-most part of the Riviera and talk about life in our two countries as well as receive a lesson in French profanity!
Whenever I get a message from someone in France, I try to answer it at least in part in French. These days I have to look up certain conjugations and phrases and I confuse one word for another quite often. I forget the placement of accents and simple sentence structure. But I still try.
All that is to say this meant the world to me to be able to send a package of faery magic bound for France.
All of my shipping experiences within the EU told me that the package would certainly arrive in plenty of time. I wasn't worried in the least nor did I even consider suggesting we use Priority Mail International to expedite the shipment.
Four weeks was more than enough time.
I was certain of it.
It ended up being a rather large order of eight different fairy houses and towers. I stayed up late to pack it all up and the following day I shipped the package off.
Then, I forgot all about it.
For some reason, which I cannot begin to fathom even now, on February 7th, I suddenly thought of the package. Certain it would have arrived by then, I went to the order and clicked on the receipt for the shipping. The tracking loaded slowwwwwly and when it finally showed on my screen, I was more than a bit surprised. . .
I shipped the package on January 12th
It left the US Customs in LA on January 19th (an unusually long time for that transfer)
It arrived in France on January 21st
It then, for some reason, left France. . . and went to ISRAEL. . . on January 22nd
And that was it. There was no further tracking for it either on Etsy or thru the USPS sight.
I was, to say the least, devastated.
I wrote a very heavy message to the buyer explaining what I thought had happened while hoping that, against the odds, the package had perhaps arrived in France without any further tracking having been recorded. That's would not be so unusual for a returned or redirected package
It had not arrived.
The customer wrote back and while he was very understanding that it was not my fault as he could see the strange tracking information, he was terribly disappointed. It was, after all, meant for a birthday party.
I felt so badly about it. I asked him to let me check with my post office on the following day just to see if they could offer any more assistance.
They could not.
So, on February 8th, I sent one final message. I told the buyer I would refund the purchase amount in full and asked if he would refuse the package if or when it arrived in France.
I apologized again and sent the message off feeling rather defeated.
Then something, I have no idea what, nudged me to check the tracking one last time.
I did, and would you believe just as I was sending that last message to France a brand new entry showed up on the tracking list, the first in almost two weeks, and it said:
February 8th - Attempted Delivery Abroad - France
I know this generally means a package was attempted to be delivered and, a note should have been left for the recipient. I wrote again to the buyer asking him to let me know if this was correct and if he was going to be able to get the package in time.
I received a very happy message informing me that, yes, he would be able to pick up the package on February 9th just one day before it was needed!!! If the story needed any more of a happy ending, after all that traveling and bouncing around, everything inside was in perfect condition! The customer was thrilled!
Now, I don't share a lot of my personal beliefs here but let me. say that I don't usually do anything special to ask for favors from the kind folk or the faeries. Some stories, after all, say the Fae folk do not like being thanked. . . it actually is an insult to them.
I have, since I was a child, simply believed — no, I've KNOWN— that they are with me. Watching over me. There have simply been too many instances and encounters, one of which was life saving, for me to deny it. It's been a thread in my life.
I like to believe that all of the magic I put into the world through my creations are the reciprocations of that fateful connection. They are my end of the deal. One I intend to uphold with all my ability for the rest of my days.
And that deal? Ohhhh there's so much more to tell you. . . .another time perhaps?
Thank you for dropping by!