Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Well Traveled Box

My brother not only ordered me a mattress. He also ordered me a bunk bed (cats get upper).  Ok, reality.  Cats get upper and lower, and I squeeze in as allowed.

I made the bunk bed I use now.  It is built tough and solid.  I over do everything.

The new bunk bed frame, twin over full, is metal, light, and I was excited.  It was to arrive yesterday.  I was ready!  I moved out the cat wheel and one cat structure.  Ready and waiting.  I watched the tracking online at Fedex.  I checked it often.  "In Transit" it said, "delivery today".   But it never came.  My friend, who was going to help me carry it in, came, waited and left.  Darkness approached.  I was still hopeful.  Tracking had switched to "delivery pending".

Then suddenly, just after 8:00 p.m., it was announced on Fed Ex tracking that delivery would be tomorrow, and that the frame was now in Troutdale.  Troutdale?  Up in the gorge?  How'd it get up there, I thought.

Hijacked truck?   Malfunctioning GPS?  Driver have a child with a birthday party he didn't want to miss?   Um.....I imagined all kinds of reasons the truck buzzed up I5 and the driver must have thought, to hell with that, brushed off stopping with it in Albany and driven on.  Maybe he needed a beer or to hug his kids or to hold his cats, you know?

Free night!  I'd worked all day on projects. I was tired.  Now I would not have to put together a bed frame.   I tried to feign well my disgust for improper tracking and fake notices that today is delivery when its not.

The frame came this morning.  The driver lugged that 100 pound awkward object on his shoulder.  "You're going to hurt yourself," I objected.   My neck was seizing in empathy pain.  "You'll end up with metal plates," I lamented, to this young man who would ruin himself doing this job eventually.  "Already have one," he said dryly.  

The box looked road burned, grime ground into one flat side.  It was sliced in places, torn in places, open in places, tape broken, and poked in places.   Oh my.  This box had endured a harsh life.

I opened it and began an inventory of the parts, removing cardboard packing galore and plastic that covered most pieces.  In the end, only one part was missing.  The hardware bag.  The nuts and bolts and screws that hold it together.  Perhaps the most important part, depending on your bent.

Outrage took me to my bad place.   Parts all over the garage but I didn't have the parts to put it together and this was a mess.

I tried calling the maker, well, the importer of the product.  The number was listed on a sheet of paper inside the box.  But I reached that point of endless hold where you go to staring at something on your desk and forget everything else in the world.  So I called my brother, the one who had generously ordered the frame.  He said Amazon would take care of it, that they always do, make it right and I knew they would.

Afterwards, I thought how small this problem really is.  Comparatively speaking.  Who really cares if I get it put together today, tomorrow or next week.  What does it matter?   It doesn't.  I'm still thrilled and excited to get it.

The needed parts will come eventually.  Then I can put it together.  

Then I thought about that box and where its been.  The frame was made in China and probably boxed up there.  Then it came all the way over here, to California first.  Then it traveled to Arkansas and sat in a warehouse.  It was likely moved around a couple of times.  When my brother clicked his mouse over the "buy" button, at Amazon, that bed frame's fate was marked.  It was loaded then, via forklift or conveyor belt onto a truck, and probably was transferred to other trucks before it finally reached my garage via the shoulder of a strong young man.

The frame's been around.  Well traveled by any standard especially mine, since I rarely get out of Albany.  

I went back to my garage and stared at that box in awe.  I nodded to it like it could understand my admiration.


  1. I'm so happy it arrived and thrilled over your good perspective. Blessed in life, I find some of the smaller things are most likely to irk me. I make a point of noting all the good things and even start a morning journal with five blessings on a daily basis. Best wishes on a cozy bed!

    1. It's true, I over reacted at first in outrage. But I got perspective on it. Big deal. The missing parts will get here, I'm sure.

  2. I am thrilled it arrived - and hope that the missing pieces turn up soon.
    You are right. We don't stop and think things through often enough. That simple beat-up boxes has seen places I never will...

    1. I know, that box has been around the's amazing think about.

  3. Also amazing is every place that a garment has been. I heard a series on NPR once about the making of a T-shirt starting with the growing cotton. It was amazing and surprising how many places parts of it came from. "Made In..." does not tell the whole story.

    Looking forward to seeing pictures of your new bed.