This SHIP is about ready to sail.  Grab your life vests and read on.

It is fairly certain that we have recycled about 2,000 pounds of cardboard boxes.  Just about everything comes packed in a cardboard box.  Of varying sizes.  Of varying weight.  A few boxes that have made a big impression on us are the boxes the patio furniture was delivered from Lowe’s in…two chairs, four cushions, two “ottomans” and two pillows for them.  All in one box.  And we ordered two sets.  Geez.  That was a lot of cardboard.   The full length mirrors from Ikea came in big boxes and it got me wondering if there is like a college course that offers “packing” as an elective because the people that devise the packing are fairly brilliant in my book.  Not one broken mirror.  Not a chip.  Nothing.  And they were in cardboard boxes with no “stuffing”.  Amazing.

Other big boxes?  The Rubbermade outdoor storage unit.  The unit itself was in pieces that gave us the “opportunity” to assemble the unit.  The box was fairly big in and of itself so much that it occupied most of the front porch, the width of the SHIP.   Brian, our new handyman will be by tomorrow to help the gimp, I mean Rayman, get it into the side yard and install it on a level platform that Brian built us a couple of weeks ago.  Poor Rayman.  He has lifted one heavy box too many and is now spending time at the physical therapist a couple of blocks from the SHIP.  


Rubbermade on the porch

But, nothing and I do mean nothing, will compare with the saga of the Dragonfly Fountain.  Let me start from the beginning when it first began.  On March 29, I ordered this fountain on a website with very competitive pricing.  For the price, I did my homework.  What I failed to do is pay attention to the other information.  The time lag from ordering to receiving would be a bit long.  Apparently, when I placed the order, the company that makes these fountains then start the process of MAKING the fountain.  It is concrete.  Concrete must dry/cure/etc.  All that takes time.  To make a long story shorter, my patience was tested.  Never was I given a date for completion.  So, when we arrived in Portland (third week in May), I started contacting the company I ordered from.  All they could convey to me was that as soon as the concrete had dried (my words) they would send us the shipping information.  Okay.  So we hurried up to wait.  Finally, after the third or fourth call, I was informed that it would ship the next week.  Yippee.  By Thursday of the next week, nada.  On Friday, I called and was given a shipping number.   When they gave me the shipping number, they mentioned that the fountain was coming from Pennsylvania.  OMG.  Why not Maine, I asked.  Wendy, the lady that is apparently the only one working for the company told me it would only take a week to get to Portland.  A big eyeroll ensued…no FaceTime was involved.  I recall laughing.  Sardonically.  

Along with the tracking number, they sent me a page of instructions.  We needed the inspect the fountain.  If anything was wrong with it, we should decline delivery.   The fountain which weighed 311 pounds would be deposited curbside.  


Mount Hood as seen on our way to Bend, OR

Fast forward to last Friday.  A freight company in Portland called and scheduled the delivery for last Friday.  Then on Thursday night, they called and said the fountain had not arrived from PA and could we take it the first of next week?  No, we could not take it until Friday (yesterday) as we had reservations for a golf clinic in Bend, OR that we had to reschedule because the Rayman (gimp), could not swing a club.  However, we had booked thru Groupon for our hotel accommodations and that could not be changed or we would lose our $500 …so we would not be in Portland from Monday until Thursday.  Only Thursday morning ended up being the day that Cenk, our Turk of the family, was being sworn in as a U.S, citizen in Portland and so we had to come back Wednesday which meant we left one day early without a refund.  Sigh.  


Cenk in white shirt, taking the oath. So cool.

I mean, do things like this happen to you?  Inquiring minds want to know.  Send stories to me so I can soothe my soul.

But I digress.

So, the appointment was rescheduled for yesterday.  No time window was given.  So, I called the Portland freight company to get a window of time.  No answer.  No return call.  Emails ensued.  Still nothing.  The reason I wanted to know is because the 311 pound fountain needed to be moved to the backyard and me and the gimp couldn’t do it alone…or actually, to be more precise, could not do it, period.  The business that did our yard told me that they would send someone by if I could tell them what time.  Miraculously, the doorbell, yes the SHIP has a doorbell) rang.  A long, rangy, kid with dishwater blonde hair and about 140 pounds strung out on a 6 foot frame said that all he could do is deliver the crate to the curb.  That’s right.  A crate.  A very big crate.  Full of some kind of straw.  Raynan went out to look at the fountain.  When I went out, Rayman was already in the rear of the truck attempting to find the fountain amidst the straw.  I tried to climb up the side of the truck using two “built-in steps” and a “handle”.  It immediately became obvious as I swung wildly from side to side while dangling from that handle that this was not a good plan.   Plan B was to lower the gate of the truck and haul me up…why didn’t the kid do that in the first place?  And why did I try to climb like a chimpanzee up to the bed of the truck?  All good questions.


The fountain in the box., with straw.

The straw reminded me the time I bailed hay as a high schooler…without the clamps.  The straw made it impossible to inspect the fountain.  So, it was decided to unload the freight.  Again an attempt was made to see the fountain without spreading straw all over the neighborhood.  Didn’t happen.  So, we just signed for the damned fountain.  And the kid drove away in the truck.  

I contacted the gardening folks and they came over and got the fountain into the backyard sans crate or straw.  Whew.  

Now our attention turned to the crate and straw in the front of the house.  Well, we were shocked.  It was gone.  The gardening business hauled it off for us.  Clearly the best thing that happened to us throughout the entire ordeal.

So the SHIP is shaping up.  

Oh, wait.  I forgot to mention that while all this fountain stuff was happening yesterday, the electrician, Big Red’s, was inside installing a ceiling fan in the MB.  He was also suppose to install the wiring for our Toto toilet “washlet” but the order didn’t mention that and he could not do the work alone because of “mitigating issues”.  Now that job has been rescheduled to May 29.  And the box the fan came in is sitting in the parlor waiting for us to wish it away to the recycle center about 10 miles from here.  

Next week our outdoor rug will arrive in a box.  Our electric juicer will arrive in a box.  And our new chair will arrive in a box.  And the parlor will be full once more of cardboard boxes.  

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