Maybe They Did Take Geography in School

My daughter, her husband and my two grandchildren, live in Alaska. That makes it a challenge to keep in touch properly particularly with people like me, who are prone to procrastination.

I aways swear that, this year, I will get our parcels off in good time and each year I find Christmas getting closer and closer before I actually wrap thing up and send them on their way.

This year Amazon saved my bacon when it came to my grandchildren. They gift wrap too which really took the heat off. When it came to  a gift for my daughter and her husband we thought way ahead. My partner, a skilled craftsperson, made a special gift for our kids in Ontario and Quebec and for our family in Alaska. I have to note that she made these gifts in July so we could get them off in plenty of time for Christmas.

So, on December 9th, still way ahead of the game by my standards, I headed down to FedEx to get the parcel shipped north. I thought 16 days is plenty of time for surface delivery even taking into account a few inevitable snowstorms. They promised delivery by December 16th. I felt confident in my decision.

Now, one of the best features of shipping FedEx, I thought, is their tracking system. I love it. I spend a lot of time at my keyboard so can I check progress several times a day.

I started getting nervous when I noticed the package had arrived in Winnipeg. That is 571 kilometres in the wrong direction. Then it sat in Manitoba for the weekend. The next stop was Grand Forks North Dakota. Another 147 Kilometres off course. The next day it was in St. Paul and I thought "Ok, they have decided to hook up with a major American shipping route and it will soon start to turn west."

Next stop Chicago. By now I wasn't starting to panic but I had some serious questions about FedEx's sense of direction. Did they sleep through geography in school? Did those dispatchers think AK is the postal abbreviation for Arkansas?

It sat in Illinois for 36 hours, 1991 km off course. It was December 15th. A day before the promised delivery.

Then by some miracle a new entry saying On the truck for delivery - Anchorage.`` This morning an e-mail saying, the package arrived safely, on the date promised and is safe and sound, under the tree in Anchorage.

Next year I think I`ll get to it all a bit earlier...then again, it did get there.

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