(There are a handful of new posts below, including pictures.)
So yesterday we were all set to receive the shipment of our furniture and personal things (my books!) from home. By 'all set' I mean we had cleaned the house, packed our clothes back into duffels, moved what we could out of the house, secured permits for the container to be parked in front of the house (no small feat), paid an extra fee for my books to be delivered to the church, and made some tea.
The crew were great--four guys came and helped us move things while we waited for the container, and within about an hour the house was ready for the avalanche of stuff we sent over. While we were waiting one of the guys handed me his cell phone and said that his boss wanted to speak with me. He told me that there had been a mistake somewhere, and that our container was not, in fact, in the UK yet. I made him say it again. Then I said 'Hold on a minute. I'm going to ask you a few questions, because I have to go inside the house and explain this to my wife, and I guarantee you're getting the easy end of this.' He was very apologetic and explained that at some point along the journey our container must have been put on a different ship, because it was now scheduled to arrive on the 13th of January.
Julie and Ian took it very well, and I'll love them both for that for the rest of my days. We told the crew what happened, and asked for their help getting some beds and minimal furniture back in the house. These guys were so gracious and good-humored, and were clearly the only competent links in the entire chain--that is, since the crew in LA came to pack up our things. The higher up one rises in the world of shipping, apparently, the lower one's IQ plummets. Three cheers for the guys who actually do the work of moving.
So we're here on a rainy Saturday morning. There's no dining table, dressers or other luxuries. Ian and Julie are watching some very bad TV in the other room, and I'm getting ready to go into the office for some fine-tuning on my first sermon at ACL. What a day.
In the midst of this moving disaster, we got a package from some friends in the States that had been sent before we came. It ended up in Royal Mail purgatory for the last few weeks and finally came today. They sent us some tollhouse chocolate chips, a package of mac 'n' cheese and a Yankee Candle. Ian got a card from their daughter that made him blush. Thanks, you guys. Your package couldn't have come at a better time.
The shipment is now scheduled to arrive here at the manse on the 18th of January.