Saturday, January 14, 2012

Santa's Arrival

When you ship a container of antiques as I do several times a year from Europe, you have to be prepared or at least resolved to the fact that other than the buying (which is really the only reason to be in the business) almost everything else will be out of your control.  You deliver all your precious finds to the packer who then orders a container to be delivered to the warehouse and then, well, packs.  A broker then reserves your containers space with the shipping line where it will then spend 14 to 16 days on the water before arriving at port.  The container must then go through customs and finally is trucked or sent by rail to you.  All total, it takes about 4 weeks......PROVIDING EVERYTHING GOES ACCORDING TO PLAN!!

Sounds simple, huh?  Yeah, right!  The last container went perfect.  That is until I received a call from the trucking company that there would be a delay in the delivery. One of those "Houston, we have a problem" calls. The container had been damaged in the off loading.  Meaning?????? Was it dropped, was it crushed ... what?  Visions of crushed marble and broken mirrors were just a few of the scenarios dancing in my head.

This time the ship had barely sailed from Antwerp before having to put into port in Rotterdam for repairs.  What?  Did the propeller fall off?? What now?  Delayed again...... to Christmas week.  Will it make it here and clear customs just before Christmas or will it arrive just after when I am on a cruise with my family???  I have 2 grown sons and we're all spread out.  South Carolina, DC and Vegas.  Getting all together at the same time is rare and to spend it together for a week cruising around the Caribbean - priceless.

I had to leave on the 23rd.  Ship docked Savannah on the 19th, a Saturday, so the port was closed for the weekend.  Cleared on Monday, picked up and trucked to Atlanta for delivery on Wednesday.  Cruise left Friday.  YES!!!  Thank you Santa!  And I was off with 2 sons, a fiancee, a girlfriend, the Cowboy and a partridge in a pear tree!

And a glimpse of what Santa brought........

Wishing all a peaceful and joyous New Year!


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