Tuesday, June 23, 2015

My Life in Boxes

Have you ever been excited about a box?

I have!

My parents brought me home from the hospital in a box. That's right, a cardboard box. Can you believe that? I can't say that I actually remember that day, but I bet my parents were excited about their box.

They also kept that oh so special box and, until I was 3 or 4,  I loved to watch TV inside of it. That's right, I would get a pillow,  my cold blankie, my favorite Raggedy Ann beach towel and my box and I would watch Planet of the Apes. I got to stay up late on those nights- exciting times!

Life was great in the box!

As I got older, boxes were exciting because they usually meant moving. 

We moved from Texas to Louisiana when I was 8, and once in Luling, we packed all of our stuff into boxes and moved four more times. 

As far as I know, all of the boxes made all of the moves, but I try not to remind my mom what happened to the TV armoir during that last move. 

Hint:  It flew out of the back of the truck and broke into splinters!

Growing up, grandparents, aunts and uncles sent boxes full of Valentine's treats, Halloween goodies, birthday and Christmas presents. No doubt, there was maximum excitement when those packages arrived!

When I was in college, my grandmother was totally in to the Home Shopping Network. She called, late one night, and told me that she was sending me  Dr. Allen's Wonder Baker. 

What in the world?

She assured me it would change my life. The anticipation was almost too much- I thought the box containing the Wonder Baker would never arrive. Can you relate?

As I got older, I excitedly packed my own boxes and moved: from Baton Rouge to Fort Worth to Houston and finally to Corpus Christi.  Each move meant more and more boxes. 

What can I say, I love stuff!

In 2002, I was expecting my first baby and, no matter how hard I tried, I was not able to find all that I needed for a cowboy themed nursery at the local Babies R Us. So, I took my first shot at Internet shopping. 

I ordered cowboy bedding, cowboy curtains and coordinating bandanna fabric to make a diaper stacker and matching pillows. I ordered a hat/coat rack in the shape of a big green cactus and a little table and chairs with...you guessed....cowboys!

Needless to say, the nursery was going nowhere without these things and I could hardly wait for my big purchase to arrive so I could get to work pulling things together.

With absolutely nothing else to do, I kept careful watch for that big, brown truck. Finally...

The day arrived. 
The truck pulled up. 
The boxes were delivered.

Maybe it was those crazy pregnancy hormones, or perhaps it was sheer excitement, but when that UPS man knock on my door, I went nuts.

I gave him a giant hug. 
I invited him in. 
I even took his picture.

 I bet he still talks about me to his UPS buddies- that wacky lady on Sutherland Drive,  waiting for her boxes.

Once that precious child arrived, there were even more boxes in my life, and as the children continued to arrive, so did the boxes. Joy!

Months and years go by but some things never change- there will be boxes.

In fact, I am focused on boxes now more than ever!

Since Spring Break:

  • searched the world over for the perfect box size and box shape
  • created a mock up box out of scrapbook paper
  • worked with designer to create professional box design
  • searched the world over to find someone to make my box
  • decided Hong Kong has the best box making capabilities in the world
  • converted measurements and colors for desired box specifications
  • arranged payment for boxes via international wire transfer (scary stuff, I assure)
  • received color proof of box from Hong Kong
  • returned color proof of box to Hong Kong
  • arranged for a split shipment of boxes to meet deadlines
  • 100 boxes now via UPS Express
  • 400 boxes later on a slow boat from China
  • hired a customs broker to clear my boxes through the Port of Houston
  • hassled above customs broker to complete shipping forms for boxes by deadline
  • waited for boxes
Whew, I'm exhausted!

Well, last Monday, June 15, I received an email from UPS: 

Your package has been sent and will arrive by the end of business, Tuesday, June 16. 

Those nice UPS folks even gave me a tracking number so I could obsessively watch my boxes move around the world-  from Hong Kong to Anchorage, Alaska, then on to Memphis, Tennessee, over to San Antonio, Texas, to down to CORPUS CHRISTI! 

Everyone in the house and neighbors up and down the block were on watch for the big, brown truck...waiting for the boxes. 

Now, unlike the previous UPS experience, this delivery was uneventful, and actually pretty sweaty and gross.

It was 5:52 pm when the dolly was flung out of the back of the truck. The UPS man removed 5 boxes, stacked them up, and, with great effort, pushed them straight through the middle of my front yard. (I still can't figure out why he didn't use the sidewalk.)


I greeted him at the door.
He plopped the boxes right in the middle of the foyer.
He left.

He did not smile. I did not want to hear about the exciting journey my boxes had taken. He did not care about my new business. He did not even let me sign my name on his little brown computer thing.

 He left a few drops of sweat on the front porch and he was a gone pecan. 

Nonetheless, the boxes have arrived, and nearly one week later, I am still excited about it!

Take a look at my beautiful boxes...

For most people, boxes come and go without event, but not me- my life, past, present and future, are in these boxes !

I want to show you and tell you more about my boxes, but that will have to wait, so stay tuned!

Thanks for reading...have a great week!

Most people think in the box. Some people think outside the box. I want to create the box. 
Solly Tomari

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