"Is this table supposed to be in two parts?" is on my list of phrases I never want to hear again. A week ago we took delivery of the items that were in storage in Connecticut, some of which had a rather complicated and circuitous route to our door. It all started back in 1997 when we moved to London. We were packed up by one of those high class professional international moving companies. The type who insist on custom built wooden crates for valuable, easily damaged items, plus reams of industrial strength wrapping material and special bumpers on the corners of the furniture. Our small electrical appliances, lights, power tools, D.'s ham radio gear and stereo equipment was to go into storage because it wouldn't work in the UK. That was the theory at any rate. A few boxes wound up on the wrong side of the pond and we dutifully dragged them around with us each time we moved. When it looked as if we were going to be in the UK for more than a couple years, we had the items in storage shipped up to Vermont, where D.'s parents had space in their barn. Sadly, over the years, both his parents died, and we subsequently inherited family heirlooms, antique clocks, pictures and childhood mementos. These were packed up and shipped down to Connecticut along with the electrical items that had never been unpacked, to be stored for another six years. No wonder we weren't quite sure what to expect when it arived.
Luckily we had the foresight to hire the man who had maintained the family's clock collection to prepare them for shipping. Everything else looks as if it was just hurled onto the truck. A large photograph of D.'s mother was shoved unprotected in a box with a heavy lamp base (resulting in the inevitable broken glass), a pewter tea set (badly dented) was underneath the crock pot, the list of absurdities goes on. One particularly large piece of furniture has a broken leg, and yes, a butcher block table was delivered in halves. D. said I was very brave when faced with the destruction. But I think I was just in shock.
There were unexpected surprises like seven mismatched chairs, and a hand-quilted wreath made by an aunt (just in time for the holiday season). We are missing one lampshade (the other was damaged beyond repair), several crucial power supplies, and possibly a toaster oven. Yet, through some sleight of hand with the various packing lists they claim to have delivered everything (something very fishy was going on with box numbers, and some things had been unpacked before they got here).
What did we do after the delivery? Went shopping for furniture. Sounds ridiculous with a spare room piled waist deep in damaged furniture, but we still don't have a dresser. There was much excitement when we saw 'dresser' on the inventory, but it turned out to be a blanket chest. With a big chunk knocked out of one corner. Now we're waiting for various insurance companies to respond to our claims, before about half the furniture goes back out the door for repairs. At least we still have the view!