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Carol Perkins: Adventures of an accidental Santa

Previous Column: Breaking out of Solitary

By Carol Perkins

My grandchildren love getting boxes in the mail. They never know what I might send them. It is fun for me, and they are always grateful. I've sent funky socks, boxes of healthy snacks, and books. This week I decided to send my Tennessee grandson, who loves Legos, one of the Titanic. It was a small set, but he would have something new to do, and he loves everything Titanic.

My Amazon address is automatic, but this time I was sending it to his address in Chapel Hill, Tennessee, so I clicked the "change address" button. I should have paid more attention. I looked at his name and made sure it was going to the right grandchild.

About a week later, I texted Carla.

"No, no package." She waited for me to go through the tracking process, where I discovered it had been delivered to their post office four days prior. I looked closely at the address and saw the problem. All his information was there, but on one line above the city and state and between HIS street address was MY post office box number, the place where a second address usually went. How in the world did that happen?

Carla called the local post office, and someone in town has that same number and now has a new Lego set. Here's what I don't understand. The person went to his box, and there was an Amazon package. Maybe he assumed his wife had ordered something. When he gets home, and someone opens it, there is a Lego set. Hmm. That's odd, he might say. Then he would likely check the address and see the mistake and that this belongs to someone else. At that time, a person would take it back to the post office so that the error could be corrected. After all, his street address was below his name. Obviously, that didn't happen.

It has been over a week ago, and no return. The postmaster promised to call the person with the PO Box, but other than that, he had no recourse to get it back. I understood that, but I placed the blame on me for not double checking, but on the person who took it out of his box and kept it! Is that the same as stealing? I bet he looked at it and said, "What kind person sent me a Lego set. Oh, here's a card. From Cici and Papa." Did it occur to him to wonder who Cici and Papa were? Oh, yes, he knows because the person's name for whom the gift was intended was on the box.

All of us have probably gotten mail that wasn't ours or boxes delivered to the wrong address. We put them back in the mailbox, take to the post office, or deliver the boxes to the neighbor for whom it probably belonged. I don't open the box and put on a pair of shoes my neighbor ordered!

I have told myself that the person will eventually return it to the post office or to the address on the box. I hope that will happen, but I'm not counting on it. In the meantime, I visualize some happy kid putting together a Lego set, a gift from people he doesn't know, and an adult smiling at his good fortune.

Carol's new book, based on a true story, The Case of the Missing Ring, is available through Amazon, both paperback and ebook. You can contact her at

This story was posted on 2020-06-12 06:49:54
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