This is one of the most mind-boggling things that has ever happened to me. I’m still speechless!
The story: I’m visiting Pat and my CASA kid for a few days before heading north to Eugene, Oregon then Portland, Oregon, then onto sailing in Washington and Canada. I arrived yesterday, P.M. I spent my morning on a frenzy of “I-live-in-my-car-now” list of to-dos that are more easily accomplished in a home with internet.
Around lunch, Wonderful Neighbor Meg from upstairs comes a-calling with myriad business items, including a package that was delivered accidentally to their door. It is addressed to me, as big as a bag of potting soil, and relatively light. We pontificate about what it might contain while I find a tape-slicing device. As I saw away at the seams, it dawns on Meg that perhaps it was meant to be delivered to her as a way of keeping it secret from the recipient until the appropriate time. She tackles the box just as I pull open the final seam and see an Arcteryx logo.
- Educational Tangent:
What is an Arcteryx? That doesn’t matter. What does matter is that Arcteryx is the brand-name for the maker of the new Altra backpack. This is the Ferrari of backpacks. Perfect design features, unbelieveable ergonomics, extreme durability… clearly anyone who likes to carry survival items into the woods for extended periods of enjoyment would salivate at the mere thought of this backpack. Clearly, a woman who is not above sustaining herself for multiple days soley on bananas and peanut butter (that’s me) would never in her life deign to spend the kind of money it takes to buy a Ferrari. Or an Arcteryx. Unfathomable.
So, Meg demands that I wait, or at least call Pat who may know about a surprise backpack before I explore the package further. I concede, but Pat knows nothing. I open the box all the way and find that yes, it really is an Arcteryx Altra 62 backpack in black with my name on the shipping label from a business called “Hermits Hut” in Redding, California three hours east of Arcata. The hunt is on as I unzip every pocket and compartment searching for an explanation. Nothing!
In the bottom of the box is an envelope. In the envelope is a brochure about the business that shipped the backpack. In the brochure is a receipt with my name on it. I call the number on the receipt, talk to the cashier whose name is listed as the responsible party for processing the order on Cinco de Mayo at 6:10 p.m. A condensed version of the conversation is as follows:
Me: Hi. My name is Jema. Can you tell me who the buyer was for receipt #10014?
Him: You were.
Me: No, I wasn’t.
Him: It was purchased with a money order that came in the mail. According to our records, you are the buyer.
Me: This is impossible. This is the most amazing backpack on the planet.
Him: I know. I sell them everyday to people around the world. It’s the best.
Me: But, I don’t even know exactly how to get a money order. Who did this?
Him: I don’t know, but I want to know, too, so they can be my friend!
Me: Unbelieveable! Okay, well, gee. Thanks. Arcteryx Altra. Wow. That’s amazing. Okay. Well, thanks. For helping. Kind of. Umm, have a great day!
The Usual Suspects: Umm… no one. My parents? Pat’s parents? I can think of no one who:
a) knows that I agree that an Arcteryx Altra is the most incredible piece of outdoor equipment on the planet
b) knows my “incredibly-difficult-cannot-be-divined-from-standard-city-planning-knowledge” address
c) *the clincher* – has enough disposable cash for the Ferrari of backpacks
Multiple phone calls later to people who might have answers, I am still dazed and confused. And awestruck. And beginning to dare to entertain thoughts of outdoor adventures, hopefully with nephews in tow, while I volunteer to carry a hundred pounds of group gear in my ergonmically incredible Arcteryx Altra.
I haven’t given up the search yet. I would like to know, so I can express my awestruck grateful sentiments, who are you?!