Mailing hell.

There is something so satisfying packing up quilts to send to an exhibition. And yesterday I sent off 5 pieces- three to Ohio for the Mastery: Sustaining Momentum show, one to Atlanta and one for SAQA as well as a large awkward box of framed studies. And while it was satisfying- it was also a total pain in the butt.
Mailing large quilts- especially ones that I do not want to fold involves procuring telescoping tubes- and I bought a lot of 6 of them a year or two ago. It is a good way to avoid creasing my pieces when they are packed in a box- but trying to ship a 90" tube is a whole 'nuther  ball of wax. And when you have three tubes- each weighing 18 pounds and ranging in size from 85"- 90" the word inconvenient does not even get to the heart of the matter.
I researched the different ways of sending these- along with three other packages- and decided that the USPostal service was the way to go- except that there is only street parking at my post office. Luckily Dave offered to help me on his way to work and we decided to make sure we were first in line at the post office at 9 am when it opened. I had a hard stop deadline to go to yoga at 9:30 so I decided to print out all of my labels beforehand. I went on the USPS online site and spent 45 minutes filling in the 6 labels and providing weights and sizes for all of them. And then I went to pay.
I pressed the "Pay" button and provided them with my Paypal account- and every time I did the USPS site said that the transaction did not go through- I did this three times. Then I decided to try credit card- twice-and once again I input everything and the little red letters popped up saying that my transactions did not go through. Frustrated does not describe how I felt.
And then to top things off- I got the email from hell from my bank saying that they were going to cancel my credit card since there was an unusual amount of activity.... turns out that I ended up paying the USPS 5 times even though the site said that the transactions did not go through.
Long story short- I had to go back and cancel all of the Paypal payments and I had to assure my credit card company that I was the person making all of those payments. And luckily they did not cancel my card.
And here it was 9:25 and my packages were not mailed. I took a big breathe and decided that I needed to go to yoga and would figure out a way to unload those packages after my session. In the end- I went to FEDEX and enlisted the help of an able bodied guy who wanted to know how I managed to get these things into my car....
They are now in transit- and I feel pretty sweet! The sofa where I was storing all of these long babies is now a sofa again, and I could relax knowing my deadlines were kept.
And for those of you who would like to know- there was only an $8.00 difference between the postal service and FEDEX- UPS was more. Now I can relax at least until I start worrying if the packages will be delivered!