Thursday, November 05, 2009

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Woodworking Show...

We are about to start two weekends of woodworking shows, one in Portland, one in Sacramento. We had created a new, updated brochure for the shows, and needed more business cards as well, but we didn't get our order in fast enough to have them shipped to our house before we left town Tuesday. We knew we would be staying with Mark and Shelly Johnson in Vancouver, so we thought we would just ship to to them instead, to guarantee we got it before the show. I notified Shelly that she could expect boxes for us.

A good idea, right?

While we were driving down to Portland from Seattle, Andy received a phone call.

"Uh, hi, this is Mark Johnson in Vancouver, Washington, and I have some packages at my house for you..." Andy smiled. Mark was pretending he didn't know us, and didn't know why our mail was at his house. It was his funny way of letting us know that everything had arrived just fine. But the guy kept going. There was no joking in his voice. He really didn't know us. "Uh, we weren't sure what to do with these packages, but then my wife recognized your name as a family that sends us Christmas cards every year."

As it turns out, I must have inadvertently copied down the address of the wrong Mark Johnson in Vancouver, Washington, when we moved to Montana five and a half years ago. I looked at my address book to see what I had there and the entry looked like it should be right. Vancouver streets are set up on a somewhat logical grid of numbered streets in compass-point quadrants, so glancing at an address gives you a basic idea of where it is located. The address in my book looked right.

We found the Mystery Mark Johnson's house, however, and it was indeed not the right one. It was about three blocks away from the home of our friends, in the same neighborhood. He was very nice about the whole thing and we laughed together about the mix-up. He had actually opened up our packages--not sure what prompted him to do so--found boxes of shiny new business cards, and called the number on the card.

Crazy. We would have been really messed up if he hadn't contacted us.

I'm thinking maybe I should still send them Christmas cards every year, so they can still continue to watch the kids grow up.


Suzanne & Duncan Forbes said...

That is AWESOME! Sometimes the best of friends are created through 'oops' encounters like that.

Amber said...

Why stop now? :) What a nice gesture from a "stranger" Hope you guys have a good trip!

strider1971 said...

sounds interestng however wouldn't be heaper to print your own cards? anyway chane encountrs are fun

alison said...

Got your card today. Merry Christmas! We miss you all.