The Crazy World of Shipping Art – Packy Come Home!

April 11: Packy arrived. Tube torn in half. It arrived in a plastic bag with the cap off. Art was unharmed, fortunately, save for one small tear in the corner.

This was for a tube mailed at end of February, to a destination about an hour’s drive from where I live.

packy package

packy package 3

packy package 2

packy package 4

Update: April 10

Packy is apparently on his way to his new home TODAY! After spending the month of March in the Bermuda Triangle, he went to Allen Park on April 5, then took a little side trip to South Lyon the next day. Three days later, he returned to Allen Park, where he finally departed for his Linden destination just before 11 pm last night.

April 10, 2017, 10:30 am Sorting Complete LINDEN, MI 48451
April 10, 2017, 8:48 am Arrived at Unit LINDEN, MI 48451
April 9, 2017, 10:51 pm Departed USPS Facility ALLEN PARK, MI 48101
April 9, 2017, 8:58 pm Arrived at USPS Facility ALLEN PARK, MI 48101
April 6, 2017, 9:23 am Arrived at USPS Facility SOUTH LYON, MI 48178
April 5, 2017, 9:29 pm Arrived at USPS Facility ALLEN PARK, MI 48101
March 1, 2017, 7:10 am In Transit to Destination
February 28, 2017, 12:10 am Departed USPS Origin Facility GRAND RAPIDS, MI 49512
February 28, 2017, 12:03 am Arrived at USPS Origin Facility GRAND RAPIDS, MI 49512
February 27, 2017, 4:47 pm Departed Post Office CHARLOTTE, MI 48813
February 27, 2017, 11:18 am Acceptance CHARLOTTE, MI 48813


A lot of artists get attached to their paintings. This elephant watercolor is one that I thought I might keep. Incidentally, it was created around the same time as the much-loved zoo elephant Packy was euthanized, in what has turned out to be not a very happy story.

In many ways selling art is like placing a fostered dog or cat — we want it to land in just the right spot. As it happens, the perfect new owner came forward. She feels a connection to elephants, and an emotional response to the painting.

I have shipped a lot of art, and have learned through trial and error that the best way to send it, if it will fit, is in a tube. It is less likely to get crushed or mangled that way.  The only problem is that the art comes out in a roll and has to be flattened.

Well, Packy was mailed at the end of February.  I used to be good about sending the recipient the tracking number, but I had kind of fallen off that habit. Plus, Packy was only traveling to Lindon, Michigan. I could have driven there in about an hour and delivered him myself. So I wasn’t worried about it.

I found out yesterday that Packy Watercolor still hadn’t reached his destination!

I went through receipts and checked the tracking, and found this:


This tells me that Packy is in South Lyon as of Thursday, apparently at the post office. This is after disappearing into the vast unknown for the entire month of March. Why is he now in South Lyon? I have no idea. I will be very interested to find out if I put the wrong zip code on the tube, but the receipt clearly states that the destination is Linden. He was expected to arrive March 1.

So, here’s a good lesson for me — remember to faithfully report the tracking number to the recipient. Had she known when her elephant was scheduled to arrive, we may have found him sooner.


About Nancy J. Bailey

Artist, author, bad karaoke singer. Woodsy ragamuffin. Mom of a horse named Clifford who plays fetch and paints with watercolors. He visits libraries and schools with me, to promote literacy and making the world a better place. Yes, he is house trained, no, he doesn't live in my house! I have written three books about Clifford. But my newest book, THE NORTH SIDE OF DOWN, is co-written by my awesome sister Amanda, who has Down syndrome. Her unexpected one-liner wisecracks can always make me laugh. If you make me laugh, you've made my day!
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