Wednesday, December 7, 2011

God Watches Over Me and My Dolls

God Watches Over Me and Mine is a more appropriate title for this post.  However, my dolls and I are the subjects at hand.

When packages are delivered to me by UPS, Fed Ex, and the United States Post Office, their drivers rarely ring my doorbell. Their common practice is to leave the packages on the front porch without even a minor effort to conceal them from passersby. I never know packages have been delivered unless I look out or see them as I exit.

Last week I purchased four dolls in three separate buy-it-now auctions from the same seller. The shipping of $18 for each auction was outrageous, but I wanted the dolls. After completing the first two auctions with my purchase, I emailed Seller to request combined shipping and informed that I was interested in the third auction, but only if combined shipping for all auctions was available.  She agreed. 

For quite some time, I had wanted a doll similar to one of the two vintage Robert Tonner little-girl dolls that I purchased. The other three dolls were the icing on the doll-buying cake.  Another Tonner little-girl doll dressed differently than the first was offered in a separate auction.  The final two, offered together as sisters, are duplicate Helen Kish dolls that I already own, but I wanted those, too.  Yes, I know, I am admittedly doll obsessed.

This past Monday, I had several packages to mail.  My plan to leave for the PO by 1:30 p.m. was foiled by something I had never experienced before:  eBay’s shipping service was down for maintenance in the middle of the day.  I could have paid for postage at the PO, but it is less expensive to purchase through eBay for items sold through their site.  So I waited.   In addition to the PO, I had two other stops to make before returning home around 5:00 p.m.

As I drove back home and approached my house, approximately two houses away, I noticed a heavy-set man running in the direction of my car at his full speed, clutching a large package underneath one arm.  I decelerated and through the driver’s window, stared him in the face for as long as I could before he continued to run as though his life depended on it, OR (heaven forbid, I thought) like he had stolen something.

Visibly and mentally shaken, I entered the house and asked my husband, who was in the front bedroom (his office), "Did you hear anyone on the front porch?" Of course he had not because he had headsets on listening to music. I quickly explained to him what I had seen and immediately went to my office to track my Tonner/Kish doll package online. Just as I had suspected, it had been delivered that day, but was nowhere in sight. I called UPS, who confirmed the package was delivered at 4:15 p.m. It had apparently sat on my front porch, probably visible from the street, for approximately 45 minutes before the culprit took it!

Lord have mercy, I thought. That’s $250 lost. 

UPS instructed me to contact the shipper to have a claim filed. In the process of doing that, still shaken, I thought: Why in the world would someone do something like this?

Seconds later, my husband entered my office and asked me to describe this person. I did.  He left… to go find him!

Oh Lord, my thoughts raced: Please don't let anything happen to him. It's not worth it. They are only dolls. I'll get over it.

Husband returned after not locating the perpetrator. Angry, he ranted about UPS's lackadaisical practice of leaving packages without knocking or ringing the doorbell.  He added, "I even saw two police cars coming on this street as I left!" I told him I was going to call UPS back and request that their drivers ring the doorbell with future deliveries.

Shortly after hanging up the phone with UPS to request the courtesy of a doorbell alert, the doorbell rang.

Husband peered through the peep hole as I stood a short distance away. He opened the door. I heard the male voice ask, "Is Debbie Garrett here?" I stepped into view and said, "I am Debbie Garrett," to the police officer, who simultaneously handed me my unopened package and said, "Someone took this off your porch. One of your neighbors called us."  An angel, I thought.  I thanked him and the other officer who stood at the bottom of the porch.

My briefly stolen, recovered package after opening and removing my beautiful dolls

Overjoyed, I had to fall down on my knees and humble myself before God in praise and thanks for watching over me and mine.

Later the same night, I asked my husband if there was one police car or two cars when the police were at our door.   I also wanted to know where they parked.   He answered, "One. The other car was probably carrying the thief to jail."  He also told me where across from our house the officers parked their car, which gives me an idea which neighbor deserves my personal thanks.

Husband asked, "What was in the package?" Four dolls, I replied. He laughed and said, "That fool would have been so mad.  He probably would have thrown those dolls away."


God and his angels are always at work:  God delayed my departure from home that day in order for me to witness the culprit with my package. He allowed my angel of a neighbor to be at the right place to witness the criminal take my package. He instructed the neighbor to call 911 to report the witnessed crime. God placed the police officers in close proximity to find the thief and recover my package.   He allowed my husband to see the police cars of the officers who apprehended the thief and the ones who returned my package. 


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  1. Wow! God is so good! I Always have them ring my bell and if I don't answer then don't leave anything! I tell them to just leave a note and I will pick up whatever it is I missed! I am so very happy that you got your dolls back without incident! The shame of it all, to see that folks are ready to steal off your front porch! Thanking God for his grace and his mercy that hubby was not hurt and for caring neighbors!

  2. Thank God you got your package back. I've had an instance where a package was stolen never recovered and probably thrown out by the thief (was some Kelly clothes). I've also had words with my postman & UPS about not ringing the bell, leaving packages on the porch when no one is home.

    It used to be fine to do years ago but now..NO WAY. I may resort to a PO Box.

  3. I think you need to pay a visit to your local UPS and have words with the supervisor.

    I have had UPS delivery guys knock on the door, and before I even have a chance to draw breath and say, "I'm coming!" they are already SPRINTING back to their trucks.

    Maybe what they should do, since they are SOO determined to drop packages and run is to come up with something like a lockable strong box for customers, like the post office now does with mail, or at least drop a note in your mailbox that you have a package to pick up.

    Thank the Almighty that:

    1. Your neighbor was alert to the thief, and contacted the police.

    2. That you saw the perpetrator, and can describe him clearly, if need be.

    3. That your wonderful huggy was NOT hurt in his pursuit of that thief.

    4. That you got your dolls after all.

    5. That the police will not be charging you with homicide* because that jerk stole $250 worth of dolls.

    * = Of course, if that were me, I'd rally fellow doll collectors as character witnesses, and plead "Justifiable Homicide."

    All in all, however, the Almighty has your back, Debbie! Enjoy your new dolls.

  4. Thanks Chynadoll, Dollz4moi, and Miladyblue for your comments and expressions of joy that my dolls were returned.

    I'm sorry that your things were stolen and not recovered Dollz4Moi. I actually taped a note on my mailbox after this incident, directed to UPS, USPS and FedEx requesting that they ring the doorbell. Do you know the mail man delivered three packages today -- two were stuffed in the mailbox and one placed on the porch -- without ringing the doorbell? I just happened to walk up to the front and saw his truck parked between my house and the next door neighbor's and looked out. Ernesto was in the box left at the door. I would have had to fight someone had my perfect Ernesto been snatched!

    Miladyblue, you had me cracking up about my possibility of "catching a case" of justifiable homicide. Hopefully the thief's stay in the city jail will make him think twice about being a repeat offender.


  5. That is great that you received your dolls, what a blessing! It seems to be what they all do. My packages are left on the front porch all the time. Thus far, I have had no incidences.

    Yes, God is watching over you AND your dolls.

  6. Congratulations, this was really good luck at last.I'm from Spain and UPS or postman never leave any parcel if you don`t put a signature in the form. They have to give it in hand hopefully, if not I think I would "lost" my dolls.

  7. I'm so glad your dolls were returned to you. I'm quite horrified to hear so many USPS horror stories, about packages containing expensive dolls being left outside, to be stolen or soaked in the rain. Doesn't the USPS have ANY responsibility for them? If a package is lost that way, do they reimburse anything at all or is it completely your (or the seller's) loss?

  8. Georgia Girl - Alrunia - thank you! It's wonderful that such measures in in place in Spain. Our delivery personnel need develop the same practices of not leaving packages behind, especially in this day and time.

    Hi Alrunia,

    I was nonchalantly told by the first UPS person I spoke with before the package was recovered that I should contact the seller and have the seller file a claim. I am not sure if all or only a portion of the cost is reimbursed by UPS or how difficult or long this process is/takes. I am investigating this matter and plan to write a followup post as soon as I gather the information.

    There was a news story on just this morning about people stealing packages from peoples' porches, especially during this time of year. This is a countrywide problem and not isolated to specific regions or neighborhoods. No one is immune. So people, be careful. Take the necessary precautions if you are expecting a package. Have UPS or the post office hold your packages for later pickup if you are not going to be home. This could happen to you and you may not be as fortunate as I was.


  9. Hi Debbie,

    Sorry you had to experience all the stress and drama but thank goodness things turned out well in the end. Back in my eBay days, I used to receive two or three packages every week. USPS or the other delivery services would leave them on my front porch. Sometimes they would hide them under the door mat. They would also push them to the side of the porch so that the railing partially hid them but I received a number of expensive items like computer equipment with no incident.

    Here in Atlanta, the Post Office requires that your mailbox be on the street. They won't deliver to a box on your porch or to a door slot. This makes sense in rural areas but in urban neighborhoods where all kinds of people walk by your mailbox every day, I think it is very unsafe. As a result I rent a P.O. box and try not to have any mail delivered to my house. Since some carriers can't deliver to a USPS box, however, I have stopped buying on eBay. This is good for my budget but frustrating. I have ordered a few dolls on-line from Target and had them delivered to my brother's business where there is usually someone present to accept packages. How sad that items are no longer safe on our porches. At my first house in Atlanta, I couldn't even keep doormats because people would steal them off the porch.

  10. I'm so glad you were able to recover your dolls safely! That is so scary!!

  11. Yes, God watches over us. Some might think it's trivial to have packages stolen but I can understand. My Postman also just puts packages on the porch, sometimes between the door. I try as much as possible to have them delivered at work.

  12. Limbedolls, Margaret, and simsgrl - I appreciate your comments.

    Limbedolls - Some of the newer neighborhoods here have mailboxes on the curbs but I believe packages are still delivered to their doors.

    I have had a PO box by choice since writing my first book as a measure of protection for myself but I only check it once a week because of its location. It would be difficult and a bother for me to have to go more than once a week, but if it resorts to that, I will do it. For now I am being very vigilant about outstanding deliveries with a very watchful eye on my front porch.

    I'm glad you no longer have to worry about your doormat being stolen.


  13. I thought for sure you were going to run down the thief! What a blessing! So much drama! Then when your husband went looking for him, I could hear the music in the background. You know the music they play in the movies when you get that "oh no" feeling. I have to admit I was on the edge of my seat the whole time.

    I have been blessed not to have any incidences. I live on a small cul de sac. Leaving on the porch has never been a problem. I do get ticked when the driver is too lazy to walk up the stairs and decides to leave the package in front of the garage door. My poor postman has to frequently leave the comforts of his truck to put packages on my porch. The bell is never rung. I have never understood that one.

    So glad everything and everyone are safe after this ordeal.

  14. Thanks Vanessa. I'm so glad you've never had any problems and hope you never will.


  15. I am so glad you got your dolls! I'd have been so upset.

    My husband springs for a UPS box because here in Chicago, you just can't take chances. I don't live in a horrible neighborhood, but my car's been broken into more than once and stuff has been taken. So I know people around here have no qualms stealing stuff. Our UPS driver is pretty good, but the USPS is NOT and they just DGAF. The UPS box is expensive but a good investment for us. We try to get everything important sent there.

  16. Thanks Ronni. So sorry about your car being broken into on multiple occasions.

    Not only did you incur a loss of whatever was taken, if you're filing insurance claims, your premiums have probably skyrocketed.

    These are the times in which we live. We can never be too careful.


  17. I "had" a really good postman 18 months ago! I would always tell him when I was expecting things and he would make sure I got them. He spent time talking to the neighborhood kids and making sure that they were on their P's and Q's. He talked to older people keeping an eye on them. One new neighbor complained about the time he spent talking to the station and they moved him! I still give her the fish eye when I see her.

    I'm glad your got your dolls!

  18. That's terrible, Ms. Leo. It takes one idiot to ruin a perfectly good situation.

    Hopefully you can establish a similar relationship with the new postman but warn him not to be too friendly with the neighbors.


  19. i have a doll that i cant find any info on it is 5" tall its legs arms head and body are all round she has earrings in her oversized ears,a small pearl necklace and a pink hula type dress around her waist her eyes bblink when she moves back and forth there is a small ring on top of her head for hanging from a car mirror or where ever.she is made of soft black rubber her eyebrows mouth and curl on head are all hand painted on thank you. my email is


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