Thursday, August 8, 2013

Border Skirmish

Apparently, I'm addicted to these provocative titles. ;>

By way of explanation, my "corner" of the globe is tucked between New Brunswick and Quebec, Canada. We are actually much closer to Quebec, but visit New Brunswick more often since that is where the family cottage is located. Since September 11, 2001, crossing the border has, understandably, become a little more complicated.

It is because of these complications that my sister became a dual citizen. (Sis was able to do this because our mother lived and died a Canadian.) There was a brief window of time to take advantage of that opportunity a few years ago. (It may have already ended.) Anyway, she did take advantage of the chance; I didn't. Sis believed that border crossings would become less of a hassle if she had a ticket to ride in either direction, so to speak. She also has a passport, of course. I don't. I need either a passport or at least the lesser version that allows me to go to Canada or Mexico so I can visit Canada once again. 

Sis and my son received the cottage as an inheritance. Sis is setting about to make it an attractive and comfortable place to vacation whether for a few days, a week or even a month. It's why we were making new curtains for the bedroom doors last week. 

Part of this setting up of a home away from home involves comfortable sleeping. When she and her husband were there in July, they purchased a new mattress set. This time, they took up a gently used set, very gently used. It's probably only been slept on for a month. 

They drove right up to the border expecting entrance and were turned away because of the mattress. Bed bugs. No, there were no bed bugs, but that is the Canadians' concern. This is very amusing to me as bed bugs are everywhere, even Canada. We can thank our liberal immigration policies for this I suppose. Anyway, the Canadian Custom Agent didn't want a gently used mattress or any other mattress from the U.S. in his bed bug free environment. Forgive me while I chuckle. 

That's when I received the urgent call spoken of in yesterday's post. That's when my brain fired in all directions trying to think of what to do, what to do. Expensive mattress, not going to return all the way home because of the length of the drive, local storage unit facility not answering her call. I suggested that she call our Canadian cousin to see what he might say and then call me back.

In the intervening time, John and I arrived at "the kids' place." My son just shook his head in disbelief. My daughter and daughter-in-law had no suggestions either. We have seen many policy changes through the years, but this one was a special conundrum.

My Canadian cousin did have a suggestion: he has more American cousins...imagine that...who live close to the border on the U.S. side, but he knew that he'd have no way of explaining to Sis how to get there as his other American cousin lives on back roads deep in the woods. No go. Canadian cousin did say that he had a spare mattress set and would gladly donate it to the cause. Score!

In the meantime, what to do with the expensive set still on the trailer of Sis's vehicle. What might you have done? 

You're not going to believe what they did...

~camouflaged ???~

Right. They found an abandoned home and abandoned the mattress. Ackkkkk! Can you see it? 

We are all still shaking our heads and hoping that it'll be there when they go to pick it up.

Edited to add: Just as I was finishing this post, an email arrived with this subject: "Mrs. Beasley." It read: Just picked her up, none the less for the rain!! What an ordeal. 

I'll say, Sis, for all of us! ☺ As I said previously, nothing like a little drama.

Oh, and really, what might you have done?

Tomorrow? A simple post and short. I promise.

Love Vee

39 comments:

  1. I have heard the Canadian border is a challenge indeed! I am glad for a resolution to the problem of the mattress, as chaotic as the day seemed to be.... and I would have never thought to stash the mattress. Glad it was there for your sister when she returned!

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  2. I don't have a clue what I would do, but your sister and her husband are very clever!

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  3. Very interesting turn of events! What could have been, should have been, so simple....well, it all turned out! Very clever of them I must say!

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  4. What a great story!! Almost worth the drama to have such a story in one's repertoire? I think your sister and her husband had a stroke of genious! That sounds like something that Ron would do (something like "We're not going to lose this expensive mattress!") while I wrung my hands and wondered if the Abandoned House Police were going to get us! :D

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  5. Oh Vee, your posts never cease to entertain me. :-D Border Skirmish indeed; I love this title!! Well, who knew? I've never traveled to Canada (although I'd like to), but had no idea it was so tricky to get across the border. I honestly wouldn't have thought of bed bugs in a million years. Not exactly the weapon of choice of international terrorists. :) But seriously, I know there was a big outbreak of bedbugs in the U.S. a few years ago, but I'd completely forgotten about it. However, as you said, I would imagine that every country has its share of bedbugs; they don't really need papers to get across the borders, do they?

    Thanks for letting us know what happened. I read your post yesterday and wondered why they would have been stopped at the border. Thanks for your sweet comments on my mom's table, and it's always a pleasure to visit your haven.

    Hugs,

    Denise at Forest Manor

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  6. I couldn't wait to sign on and check out the border dilemma in full! I must say this is not what
    I expected and I laughed out loud at the situation...sorry...
    hugs
    Sandi
    ps...what would I have done? A trailer sale on the side of the road

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  7. Oh my!

    We've travelled to Ontario a few times since 9/11. We first got passport cards and took the younger children's birth certificates along. Now all the adults have regular passports. We were just going for a family reunion so we only had luggage with us, so no problems!

    I think Tim would have found a place to store the bed too! I would have been worried it wouldn't be there when we got back, but it would be a risk worth taking!

    I like your provocative titles!

    Deanna

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  8. What a great story, Vee! But what a hassle. Clever way to store the mattress!
    I see you have "The Lobster Chronicles". I got the book from the library after you mentioned it in a previous post. Then I read her book "The Hungry Ocean". I love anything that has to do with Maine.
    I've been vacationing in Northern Minnesota and at one point could see Canada across a lake.

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  9. Too funny! I never think that it might be a challenge to come this way - believe me, it can be a HUGE challenge to go south! It's a bit of an inquisition, perhaps a search, and if one looks (like my third generation Canadian mum) like you might come from somewhere else, there's the profiling. There is still the unfortunate story (trotted out for ever so long by a senior member of the government) that the 911 terrorists got into the US because of lax Canadian policy, forgetting that they had trained in Florida. Now there are US drones patrolling over the BC-WA border. It's all so sad, because like you, our family is spread across both sides of the border. Sorry - didn't mean to get all maudlin, but I certainly miss the days of 'the longest undefended border'.

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    1. Oh, yes, it works both ways. We've had trouble getting back in just as often as we've had trouble getting out. The perils of this age...

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  10. This is a story that will be told over the years and just get better and better with the telling! So glad it all worked out.

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  11. Oh my land, that's a good one, Vee! I'm chuckling that they chucked the mattress for a few days at the abandoned house. Yikes. Wow now that's discrimination at a whole new level...bug discrimination. Good thing those bugs can't make it across the border all on their own. For the record I get asked more questions, generally, coming back from Canada then going into Canada.

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  12. It sounds like an episode from the Lucille Ball show. Ethel & Lucy were always getting into sticky situations. Happy to hear the mattress was still waiting for them when they returned to the abandoned house. What a story!

    Smiles,
    Carol

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  13. What an ordeal! Amazing that the mattress was still there!

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  14. That was quite a story Vee, bed bugs! Honestly, if one can't transport their own mattress from one abode to another, what is this world coming to?
    It really is an experience even going shopping to Buffalo for a few days. We were told that once we hit US ground we better buy a coffee somewhere and keep the receipt to prove what time we arrived because if you try and sneak back one minute before your 48 hours, you'll be paying duty on some stuff. Our saving grace was my daughter's iPhone that messaged her she was switching to roaming or something like that and she was able to pull up the message for our proof of time.
    Judith

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  15. What an ordeal! Bed bugs are universal and have been around as long as mankind, so it seems odd to me that Canada would only now prohibit someone from transporting a mattress across the boarder. Will a check for head lice soon follow? lol! Both conditions are not ideal, but how can one judge that from circumstance?

    A dual citizenship is nice. My husband had to renounce his Italian citizenship to become a naturalized citizen back in the 70's.

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    1. There was a time, in our not so distant past, when they were unheard of. So much for progress!

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  16. If I didn't know you better...I'd say you 'spun a yarn'! heehee! Some things are beyond imagining! What would I have done? I'll have to get back to you on that! haha! Truth is indeed stranger than fiction! But at least you have photos! Hugs!

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  17. Now that was really entertaining! I used to teach painting seminars in Canada and always worried about going through customs. I only got detained and questioned once, but they finally let me through.

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  18. Well...I can tell you when we went in to see about having our Alabama license changed over to NY, you can get a provision put on the NY license to travel back and for to Canada (since we are only 90 miles from Nigara Falls)PLUS they gave us a list on the what haves & not haves, yep..the mattress was one the not haves. How funny. lol

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  19. Sorry hit enter to soon. ANYWAYS-So sorry. I have no idea on what I would of done. Prob the same thing.

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  20. Great post - great story. Living just 20 miles south of the British Columbia/Washington border I could tell you some stories about border crossings (but I won't). It is strange how these things get overblown in some of the agent's heads. I'm glad you got the problem solved - and nice comfy bed in the mean time.

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  21. I've had a few adventures getting into Canada "with" a passport. It doesn't surprise me one bit. Ever try to bring fish back. Don't!

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  22. Oh, I can't quit grinning! Now that was some smart thinking on your sis's part.
    We moved to Canada in 2001 and didn't have a bit of a problem coming across the border with our whole truck load of furniture. They do have a horrendous problem with bed bugs in Toronto I know. Probably other places too.

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  23. Oh my! That was NOT what I expected - it was more entertaining! I've never seen a bedbug here in Canada, nor in our visits to the US, but I know they exist in both places. Your sister and her husband were most inventive. Glad that Mrs. Beasley is safely home again.

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  24. Wow, some story! Good ending, though!
    I like your photos in the previous post. My drive bys are usually a blur. I, too, never tire of gazing at Mister's distinctive profile.
    Now to catch up on your previous, previous posts!
    Your new to me header is lovely.

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  25. Oh my goodness what a story!! But it seems to have gotten itself sorted out.
    I like your post titles. It's so hard for me to come up with them at times.

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  26. I can believe this because the same thing happened to our daughter only going to the U.S.A, we live in Canada but she married a fella in Michigan, when she moved her things across the border they wouldn't let her bring her mattress in the country, they had to turn around and take it to good will . So I think it must be at both sides, I do know we are not aloud to bring citrus fruit into the U.S even though it as grown there!

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    1. Absurd! How sad to have to give a perfectly good mattress away! That one about the citrus fruit is a weird one, too. We can take citrus over, but can't bring the same fruit back. Guess they have their reasons.

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  27. I never seen a bed bug maybe we don't have them here, we most likely do we had all the other bugs.
    But couldn't they just spray the mattress with something to kill anything that maybe lurking in there.
    We can't take fruit over the borders but they truck all tropical fruit over the borders all the time, it confuses me but it's a rule.
    Merle........

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  28. This is kind of amazing. and did they get the mattress out of the abandoned house? Wasn't sure about your ending, but then it's late and I'm tired. I had my GD all day!

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    1. They left it outside! I take it that it's well camouflaged. Ha!

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  29. Oh my - makes for a great story though. Glad Mrs. Beasley was saved. I know there are similar rules about firewood being taken across the border as well. Strange rules indeed.

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  30. Great story and I like your post title. Who knew that bed bugs were such a threat!! I'm glad that all is well and the mattress was still there.

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  31. I couldn't wait to hear the story! Unbelievable, really! Times have definitely changed since we last crossed the border...the man at the border looked into the car through the driver's side window, barely looked at our birth certificates and motioned us through. Great story though!
    Linda (mysewwhatblog)
    ps I just love that tea cup you used on your home page. I was in a shop yesterday trying to find one like it...

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  32. Vee, that is a hilarious story! Oh my! No, we don't want anymore bedbugs in Canada and I can see the point of the border guards but what a canundrum for your sister and her husband. I'm glad the mattress was still there but too bad it got rained on. Don't ever try to take citrus fruit or plants either way at the border. A definite No No. The citrus fruit one is weird as they come from the US anyway. Thanks for the chuckle Vee.

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    1. Oh we used to be able to take them over, but we couldn't bring them back. I think a lot of things have changed in the decade since I was last there.

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  33. Bed bugs have been getting a lot of press here, especially in Toronto. I thought that was so cool that you live so close to the border that you travelled back and forth often. It's like being neighbour's. Valerie

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