Marion waits for Dancing in Heaven in the Netherlands

 I wrote in yesterday’s post that Marion in the Netherlands is eagerly awaiting the arrival of Dancing in Heaven, as you can see from her blog post today “A book dancing across the ocean” at Figments of a Dutchess. I hope you’ll visit her over there in the Netherlands, but if you don’t make it to Marion’s blog, here is a short excerpt:

“The love Christine has for her sister is present in every word, and those words reach out to others, to me. So when Christine asked me if I wanted to receive a copy of Dancing in Heaven, I was delighted. She wrote about what happened next in the humorous post Dancing in Heaven dances across the ocean. Dancing in Heaven needs to be read – to be heard – throughout the world. And its first journey across the ocean will end in the tiny Netherlands. Awesome!

So now I’m in my hallway, keeping an eye on the front door. Waiting for Dancing in Heaven to land in my hands.”

Photo by Marion Driessen at Figments of a Dutchess

Marion is probably going to have to wait from 7 to 13 days including weekends, for my book to get into her hands. I hope she has a chair.

I wondered how exactly my book will travel to get there. So I did a little online research.

I googled: “What happens to my package when I send it overseas?

Google replied with several choices that included:

The US Post Office official site

The US Post Office FAQs

How to find a lost package.

How to recover a package lost in the mail.

How to fill out the US Post Office customs form.

What happens if the post office lost my package?

All this talk about lost packages was starting to make me nervous. So I changed tactics.

I googled: “Sending a package to the Netherlands

Google responded with:

USPS  – Country conditions for mailing.

I looked into this link and found the following interesting information (there was more information that wasn’t so interesting):


Articles sent for commercial purposes will not be admitted unless the addressee has obtained an import permit

Cigarettes or tobacco products will be admitted only if they are sent from one private individual to another without any compensation or payment and if the package contains no more than 800 cigarettes, 400 cigars, or 1 kilogram (approximately 2.2 lbs.) of shag or cigarette tobacco.

Meat or meat products (including poultry and wild game) and milk or milk products cannot exceed 1 kilogram (approximately 2.2 lbs.), and any such products must be accompanied by a veterinary certificate issued by the responsible official authority from the country of origin.

Value Limit:

The maximum value of a GXG shipment to this country is $2,499 or a lesser amount if limited by content or value

Size Limits:

The surface area of the address side of the item to be mailed
must be large enough to completely contain the Global
Express Guaranteed Air Waybill/Shipping Invoice (shipping
label), postage, endorsement, and any applicable markings.
The shipping label is approximately 5.5 inches high and
9.5 inches long.

Maximum length: 46 inches
Maximum width: 35 inches
Maximum height: 46 inches
Maximum length and girth combined: 108 inches

(Source of this information: Restrictions)

I realized I was off on a tangent, so I pulled it back together and googled: “USPS Package Handling.”

I got a YouTube link as a response.

Not a confidence builder.

Somewhere in my wild goose chase, I found a link to Netherlands Mailing address formats . . ., a worldwide -parcel services company from the UK sending parcels to the Netherlands, and a site comparing Shipito, My US and BongoUs rates, none of which I have any familiarity with, but perhaps should look into. Especially in light of the abundance of USPS lost package links.

I gave up trying to find helpful information about exactly what path my book would travel to get to the Netherlands, and decided to figure it out myself.  I found this world map online (from the University of Texas, reportedly created by the CIA).

You might think that would be easy. But no. The image was a PDF. I opened it in Adobe Acrobat and exported as a jpeg, saving it to my desktop. I opened the jpeg with PhotoShop (Perhaps I could have opened the PDF with PhotoShop? Don’t know. And at this point, don’t care.) Anyway I eventually got it cropped, resized, transferred to Illustrator where I could draw little circles on it. (Again, perhaps I could have done this in PhotoShop?)

And here it is. My first (and possibly last) installment of Dancing in Heaven’s journey across the sea.

Map showing Cincinnati and the Netherlands

I was told it will take 6 to 10 business days for Dancing in Heaven to get from Cincinnati to Marion in the Netherlands. I figure it probably will fly to somewhere on the east coast, perhaps New York City. That flight takes 2 hours and 11 minutes. Then it will fly overseas from there to Amsterdam. The flight from NYC to Amsterdam takes 7 hours and 10 minutes. I don’t know how long it will take to get from Amsterdam to the city where Marion lives. But since the Netherlands is only about half the size of South Carolina, it can’t possibly take that long.

But perhaps there isn’t all that much mail traveling to the Netherlands from the US. So maybe Dancing in Heaven will make a stop in the UK, or France, or Hong Kong for all I know. Without tracking information, I’ll never know. Or maybe Greenland. Greenland is right up there between our two countries.

Regardless, the way I figure it, Dancing in Heaven is going to be spending a lot of time being sorted, traveling in a vehicle from one post office to another, waiting in mail bins, more sorting, waiting at the airport, flying, more sorting, more waiting, etc., until it finally reaches Marion.

Sorry I got a little technical, Marion. Sometimes that engineering side of me won’t be held down.

. . .Just another post, that took way more time than it was worth, from Christine M. Grote who does have better things to do but doesn’t realize it.

19 thoughts on “Marion waits for Dancing in Heaven in the Netherlands”

  1. I made my first international shipment earlier this year. Every country has their own rules, I was amazed! Who knew it could be so involved? I’m so used to how well mail travels within the boundaries of our country, I assumed it was the same everywhere. Not so! Love that she sent you her “waiting” photo.

    1. I think you’re right about being used to mail within our own country. I just assumed I’d be able to send it overseas, and it turned out I was. Although for a minute I was worried when I got the $85 estimate.

      I loved the waiting photo too.

  2. Don’t worry, your book has a good chance of making it. Though I live in Canada and use Canada Post, their regular mailing system is nothing special and I have successfully been shipping packages to a friend in Thailand and one in Australia for years, some times they arrive a little later then was indicated, but every single one has made it. Good luck on your journey, little book!

  3. What amazing information you found! Just think…years ago without air travel…

    How lovely it will be for Marion when the book arrives. The story of Annie is beautiful even reading it on a Kindle, but there’s nothing to take the place of holding a beautiful print book in hand!


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