Usps said the socks had been accepted in Conover on Nov. 4, and processed on Nov. 5 at two different locations in IL. It did NOT say delivered. I checked with my local postmaster and she said found the same information. Back home, I dialed Information for a phone number at the IL post office in question. There, I was told they would get back to me within a business day. Late the following afternoon, I called them again and was told someone had called that morning and,... "Wait," I said, "I just arrived home, I've been out all day, no one has been home, no message was left on my answering machine, so no one called here." They did not know where the package was.
What could I do but go home and make three more pairs of socks and get them ready to mail, which I did. The day I took the second package to the post office, the postmaster asked me if I'd checked tracking that day. No, I hadn't, so she did, and it appeared the package was in MN on its way back to me, so took the package back home again. It took about five weeks to make its way back to me.
The next day, the original package of socks was in my mailbox, mailing label missing, but a small label with return to Shuttle Works affixed to it, and the end taped shut.
I took photos of the outside, then opened it, and yes, it had been opened, the raffia nearly off, tissue re-wrapped, and in the bottom of the envelope one of my business cards/tags that had been inside a sock. I called Deb again, and she said the label must have come off at some point going through the machinery, and the package sent to recovery, where they are authorized to open packages to try to determine the destination or origin. They had found my card and were able to send it back.
So, the following day, back I went to the post office, this time clear tape over the label to make sure it would not come off, insured, tracking number, and signature required. I also sent a package to Oregon, another sock order. Both arrived at their destinations the same day. Then last night I received an email from OR that the socks had arrived. I wrote back thanking him for letting me know, and briefly telling him about the other package that had gone astray. He wrote back saying he had looked, and the label was coming off that package, too.Live and learn, right? Either replace the labels or clear tape over each one to keep it on (or both), or just write directly on the packages with permanent marker.
And now I'm three pairs of socks ahead on my sock supply for the coming summer.