The surprise waiting for me at home was, of course, a box with the ring inside. My mother said she had noticed it when she went out to get the newspaper in the morning, and she brought it in. Since I'd got up later that day --- it was a teaching day --- I didn't see her until the evening, after I had got the police report.
The obvious question was, could it possibly have been sitting in our mailbox since the last day of February? I have to say no. I definitely looked in the mailbox when I first saw the claim the box had been delivered. My mother said it had been stuffed in the far back of the little slot under the mailbox, the one for newspapers and small packages, but even so I can't imagine our missing it, not after looking for it, and not for a month. After all, my mother noticed it just getting the newspaper, not a process that invites careful investigation of the mail box's newspaper shelf.
Our theory is: the box was originally delivered to the wrong address. Maybe another number, maybe the right number and another street. The wrong address was one of the snowbirds, the large fraction of the community which vanishes for Florida all winter. Assuming they got back, they saw the package, saw the correct address and kindly delivered it to us, late but intact.
And what to do with the ring? Well, ship it back, was the only really decent choice. I called the local UPS office and just got them very confused about what I was asking for; they promised to get a tracer on the original package. But with some further rounds of explanation I got across that it wasn't lost, it was found, and they gave me a number to call to arrange for a pickup. I also called Jewels For Me, so they knew what to expect, and they e-mailed me a shipping label which I could print out and bring to a UPS store (there's one in a nearby shopping mall) for return.
So perhaps belatedly this comes to a tolerable conclusion. I would rather have had the first ring, when I could have given it to bunny_hugger someplace precious like the Floyd Moreland carousel. But I have given her the replacement ring, and now I'm just curious what will become of this one. It's a common ring size, and an attractive setting; surely they'll find a suitable person for it, and that person will almost certainly have no idea how close it came to being bunny_hugger's, or the month it spent in the cold waiting to be delivered and returned. I know that quirk in its history, but not where it will go. I don't know why I find this affecting.
Trivia: The Hay-Herrán Pact, which would have made the deal between the United States and Columbia for a Panama Canal, provided for a canal zone only six miles in width, with a 100-year, indefinitely renewable lease on the canal. The treaty with freshly independent Panama expanded the zone to ten miles and made the zone perpetual. Source: The Path Between The Seas: The Creation Of The Panama Canal, 1870 - 1914, David McCullough.
Currently Reading: The New Jersey Shore, John T Cunningham. I'm kind of interested how the same areas would be reviewed by a similar author today, though not enough to do the work that would require.
PS: About Chances of Winning on The Price Is Right: Since the compilation of trapezoid/trapezium essays made logical sense, I added also a compilation post for my many essays about The Price Is Right; I don't have anything further to add to that topic just now, though.