Needless to say, my mom and I were shocked when we opened the first of four (similarly configured boxes) when my son and I arrived for a short weekend trip for him to see his "Baba." The outer condition of the boxes betrayed a bit of what we soon found inside - the boxes were smashed, dented and had major tears and rips along the edges - but we were not prepared for the extent or severity of damage. It took about two hours to fully document and inventory the damage, picture by picture; with the bottom line being that fully none of the 24 frames are in "sellable" condition, and will have to be reframed. Moreover, at least half of the prints will have to be redone as well.
As for me, I quickly went through the Kubler-Rossian stages of grief over a "death of a loved one" (the "loved ones" being my prints): denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance (did I mention anger?!? ;-).
I knew I finally had my emotions under (some semblance of) control when - though still miffed; good grief, I'm still miffed, as a write this a few days after the fact! - I found myself picking up my camera not to document the damage, but to actually start composing what appeared to me a rather nice little "abstract" (as you see documented at the top of this entry). Photographers - especially those whose "eye" is attracted to abstract forms - are strange creatures indeed. My 10yo son stared incredulously, dropped jawed, as his dad - who moments before was apoplectic with primal rage directed at the universe in general and the UPS delivery service in particular - suddenly quieted down, got "that look" in his eye, starting circling one of the open boxes with all of its exposed shards of glass and mangled metal, and started clicking away as if nothing at all was the matter. A lesson about how accidents can serve as catalysts for transforming representational art into abstraction? Perhaps; or it may just be another everyday example of the gentle madness known as abstract photography :-)
Postscript. Though the outcome of my claim is at this time unknown, the shipment was insured. Hopefully, that should defray at least some of the cost (though not the time) of reprinting and reframing these images.