Chilliwack Mother’s Day gift floats 600 km across border

Brian Minter, left and Lisa Minter, right hold a bouquet similar to one that they delivered to a customer
Brian Minter, left and Lisa Minter, right hold a bouquet similar to one that they delivered to a customer's house in Chilliwack on Mother's Day. The balloons managed to break free and were sent adrift by the wind. A farm in Albany, Oregon contacted the garden saying they had their balloons with the card still attached a couple days later.
— image credit: Ric Ernst/PNG

By Stephanie Ip – The Province

Those who think flowers are overdone on Mother’s Day should perhaps consider a balloon bouquet instead next year—just make sure they stay put.

That’s a lesson Phyllis Beauchene’s son learned the hard way this year.

Beauchene’s son and daughter-in-law live in Japan, where he is teaching. This year for Mother’s Day, the couple placed an order by phone with a local flower shop for a balloon bouquet to be sent to Beauchene’s Chilliwack home.

However, the mom wasn’t going to be home on Saturday when the bouquet was scheduled to arrive, so she told the flower shop to leave them on her porch.

Little did she know, the helium-filled balloons would get impatient and embark on an adventure of their own.

Just as the delivery guy placed the balloons on the porch, strong winds picked up two of the balloons, and lifted them up and away.

Then a day later, around 6:30 p.m. on Mother’s Day, Pam Derrickson and her husband spotted the balloons glinting in the evening sun, out in a field on their small farm—near Albany, Oregon.

They instantly hopped on a four-wheeler to retrieve them, not wanting their cows to get curious, and possibly hungry.

The two balloons, emblazoned with colourful graphics proclaiming “Happy Mother’s Day”, had travelled nearly 600 kilometres across the U.S.-Canada border, a journey that takes about seven hours in a car.

“The card was still stuck in the plastic holder,” Derrickson told the Albany Democrat-Herald. “It has the name of the woman who was to receive them and the shop that took them to her.”

The Derricksons contacted Minter Country Garden, who delivered the bouquet, and were told the balloons had been intended for Beauchene in Chilliwack.

Lisa Minter, whose parents own the flower shop and garden, said it was her mom that answered the phone call from Oregon on Monday and learned of the long-distance delivery.

“How in the heck did they get that far?” Minter said of the errant delivery, one of about 170 that went out on Saturday. “That was just my first thought. Most people (we’ve told) are just incredulous.”

Minter said the delivery guy notified the flower shop as soon as he spotted the balloons floating away, and they were able to replace them the same day.

But according to Minter, if anyone could appreciate such a quirky story, it’s Beauchene, who is also a regular customer at Minter Country Garden.

“She’s a hoot,” Minter said. “It was one of those situations where that was the perfect person for it to happen to.

- with files from the Albany Democrat-Herald

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