It has been a very long time since last I appeared in this world of blogging. I can not say why with certainty. I simply have not felt motivated. Time and again my good online blogger friend, Diane S of A Stone, A Leaf, An Unfound Door would lovingly try to cajole me back to the blog world, especially when she would receive an email from me that she thought particularly blog-worthy. And I considered it, I really did. Another of my blog friends, Ricardo of
FREE SPEECH 101, has been in contact frequently and asked me where I've been, as he missed reading my blog. Joe Vogel of FREE SPEECH 101 also contacted me in those many months in whcih I was silent and he like the others told me I was missed. I can't say how much I appreciated that these friends let me know I was recognized for my small contribution in blogging, but I still didn't feel the pull to come back.

It wasn't until another of my blogger friends, Robert of,
It's Lonely Outside the Box did something that truly rocked my world, my "reality" world, and that ultimately got me to return to this cyber-world in order to tell this story. I sent him an email from which I will be "borrowing" and I hope he doesn't mind.

A Letter to Robert:
Dear Robert,
You not only made my day, yesterday, but my week, my month, maybe even my year. Let me tell you how the day went.
Yesterday, Wednesday, happens to be my day off from work. So, I slept in a few extra hours and left my apartment at about 2:45 PM to go to my therapy appointment. No sooner had I opened the outside door, than the Letter Carrier (known as the mailman in earlier non-politically correct days; I'm one of the few that likes most of the PC terms) was just about to ring my upstairs bell. My appearance at the opened door startled him and he broke out into a huge smile, saying , "oh, are you the person who lives upstairs?", to which I answered yes, and he said, "I didn't think anyone would be home, what a surprise. Well, I have something for you that has to be signed" and he proceeded to climb back up into his mail truck. It seemed to take him quite a long time , each second made longer by the freezing cold temperature and I was going to be late for my appointment, but he had been so friendly and I couldn't even imagine what he had for me that required a signature, so I waited patiently.

He brought out a good sized box and said with obvious excitement in his voice, "it's from China!; well no, not China, Taiwan. It has Chinese written on the box!" I guess this was a rare occurrence in the Morris County, NJ postal route. His mention of Taiwan jogged my memory and I said to him, "OH! It must be the DVDs from Robert", and I went on to tell him about this online friend of mine who is also a blogger and we visit and respond to each other's blogs and yada yada yada so, he offered to send me some political movies, if I didn't mind sharing my address with him. Obviously I didn't. The postman laughed and said, well, I hope he's cute (this comment somehow suggests postman rather than letter carrier) and I responded, "Oh, he is, but he's married and has two kids" and we both laughed. I smiled as he drove away and brought the package with me to the car, set in on the passenger's seat and didn't think much about it until I got to the therapist's office. It didn't occur to me that the box was rather large to contain only DVDs, regardless of how many there may be.

I went to my appointment and spent the first several minutes explaining with excitement and enthusiasm about what had just transpired; I did this by way of explaining why I was late (I always feel guilty when I arrive late to my therapy appointment). I went on to other things and left an hour later. Rather than go directly home, I stopped at Bed, Bath and Beyond for no other reason than that I had a 20% discount card and I figured there must be things I needed in the store. Well, about 3 hours later and with a rolling basket filled with many things I must have needed from the store, I gave the clerk my coupon and left the store, a few hundred dollars poorer Now I had not only the box to bring up the 14 or so stairs to my apartment, but several bags of stuff.

When I got into the apartment, though I hadn't worked, I felt exhausted (shopping can do that!) With all the bags from the store, I almost forgot about the package. Before slicing the box open. I carefully removed the label with my name and address, your name and address (Robert's) and Chinese characters which I am certain said something postal in nature. Having gotten the box opened, it seemed that it was stuffed with lots of paper, newspaper and such, and as I began digging into it, I felt something inside the paper; so I began to carefully unwrap. No sooner had I unwrapped the first one, that I began to feel like a child in a candy store, literally. Now, Robert, I have to stop and tell you that there are two things I really love in life. One is to be surprised - NO ONE is ever able to surprise me - and two is CANDY. So, to my UTTER SURPRISE and delight what I found were treasures, each wrapped separately, to be discovered, one by one.

I stood there in my little kitchen hardly able to contain the mile wide smile on my face. There was a gold Hindu Goddess, which I believe has chocolate inside and several small golden containers, marked with Chinese characters on the top, each looking like some kind of little treasure which when opened, contained pieces of chocolate. I felt like I'd won the Taiwanese lottery. The next few goodies turned out to be those decorative hanging red thingies, one with what looks like
peppers on it, another with a fish and the third and largest with pictures of Chinese masked men, Ninja types...kind of scary looking. They are all hanging in different locations around my apartment.

Inside another wrapping was a beautiful little container, like an ancient pot on three legs with dainty handles.

It is on my living room cocktail table.

And then there was more CANDY. Sucking candies, and these white nougat looking candies that has both Chinese characters and English which says Super Milk Candy. I haven't quite figured out how to get the thin layer of rice like paper off of it. I tried washing it, but it became kind of soggy. I tried picking off pieces, but this took forever and still it had the paper on it, so I decided you are supposed to eat the paper and I did. It felt funny, but the candy was tasty. There are also these rod shaped, red containers, with little Chinese figures on them and gold and on top a gold string. I am not entirely sure that these are not firecrackers, so I have NOT tried to open and eat what's inside, even t hough I did shake it and hear something is inside. I've never seen a firecracker up close though, so I am leaving them as decoration next to the candies in a bowl on my cocktail table, until you, Robert, tell me otherwise. Oh , I forgot to mention the Wrigley's Airwave Sugarfree, Soothing Action Honey & Lemon Chewing Gum....I love it. I took a few other pictures I'll send you at a later date.

And then, finally, at the very bottom of the box, after all the paper-wrapped goodies were removed and opened, I found the envelope with ten or eleven thin DVDs. They are nice. I'm sure I will enjoy watching them and I very much appreciate your sending them to me, but mostly because they were the guise for sending all those other Taiwanese Treats. Nothing will EVER compare to the PRIZES and SURPRISE of receiving all these little gifts from Taiwan, which taken in total amounted to you, Robert, reaching out your hand in Taiwan and me, Sherril grasping it in gratitude and friendship here in New Jersey. I guess it's what those Disney folks mean when they say....It's A Small World After All.

Thank you for making it so.
With Love & Gratitude,


Diane S. said...

Sherril, I am SO glad to see you blogging again, and couldn't be more tickled about your subject matter. I knew Robert was a writing treasure, but not a gift guru. What a kind and thoughtful thing for him to do (which is just what one would expect from Robert).

I've seen many firecrackers up close and I don't think those are they, but I have no idea what they are. No doubt, Robert will enlighten us all soon.

Happy blog return!



Sherril said...

Diane, it feels good to be back and though it may have sounded different in this blog, YOU were most definitely a big part of why I am back. I know that I haven't yet heard from Robert because his busy schedule with the baby and toddler is keeping him away, but I know we will hear from him soon and meanwhile, I look lovingly at those little red "firecrackers". Thanks for your warm and wonderful reply.

Ricardo said...

Well it's about time you! Welcome back!

Sherril said...

Thanks, Ricardo. Now I have to somehow keep the ball rolliing.

avery hart said...

Sounds like you have a leg up on celebrating Chinese New Year on Feb. 18 - Year of the Golden Pig (Great Prosperity) well, that's what I wish for all of all! As for joining the happiest cruise that ever sailed 'round the world - I'm there, Baby!!! Thanks for your creativity and warmth, Sherril. Love Avery Hart

Outside the Box said...

Well! I'm not sure what to start with first.

Thank YOU for such a detailed email. That was a nice surprise.
I do enjoy giving gifts (and surprises), but I’ve never been able to enjoy the results of it as I did reading your email.

Secondly, my wife and I found the part where you were trying to wash the rice paper off of the candy pretty funny.
Yes, you just eat and it dissolves.

The firecrackers have jellies inside, just so you know.
I sent them for how they looked, and my guess would be that if you opened them,
you probably wouldn’t be able to put them back together.
At least not the same as before you opened them.

I’m looking forward to the other pics. And I’m glad you liked the gum.
It’s pretty popular over here, but it’s too strong for me.
I tried to find you some green tea gum, but I had no luck in finding it.

I’m so glad I made your day.
I pride myself in being a good gift-giver and it certainly is rewarding to know when it goes well.

Sherril said...

Thanks for the heads up on Chinese New year and yes, I am all decorated for the party.Thanks for reading and your response.

Uh Oh, that means that your wife now knows that she has competition. Oh well, what's true is true. I am glad you liked my Thank You email, which essentially is this blog post. What can I say, but thank you again. I have opened the "firecrackers" and eaten two of the jellies and I did put it back together and they serve as decorations for Chinese New Years. You are most certainly a great gift giver and as I alluded to, you have to get up pretty early in the morning to surprise Sherril and you did it!

Joe Vogel said...

Welcome back Sherril! I'm still waiting for my present from Robert. ;)

Amishav said...

Wow, what a great present! It sure would have made my day to get something like that too.

Glad to see you are officially back-

Sherril said...

Joe and Amishav,
I'm so glad to see you here and thanks for the welcome.

Joe Vogel said...

Hey Sherril, just posted on my "Mormon" perspective of Mitt Romney. Come take a look.