I taught from home yesterday, and again today. We've been having everyone on campus for a while now, masked and distanced, but now our long-term political crisis here in Haiti is coming to a head, and we're back at home while demonstrations and strikes happen.
In the middle of my staring at my screen and grading and reading student emails and refreshing the LMS, a box arrived. Christmas in February! My daughter in the US had sent her box to us at the cheapest possible rate, and then there were all those slowdowns there due to the vaccine rollout, and then pileups (I'm assuming) at our mail service in Florida, and then holdups in Haitian Customs. So it took a while for the presents to get here, but I don't mind that - it's actually quite nice to spread out the festivities. One year we had Christmas presents arrive in April (long story).
The box was already open when I got it, I thought probably by my husband. My daughter had sent us each a book, perfectly chosen as usual, and there was a Christmas card enclosed explaining which one went to which of us and why. But then there was also a book in the box that wasn't mentioned in her card. I asked her about it via text, and she didn't know what I was talking about. I sent her a photo of it, and she still didn't know. I asked my husband if he'd put the book in the box, and he hadn't.
Then I opened up the book and found a handwritten note. Addressed to "Babe," it explained that this book was the latest in the series, and then expressed a wish that books would help distract from the current situation. It was signed with a short signature that I couldn't read.
The book looks interesting and I'll definitely read it (it's Fatal Pursuit, by Martin Walker), but I feel terrible that the intended recipient isn't getting it. I know what a boost it is to get a well-chosen book in the mail, especially with a handwritten note enclosed. But I don't have any way of tracing the person. I'm imagining the Customs officials had a couple of boxes open at the same time, and put this book in our box by mistake. There's no name on anything (that I can read). I thought of taking a photo of the book and part of the note and posting it on Facebook, so I did that, but so far there's been no response.
Also, it makes me wonder how many perfect books sent to me have gone astray and are being read, or, worse, not read, in someone else's home.