Jan 27, 2009

The Mystery Gift

So a couple of weeks ago, I got a comment from a fellow blogger (who shall remain anonymous, you know, as per the eyewitness protection program). No biggie, right? 'Cause we get comments from each other all the time...

Oh, no my sweet. Not like this one. This one had such an element of mystery and intrigue that Dr. Watson himself would have trembled upon receiving such a thriller. Here's how the comment read:

"Hi Chel. I was looking for an email address and couldn't find one. So I'll just leave my crazy question here. A bloggy friend has a gift to send you (anonymously so I'm enlisted to help). They want your address. A p.o. box will do fine.

You can email me at...(email address removed to protect the eyewitness).

I'm not a stalker or anything. I am a bloggy friend of Edie. But she's not the anonymous gift giver. Anyway, let me know what you think."

I felt like it was "safe" to include Edie's name since her friends are innumerable anyway.

So I suppose you wouldn't have been in some kind of spinning delirium upon receiving such an astonishing request?

I feverishly replied to said eyewitness, explaining my unabashed curiosity...and then came my compliance. What else could I do? I beg you, tell me.

And then, my mind began racing through all the possibilities. I mean, really, it can take a long time to get through about four of them. And why would they make such an offer anonymously? What could they possibly gain from that?

I was also told that the "giver" of this fine gift was not planning on revealing him/herself at all. Like...ever. Can a girl sustain such a grave secret? I think not. Yet, my eyewitness tells me that she's been sworn to secrecy.

She also alluded to the fact that she could be persuaded, if given the right "encouragement," but I digress.

And thus, I was forced to wait.

Wait for a clue. Wait for a sign. Wait for a box.

Oh the torture! How could I go on?? How could I think of anything else...besides when the doggone mailman was gonna come?!

And then he did.

Smiling and glowing and singing in the background. Angels were fanning their wings over my back porch as the long awaited parcel (that really only took a couple of days) made its way to my doorstep.

Oh, the anticipation was remarkable. Even my kids were bubbling with excitement! What is it? Who is it from? Who is it for?

I promptly let them know that this one, my sweet child, is for ME. Thank you.

The first thing I looked for was the return address. Well, I could tell that the one who sent the package was a professional...the marker on clear tape was smudged just enough to prevent me from making a determination on a name. Hmmmmm.... But my keen eyes did detect a very important clue. Two letters, all caps: SC

South Carolina.

I carefully cut the tape on the box with a pair of scissors, the crescendo in the air building to monstrous heights....

Questions were racing through my mind faster than my hands could rummage through the huge air-pocket packaging. Who had handled this box just a few days before? Who's handwriting is that on the front? What IS IT??

And then there it was. Beauty and goodness and excellence wrapped in one black leather binding.

A 1941 copy of the New Testament of God's Holy Word.

I was speechless. How strange that someone who may as well live in the Netherlands could know my abiding affection for old books. Especially old Bibles. How did they know?

And then the flood came: my Christmas video "vlog" post for Linda's "I See What You're Saying" event. I spoke of my delight of old books, preferably Bibles and/or Christian living and /or Christian biographies. I shared about the book that my darling husband gave me for Christmas.

And then I remembered a comment I received about that post.

Oh, the puzzle, it is fitting together nicely now.

Here's what the comment read:

"Hmmmm I have something sitting right here that I know you would love. Maybe that could be the first gift I give in the new year." -- Greg C


Guess where the mysterious Greg C lives? Many of you may already know...in South Carolina.

(insert music: dum dum dummmmm)

Thanks to my acute ability to read, I have swiftly and surely solved the Mystery Gift, eh, mystery...thank you, thank you very much. Hold your applause. No, no...go on.


But Greg, seriously, I want to say thank you. I have no doubt it was you, so don't bother to deny it. :-) You are just the type of person that would box up a beautiful old Bible that you had in your possession, and write a lovely letter to go with it, and send it to someone you've never met in real time.

Speaking of the letter, in lieu of posting it in its entirety, I thought I would share some of the things that this dear friend mentions in it:

First of all, the fate of this Bible was changed one day as our friend, Greg, was many moons ago working for it's previous owner. This farmer asked his young employee to clean out a storage building behind an old shed. Greg found a bunch of old books, so he asked his boss where he wanted them. Much to my dismay, the farmer said throw them out.

Ugh...I know.

So our friend did what any self-respecting individual would do: he snooped. And then he kept some of the interesting ones instead of throwing them away. One of those was this Bible.

On the front page is inscribed a name: Vida Dawson Kennedy. Greg said that what he knew about her is that she was related to the wife of the farmer he worked for...and she is somehow related to JFK. Looks like our friend, Greg, has some more investigating to do. Because this is the kind of information one likes to know! (just kidding, my friend).

I do want to share the conclusion of the letter for you, because it touched my heart greatly.

"You are getting this, Chel, because I truly enjoy reading your blog and you are an inspiration to many of us who read it. So Congratulations and don't even ask who this is from. Just know it's from someone who reads your blog daily and thinks you are special."

And it's signed -- "Me and God"

A third reason that I know Greg sent me this book is because I instinctively hear the same "voice" in my head when I read his letter as I do when I read his blog. Y'all know what I'm talking about!

So Greg, please know that I love it. I really do. It fits quite nicely with my collection, and one sweet day, I will have my barrister bookcase to put it and all its new friends into. Until then, they are all lined up on my dresser insuring that they keep that wonderful old smell contained within them.

Please peruse through the beautiful Bible and all its marvelous surprise contents via the pictures I took...and in the words of a very special blogging friend...have a nice day.

Click to play Old Bible Mystery Gift
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Chatty Kelly said...

Very interesting deducting. Of course you'll never know for sure, now will you?

That is so AWESOME!!! Loved the story and the thoughtfulness of the blogger who sent it. (not to mention the wonderful person who got the address). :-)

Nel said...

That is so cool! And the way you put it together, You are soo Good! You did a wonderful job with the slideshow also. I love it! It made me feel like I was right there. That was so sweet of him to think of you.

Anonymous said...

This is so neat! Greg is a pretty cool guy! :)

Jodie said...

Wow. How beautiful - what a thoughtful gift... and aren't those just THE BEST?! You are the perfect recipient for such a jewel, Chel.

And good on ya for figgerin' out who done it!! :)

Edie said...

Oh Chel that is SO AWESOME!! How generous of Greg. Great detective work on your part. I was never told who the gift giver was but I can vouch for CK. She is a very dear bloggy friend.

I'm so thrilled for you. I know this is a gift you will treasure.

Elle said...

What fun - that is so great
Yes, I saw your video where you talk about your love of old books. So cool
Funny post

Greg C said...

I can neither confirm nor deny the accusation on the grounds that it might incriminate me. I feel like one of those "smart" criminals that forgets one minor detail and then gets caught. I forgot about that one little comment that I left. Oh well I doubt if you are going to shoot me or anything like that. And besides, you deserve to have it and I know you will cherish and take good care of it.

Chel's Leaving a Legacy said...

Well there you have it, folks...a full confession from the mastermind himself!!

Angela said...

Oh my gosh that is so awesome!I know you will treasure that New Testament for years to come! What a sweet friend! Oh, and thank you for the award! You made me smile!

Dena said...

You are so good at putting together the clues. Way to go! And congratulations on receiving the old bible. I believe it's in a wonderful home.

I too love old books.

Chel - An Abiding Branch said...

Way to go my slethy sista! That is awesome!

Meg in Tally said...

What a sweet, thoughtful gift! I would have been beside myself trying to figure out the mystery. I must say you're good, girl! Very good! And so treasure worthy!!!

Jackie @ Our Moments Our Memories said...

Oh goodness...girl, you can spin a tale like no other and keep us on the edge of our seats! I love that about you!

How very sweet of Greg...and there is no better recipient than you, my dear, because I know you will love and cherish this Bible.

Don't give up on me, friend...I am still working on your design, albeit somewhat slowly, but I'll hopefully have something to show you in the next week.

Michele Williams said...

What a thoughtful gift! So neat!

blessings to you...

How are you doing?