I had a great title for this post but I don’t remember what it was
Tuesday February 14th 2023, 8:35 pm
Filed under: Food,Friends,Knitting a Gift,Life

(The top straightened out after blocking. I was running low on yarn and stopped there and never did take a finished picture of the beach, the shorebird tracks across it at the sides, the steps going up the hillside, the opening in the base of the redwood trunk to the right big enough to read a book to the child in, the raptor above. This was for a California baby with multinational grandparents. I was trying to make the design with as few yarnover holes as possible for the baby to tug hard at and I only had this 50/50 cashmere/cotton yarn in the one color.)

So. The second box.

The held mail had been delivered in one of those big white Post Office bins, like they do–and it was full of leaves and clearly had been outdoors for some time. Not sure how that happened given that I had opened the front door to the mailman seconds after he’d put it down, and there are no tree leaves left around here anyway.

I was exclaiming over the quilt and the incredible and unexpected generosity of my old high school friend Susan (thank you so so much!!) and almost forgot it in my excitement–but at last, oh, right! it was time to open the second surprise box.

The printed gift note said thank you for the blanket for Alice.

I took it to Richard going, Do we know someone with a baby named Alice? An adult? Did I get someone else’s package? We compared notes. No, her baby’s Emma. No, that’s…

Finally I happened to turn the note over to the back and wait, there was more.

They’d announced their baby girl’s arrival when she hadn’t had a name yet, and then since we weren’t in the range of close friends we never did hear and that was okay.┬áIt was from Michelle’s close friend from high school, the one I’d made the California afghan for.

Inside their thank-you gift was the once-a-year special that Dandelion Chocolate does in February, with three boxes inside for parts 1, 2, and 3 of celebrating a particular origin cacao, which this year happens to be a particular favorite of mine. Sent from the factory in San Francisco.

Now for some back story: when Michelle was working in San Diego, L. was single and living in San Francisco and every time our daughter flew into town, they met up at this nearby new shop that had just the best chocolate ever.

That is how we heard of Dandelion. So when I found a book by them, I bought it for her for Christmas. Amazon then went, People who bought this also looked at… And that is how we ended up giving a melanger to ourselves for Christmas and started making our own.

Which will never live up to Dandelion’s but we did learn a lot about cacao varieties. We’ve gone up there for fun and special occasions ever since. Favorite place, wonderful people, happy memories, the best pastries, and it was a total delight when the NY Times put them in their top 10 chocolate makers in the country.

I didn’t see the big hole in the side while opening it. I did quickly see the ones in two of the three inner boxes; I started to lift them out and open them and hastily put them back in and that’s when I saw the side of the shipping box.

Rodents had not only gone after that sweet food at the post office, but the proliferation of shredded wrapper paper after they’d gotten inside meant THEY WERE STARTING A NEST IN MY CHOCOLATE. This expensive, exquisite chocolate that the givers had spent a small fortune on.

What do I DO with this?

Tie it up in a plastic bag, he offered helpfully.

Okay. Did that. (Like they couldn’t chew through that? Who are we kidding?)

It seemed inadequate and even that word is itself inadequate, and a few minutes later I came up with the brilliant idea that baby mice (in case there were any) couldn’t jump high enough to get out of the bathtub, so I put the bag in that. (If baby rats can, don’t tell me.) I did not want more critters chewing through the plastic trash and recycle bins outside–and they can if they want to enough. But most of all, I did want to be able to take more pictures if the post office required proof. And there clearly weren’t any adult critters running around this thing now.

So now I knew why the mailman was in such a hurry not to talk to me–there wasn’t much he could do about it anyway.

With a late-to-the-party thought a little later, Richard casually opined, It could have fleas in there.

AAAAAAAGHHHHHH!!!! I ran to wash my hands just because it was something I could do.

I sent Dandelion a note explaining the situation and that I did not want to tell the people who had done this very very nice thing for me–but they needed to talk to the post office. And could I possibly get a replacement?

Because much though I love their work I, I, I just can’t…!

I got a very nice note back today about trying to make it right.

And then I sent them this picture and they went oh my that is exactly how you described it.

I had already checked–the Esmerelda’s Special is sold out.

They are scheming with the team to figure out how to make a whole new set just for us.

They are amazing. Absolutely amazing.

So now we get to be surprised all over again and find out what they come up with. But whatever it is, it’ll be good.

And now they know why I offered to drive up there to have it not go through that post office again.


3 Comments so far
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Oh, no! Oh, what an awful shame. I’m glad (and not surprised) that Dandelion is going to make it up to you.

Years ago, I got a box of chocolate in the mail and by the time I got home that day, the squirrels (I think) had gotten through the cardboard on one corner and started in on the box, but they didn’t make it as far as the chocolate. Yuck!

Comment by ccr in MA 02.15.23 @ 6:32 am

Ewww! So happy Dandelion can save the day. And that blanket is wonderful! Reminds me of Stephanie’s, where she always adds family symbols to the baby blankets.

Comment by DebbieR 02.15.23 @ 8:28 am

It sounds like that post office needs a resident cat for rodent control!

Comment by Nancy G 02.15.23 @ 6:54 pm



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