An unexpected visit to Aphrodite from the Secret-Santa Amazon fairy

Amazon knows. Someone knows. But, we are in the dark. Some packages arrived in the mail today. Each package contained things we did not order.

The contents of each box was eclectic. It was a bit like opening a window into a different world.

The person who placed the order clearly valued healthy, decadent foods. And, they had a practical streak. For example, their clothespins were amazing. They looked very strong and colourful. Their laundry bag was made of strong mesh.

I wish that everyone could have this experience. It felt a bit like swapping grocery carts with someone whose cart was brimming with interesting items from Whole Foods.

One box contained coconut flour and a whistling tea kettle. The kettle was blue and very shiny. I imagined what it would look like in our galley. Then we opened curry paste, two containers.


Chai tea. “What is chai tea?” I wondered as I scanned the ingredients.


Nutritional yeast. I have had nutritional yeast only once – on Sequoia Sun’s boat in Haiti.


Method-brand dish soap, six bags.


“Are sure you didn’t order this?” Rick asks. “No,” I reply. “I might have looked at buying new clothespins “but I certainly didn’t buy them.”

I open a box that contains a Platypus collapsible water holder. Hydration is important.


I picked up my iPhone and searched our recent Amazon orders – cumin, a toothbrush holder, a body bag (to store a mattress) and some mittens. I scanned some more. A belt, pants for the kids. Nope. No Platypus. We look down at the boxes again. Every package is addressed to Rick Escher.

The kids rummage through a box and hold up a bag of toilet cleaning brushes. This has to be for someone else.


A white package contains three boxes of baking soda.

We decide that there must have been a mixup at Amazon. As Rick is speaking to someone on the phone about our order, I wonder – does Amazon flog it’s employees?  I don’t know. I have just see the headlines, and haven’t done a deep dive into the bad press.

A call to Amazon confirms that the boxes are for us, but they will review the order further to verify and follow-up. We are told we can expect two more boxes. The boxes arrive and our counter is now full of boxes.

As I stir supper of the stove, Rick sidled up to me with a box of real-butter shortbread. “Don’t” I whisper as our kids play close by. Rick puts the box of cookies into a cupboard and pushes it far to the back.


After supper we were still uncertain what to do with the items. We still didn’t know if they were intended as gifts for us, or if someone at the marina is missing their things. Rick repacked and consolidated everything into two boxes. Out of sight. Out of mind.

In short order, Amazon sent an email and confirmed that the packages were indeed for us.



As I tuck into two three shortbread cookies this evening, I’m still in the dark as to who might have sent us these gifts. But, as we use and consume these items we will be thinking about our secret Santa for many months to come.

Dear Secret Santa,

THANK YOU – it was so very generous and gosh that was fun!

Lots of love from,

Lorraine, Rick, Betty, Paul, Henry and Karen xoxo



  1. Hi, Lorraine! Love reading your posts and keeping up with you, Rick and the kids. My husband, Jim and I met you in Key Largo, Florida. I think Jim was kayaking around your boat and invited all of you to come enjoy our community’s beach. Your kids had a great time puttering around, in and out of the water. Seems like a long time ago now. As it happens, I am reading Ann Vanderhoof’s, “An Embarrassment of Mangoes,” for my book club. Naturally, it makes me think of you and yours out on your adventures at sea. I wonder if you have read her books? I wouldn’t be surprised if you‘ve had her and Steve on Aphrodite. May your family’s Christmas be as entertaining as Amazon’s!! Merry Christmas!

    LeAnn 🚴🏼‍♀️ Sent from my iPhone



    • Hi LeAnn – yes I remember you – your husband can hold his breath for an amazing amount of time. I think he was underwater for five minutes before he surfaced! It’s so nice to hear from you. Will you be spending Christmas in Florida this year?


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