The Perplexing Pistachio Puzzle

It is no secret that I love nuts — peanuts, almonds, pecans, cashews, nuts. I would live on nuts, and often do. People think I’m crazy when I say that I would rather eat some good peanuts than a steak. I love them. As a result, I have had people give me peanuts and various other kinds of nuts. I have occasionally received cans, jars, and packets of nuts anonymously, gifts that came to me with no name or person attached. Most of the time, people simply and thoughtfully shared them with me and I have enjoyed them immensely.

One of the most baffling gifts of nuts has remained an unsolved mystery for years. It has been over a decade ago I began receiving packages of pistachio nuts. I’m not talking about a little bag; I’m talking three, four, five pounds of shelled pistachios. They usually arrive in the fall of the year. They always show up in my mailbox although they are not mailed. They always come anonymously. The anonymous aspect of what has been given is what has created the mystery. Who is doing this?

I have worried myself silly trying to figure out who could have or would have done such a thing. Was it a neighbor or a friend or a fellow worker, or even someone I don’t know very well? I have suspected probably 20-30 people, only to be proven wrong again and again and again. I have watched and waited, not just to catch the person leaving the nut packages in my mailbox, but knowing that the person who is doing it would probably reveal themselves in ways that they probably wouldn’t even realize they were doing so.

I thought they would say or do something and I would catch them, or they would say or do something with someone who would then say something and I would catch them, but the pistachio nut mystery has continued and no one has yet been caught. I even wondered at times when the package had not been delivered in a good while if the person may have died and I would never know who had done it. Nope. After some months passed, another bag of pistachio nuts would show up. I am deeply grateful for the pistachio nuts (or any good nuts) and not knowing who has been doing it, I still have several observations about the unknown, gracious giver.

Observation One: You are a wonderful person, ma’am or sir or whoever you may be. You are thoughtful and generous.

Observation Two: You are a person of unusual confidentiality and credibility. You have given and given and given again something anonymously, and kept it anonymous. That is highly unusual.

Observation Three: You unknowingly have caused me to think more highly of dozens of people. You have caused me to think that maybe some other specific individual was responsible for the great gifts that have brought such joy and good feelings to me, but instead your generosity has brought those good feelings about another person who has not even participated in the anonymous gift. In other words, it has caused me to think better and more highly of people beyond what I had done before, simply because I thought they had done what you did and they got the credit.

Observation Four: I am glad that I don’t know who you are, so the circle of good feelings can grow and I can only believe that you may be in that circle of people about whom I feel so good, even though I haven’t discovered you as being the actual deliverer of the packages.

A final thought is that if you are the ghost giver, the anonymous blesser of my life, I just want to say thank you and God richly bless you. In giving, you have done a wonderful thing in my life and hopefully in the lives of people I think more of and treat with more sensitivity because of you. Today, may the Lord pour out His blessings on you until the ultimate day I catch you — or in heaven find out it was you.

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Jim Futral

Executive Director-Treasurer