Monday, January 19, 2009

Care Package

A few years back, a friend who was born and raised in the south moved far north to go to college. I admired her courage and shivered at the thought of long, cold winters and a world without the essentials of life, namely: sweet tea, flaky biscuits and Moon Pies.

After she'd been in Boston a few months, I sent her a care package of things you should be able to find in civilized society: pork rinds, grits, RC cola and Moon Pies. The package was 1/2 joke and 1/2 friendly hug from afar. With internet shopping, she could have probably bought all of those things with a few mouse clicks, but that wasn't the point. The point was, she was a newbie in a new world. I just wanted to make her smile and give her some familiar snacks from "home." (Though, since she's Jewish, I don't know how the pork rinds went over. That was the joke part, I guess.)

I once watched my grandmother pack for a trip to Chicago to see my dear Aunt Mary. She loaded her suitcase with clothing, shoes for herself and cornmeal, grits, Karo syrup, and Moon Pies for Aunt Mary. This was decades before the internet and dependable, timely shipping. When Grandmother and I got to Chicago, Aunt Mary accepted the care package with glee.

When my brother was stationed in England, my sisters and I would pack him elaborate care packages of candy, beef jerky, Bic pens and toiletries. No Moon Pies, that I remember. I don't know how he survived, frankly.

Care packages seem to be a dying art. Anyone can buy anything they want on the Internet, delivered right to their doorstep, any time they want. You can even buy ready made "care packages" on line and send them to a friend with a computer print out greeting card. What the hell is the point of that? That's not a care package! That's just a box of crap you paid someone to put together for you.

Today on Twitter, there was a discussion between friends (you are my friends, Tweeters. pinkie swears.) about food. Ex-pats were talking about food they remember/miss from home. I joked about making care packages for them, but now I mean it. In fact, I've already put one together.

So here's my proposal: tell me what you miss the most about home. E-mail me your mailing address and I will send you a care package. I can't promise anything elaborate or expensive (we're working on a tight budget at Casa Three of 7). If I can't find the item you really want, I'll let you know. I want to say thank you for reading this blog, thank you for listening to me whine and giggle. I want you to give you a hug, even if it comes in a box in the form of cheeze crackers and jujubes. I want to send you a care package.


ingrid said...

i hope you know that you're awesome. :)

i would love a care package. surprise me. :)

a grateful friend said...

I believe that package also contained Squirrel Nut Zippers! What do I miss the most about home? Laughing with great friends -- the kind who care enough to send you a care package on your first move away from home.
p.s. I'm sorry to say that I never ate that bag of pork rinds.

Heather said...

Squirrel Nut Zippers! I forgot I put those in there! I figured the pork rinds probably went uneaten. Probably for the best. ;)

Ingrid: I keep finding stuff to put in your care package. I'm going to have to put on my editor's capt before it becomes a care crate. :)