Mother of the Bride Spot

Random thoughts on being a Mother of the Bride...although since we are now past The Wedding, perhaps this would be better titled Random Thoughts On Life In General...

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Box Number 25....

This afternoon I packed up the last box we'll send to Tim in N. Africa. We made a special trip to Target to get him the power bars that he likes, and picked up a DVD (for cheap). Bob will make sure it gets out by the end of the week while I'm teaching in Southern Indiana and Georgia.

By the time he gets home on July 1, he will have been gone 25 months. He spent three months in Canberry, France learning French. We may have sent one box there. He then spent just over 3 months in Fez, Morocco learning Arabic. We sent him a couple of boxes there, and took ourselves over as well. We've sent 25 boxes for the 18 months he has been in "Narnia" (called so because it isn't....), and taken ourselves there as well.

It will be interesting going to the grocery store with just an eye to what is on our shopping list and not "what would Tim like...." What was challenging was sending him things he could eat that didn't require electricity to fix, and could be done over a one burner kerosene "stove." Do you know how much of our food requires microwaving? I couldn't send anything that needed refrigeration after it had been opened, and nothing that contained pork.

Heavy on the list has been protein powder from GMC the last 10 or 12 boxes because he's been losing so much weight. Power bars, cereal bars, candy (none in Narnia) -- emphasis on Swedish Fish and Mike 'n Ikes. I sent a couple of cans of soup early on, only to have one of them explode in the box. Now I know why they say, "no materials that are liquid, hazardous, flammable, dangerous..."

Well, I've sent liquids -- shampoo, liquid soap, and a few other things, but I'm much better at packaging them now. No more explosions have occurred.

I've sent books, and a few DVDs. I hid an 8 GB flashdrive in his protein powder, and have sent a few DVDs that I've not mentioned on the customs list. I did once, and the box was opened and the DVD stolen -- along with 2 of the 5 power bars I sent -- and the dishtowel that Tim needed.

I've sent battery operated fans and battery operated LED lights that he could stick to the walls as well as a great little battery operated lantern that has lasted the entire 18 months. He has enough batteries to open a small store -- but he'll give them to his friends in the little "subdivision" where he lives.

I've sent presents for the children, and one of the boxes I sent was all Christmas gifts for the four families that "hosted" us in October last year.

Only two of the 23 boxes Tim has received have been opened by the "Narnian" postoffice -- there are two more to get there. We've been really fortunate, as there is nothing to stop the folks in the PO from opening them and taking what they want.

Shipping the boxes has cost more than the contents of the boxes, but it has been a labor of love. I'm grateful to the US Postal system that they have international flat rate boxes, and I've learned to pack them compactly to get the most in a small space.

I'm feeling just a bit nostalgic over not sending him any more boxes....but -- we don't know where he end up or what he will ultimately do for his life's work -- or as he says, "for the next 20 minutes or so..."

If I were to hazard a guess, I suspect there are more boxes in my future -- and in Tim's.

At the rate postage is going up, I better start saving....


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