Wednesday, February 18, 2015

17. Getting a Care Package

If you went to college, and you had the pleasure of having a parent who was willing put things in boxes and hang out in the post office, then you know what it's like to get a care package. A care package is a box of love. It could have anything in it. It could have cookies, or new wool socks, or a forgotten childhood teddy bear. I had a roommate whose boyfriend once sent her a 2 gallon glass jar of maraschino cherries. She and I sat on the floor with the jar between us ate so many of them that our mouths were stained red for days and our lips burned like hellfire. But I learned how to tie a cherry stem in a knot in my mouth! Spoiler alert: it's not sexy, and mostly involves a lot of drooling.

I loved getting care packages from my mom in college, because they were always so well thought out, and completely random. I got maybe one or two a year, and they always seemed to miraculously appear when I was having a particularly crappy week. I have never been good at phone communications, and I would often go months without talking to my folks*. So I have no idea how she somehow just knew when to send me a care package. Man, college is brutal, but those rare, random care packages made it all better. Seriously, you could send me a care package with just a wind-up jumping frog and I would be floating in happiness for days. It's great to live life easily amused. It's also great to have a mom who sends you wind-up jumping frogs in the mail for no reason. THANK YOU MOMMA YOU ARE ZE BEST!

Before DT and I left for the AT, folks were asking us how they could send us things along the way. We found a great list of post offices near the trail on the Appalachian Trail Conservancy's website, and we put that up on this blog. We let people know they had to tell us beforehand, otherwise we might not check the post office. What was really great is that these hardworking post office workers would to hold onto mysterious packages addressed to literal drifters, and never complained. We got packages from my parents, my sister, DT's family, and several different friends. It was always such a treat, and we appreciated it ENORMOUSLY. It's amazing what an impact just a shoe box with a couple freeze dried snacks and bubbles can have.

B-Line, one of our hiking buddies, once got an unexpected care package sent to him in Virginia. He signed for the package, and when he picked it up, he was confused but also excited by the weight of it. How many cookies could there possibly be in this magical box of goodness?! He lugged it over to a counter top, peeled back the tape and gingerly pulled the cardboard flaps open to reveal...
A 12-pound regulation bowling ball. He apparently carried it for a few days out of pure chutzpah before eventually abandoning it.

If you've ever sent a care package to a hiker: THANK YOU. You have given the gift of happiness for just a few dollars and some time in a post office. It made it feel like Christmas, even in the middle of boiling hot July.

Hotdog got a care package of cookies!

Apparently if you package fresh baked cookies with marshmallows,
they don't get stale as quickly!

Care package pileup at a hostel

In that package Apple Butter is opening are SIX WATER GUNS

She gave us each a water gun, which were put to very good use.

This is actually Whistle getting her new backpack in the mail from her parents!

A note on the lid of a care package we got from our friends Chris and Eby!

Clever Girl

*The best example of this is when I went on a month-long train voyage across the united states, all alone, when I was 18. I didn't have a cell phone, and I had only a couple hundred bucks for the whole trip, so I didn't want to spend money on pay phones to call home very often. But when I was in California, I decided to go sky diving. I called home, and my sister was home alone. I told her to tell our parents that I was going skydiving, but that I would call later that day so that they would know that I wasn't splattered on a rolling California hill somewhere. 

The glorious experience of skydiving drove all coherent thought from my brain, and I completely forgot to call until two days later.

Blooper! Sooo... sorry, mom and dad. Thanks for being supportive of me and my nutso adventures, even though I am clearly extremely accident prone and really bad at letting you know what's going on. But think of all the character I've built!

1 comment:

  1. There's always a need for a wind-up jumping frog! Mom is a care package wizard; she just sent a big package of goodies with me to a company meeting. Yes...I shared! :-)
    Your sense of adventure has clearly served you well, and we are deeply proud of you for your willingness to step out into the unknown. Just remember your parachute, and call when you land! Love, Mom and Dad