Saturday, May 16, 2009

Baking for our soldier

I sent my package of cookies (carmelitas and lemon white chocolate chip cookies) last week to Christian, the soldier our group was baking for as part of Operation Baking GALS.

I've never sent anything to an APO before and have never required a customs form to send anything. The process was well-explained on the Operation Baking GALS FAQs, from packaging the baked goods to how to fill out the forms. But I've never been so anxious about baking and sending something. Even in packages for my in-laws and former coworkers (I send a box of cookies each year to Kalamazoo and Pittsburgh), I've never fretted so much about the cookies - their taste, their freshness, their condition.

I struggled with the letter I sent, too. Bakers are encouraged to send notes to the soldiers, offering background on themselves, offering a piece of their lives with the cookies they make and send. Everything I typed seemed so petty. "I live in Florida, where it's too hot." Uh, Kristin, Christian is in IRAQ. "We miss living closer to our family." Uh, Kristin, Christian is farther away from his family, doesn't get to fly home whenever he wants and is fighting a WAR. "We're trying to enjoy Florida while we're here, though - we went to Disney for my birthday." Uh, Kristin? Seriously? The Mouse?

Sigh. Everything was typed, tweaked, deleted, typed, rewritten, deleted. It was a wonder I had a letter to send at all. But I did want him to know the basics of who I was - I explained how I'd come to follow Heather's blog (she had a wedding planning blog that spun off in to her current blog). I felt bad explaining that I hadn't participated in Heather's earlier teams because I'd been moving, planning the wedding, finishing a class. I told him about East to West Bakers. I told him a little bit about what I do at work, about Timothy R. Husband, about the kitties, about my hobbies. I included photos of Tim and the furbuckets.

And I sent a hand-written card with the typed letter to thank him for all that he's doing - for all of his dedication, sacrifices, courage. For everything he's doing to fight for our country and freedom.

Why the card in addition to the letter? I just didn't want those words to be typed out. They needed to have the energy of a human being writing them. And even that didn't seem to be enough.


Blogger template 'PlainFish' by 2008