You'd think I'd be an expert by now. I'm not. I'm very care package-challenged when it comes to putting together a box to send to Adam.
I started sending him packages in 2001. At that time, though, the box could be no bigger than a shoebox, and we had to bring them to his unit, because they didn't have an address, and they got shipped right there from Fort Benning. You know what it's like to try to cram stuff into a shoebox? My feet are sized 6 1/2. Being the rebel I am, I would go to Wal-Mart and buy the cheapest boots I could find, throw them away and use the box, because really, shoes did come in them, right?
I've been averaging about three boxes a month right now. Of course, there's always at least 10 cans of his beloved Copenhagen. Then the dilemma hits me...what the hell else can I fill up this box with?
The second Adam gets on the plane to deploy, he starts a diet. (I'm not sure why, he knows I'm a chubby chaser.) This means I don't send him cookies, brownies, candy, etc., because it will just go into the community pile. He asks me to send "healthy" stuff. That's like asking Willy Wonka to shop for him.
One deployment, I sent him a few bags of dried fruit. That's healthy, right? Except I forgot his allergy to sulfa, and the fruit is dried in sulfa. He did let me know his medic really enjoyed it.
Another deployment, I went to the cheap toy aisle in Wal-Mart (you know, the one where everything is a dollar, and you know within 10 seconds of playing with it it's going to break?) and got a recorder (I call it a flute, that's what it basically is), silly putty, etc. He seemed to enjoy it, and it broke up the monotony of beef jerky and hunting magazines.
Now I've got a new angle, and unless you know us, you'll probably think we're crazy. (We are.) I had the usual array while packing up a box last night...Bass Masters magazine, hunting magazine, beef jerky, Copenhagen, etc. It was still looking pretty sparse, so I consulted Addison and said, "Go look in the pantry, and find something we'll never eat while Dad's gone." He picked out a can of kidney beans. Now that I think about it, they're my kidney beans, when I make my Paula Deen chili. Anyway, Addison got a Sharpie and wrote on the top, "We ain't never gonna eat these." (Yes, the improper grammar was my idea.)
The beans are now nestled among the other goodies, ready to be shipped out tomorrow. I wish I could be there when Adam opens the box, and pulls out a can of freakin' kidney beans. I have no doubt he'll first be like, "WTF?", and then he'll laugh his ass off.
I'm also willing to be no one else will be getting kidney beans in their care packages.