I stopped via the post office on my way home tonight - was hoping that I might see a postcard from my parents and that not too many bills would be there. Found instead a "more mail for collection" note so wandered up to the customer service section and received the following International parcel...
Checked the from tag.. wait.. what?.. Soldiers' Angels?!?.
You might recall from my 2nd of May post that a comment had been left on my blog from one of the team at SA - and that I received a lovely email from SA's founder - Patti Patton-Bader - thanking me for my involvement and asking for my address. I was thinking that perhaps a postcard from the USA might turn up (I know how busy the SA staff must be and really wasn't expecting anything at all)
Instead.. there was the BOX. Which I opened and found
I really am quite stunned - and not very sure that I deserve such an award. My adopting service people across the seas gives me so much personal joy, and laughter, and hope that I count my blessings that I've been allowed to become involved in their lives. I know it's made me a better person so receiving anything in return is such an unexpected surprise. (and yes I'm all teary eyed as I type this)
So thank you Patti and Soldiers' Angels (if you are reading this) it will have a place of honour in my home (right next to the flags that two of my SA adoptee's have sent me)
Last day of my 2 weeks leave from work (well last working day of it - still the weekend to conquer).
Today I ran about one of the local super-shopping-centres, pillaging every bookstore I ventured upon in the attempt to find book 2 of a trilogy (I have book 1 & 3 and don't want to start reading them until I know I can just move on the next book and visually devour it). No luck so it's either wait until late next week when I can get a longer lunch break to seek out the city stores or order it online [I'm cursing that I can't get this particular author in Ebooks - sadly the copyrights for it are held only overseas. Pax = Sad Panda]
While I was out I found some awesome cards & postcards for my adoptees and enthralled a gaggle of school kids in the food-mall, by sitting and WRITING in the cards by hand. I was tempted to teach them the word "Luddite" and see if they could then construct a passable sentence with it, however they were too quickly distracted by shiny bling and moved along.
So Postcard showing Australia from space sent to newest Adoptee(Airborne MP to be known only as "C" on this blog). I have a list of weird things I'd like to send him - including the often-supplied (and apparently dearly loved) Water Balloon launcher [I sent one of these most recently to "R" (Soldiers' Angels adoptee) and he & his team are still having fun with it. They have promised me photos of their water wars so I might one day see the WBL in action]. C got a bit lucky on his first "Aussie treat" parcel - I had organised earlier this month for a parcel to go out to a bunch of Marines and due to some problems with their address and the USA postal office saying it was invalid (??), I had to do a super fast change in addressee or have the trouble of trying to get a refund. So Aussie snacks and Tinned Marsupial will probably reach C before my introductory letter ["Hello - I am an Australian and I come in Peace"] reaches the poor lad. At least there are no Musk Lifesavers in there to traumatise him (next time Bwhahaha!)
Cards sent off to "R" (he tells me via email that they may be coming home earlier than listed date of late June - fingers are crossed for them) and to "J". I worry most about J - he's my "ghost adoptee" that I've heard nary a word from. I really worry that I'm sending the wrong things or offending him with my humour, or worse that he doesn't wish to receive anything. This letter I finally mentioned my worries and asked him if he can possibly send me "One Ping Only"[of course I'm hoping he's either geekish enough to know that pop culture movie quote OR has someone geekish in his squad to translate] - just to let me know he's okay.
Regardless of any reply Prayers are being said for all of them (and more for those I don't know directly or have since returned home) [I suspect I probably should never offer to foster pets or children since I've discovered a reluctance to let those who have touched my heart leave my life completely. Poor Lads - haunted by the ghost-of-Mari-present - fate worse than Vegemite! :D]
Oh and on a happy note - my birthday Tulips are starting to unfurl
1. Unusual accent - occasionally mistaken for British or Canadian until flatter vowels are noticed or okkerisms are applied (Struth! Bonza! Bewdy - Havagudweekend).
2. Unique sense of Humour - we do humour well and often - sometimes on the crass level. We are also noted for applying even more humour when the situation is grim. How can you tell that the situation has hit Ground Zero? The Australians in your midst stop the jokes and start saying "She'll be right"
3. Liberal sense of self - the "average" Aussie (ie. not a wowser*) won't usually get uptight about religion or politics. Sure we can discuss both over a barbie and a beer but we have a certain "your business is YOUR business" attitude and allow everyone their own beliefs even if we (privately) think you are a raving loonie for having them (unless of course you insist on voicing said beliefs loudly and aggressively after which you'll have your beer cut off and shown the door)
4. How do you tell an Aussie service person? - check here for the various shoulder patches. Notice we don't fly our flag in the reverse (I'm still waiting on an easy to understand explanation of why the USA does that - A1S promised to explain months ago but then he got famous. sigh...)
Hmm... I suspect my joyful mood is more to do with my having the next two weeks off on recreation leave from work (sloth... indulgence.. computer time... reading more romance & Sci-fi books than can possibly be good for me! Trying to finally get over the last of the Whooping cough - Bonus!) than actually thinking May is that Merry. It is Autumn over here(that would be "Fall" for you all wot speak USAian ;) ). Our native trees don't shed leaves in autumn - actually some of them wait for summer and then shed their bark instead (I have mentioned we are a weird weird country - yes?)
I've also got a birthday tucked in to there too (I prefer not to deal with my insincere workmates well-wishes for the day so habitually take it off) And no... so not telling you my exact age (just that my mental age is about 25 and holding).
Things I have been up to lately.
Am still sending letters & the occasional parcel off to my two current military adoptee's - although I think I've lost the plot a little on some of the goodies sent (I really should stop trying to organise it all at 2am on a work night - I'm sure I've ended up mixing up who got what again). Mostly it's munchies and/or fun stuff - I should probably check my online receipts to work out who I shipped the paper aeroplane making kit off to (I'm sure I was thinking "really funny to send to air force guy" and then it's gone of the artillery chap instead. Never mind - I'm sure either of them will find it fun or pass it along if they don't. And I'll make sure when I send the table top catapult it goes to the right one) I've been over-sending things to the A.F one since he's only there for another few months - figure I'll concentrate my usual 6 to 8 months worth of madness into the short time I've got him. Artillery Chap still running on silent - I'm just hoping he's not super religious and/or missing the humour of things (the ninja versus ninja game might have tipped him on my oddities at least)
Have picked up a couple of "randoms" to indulge too.
These one's constitute my RAK's for the month (Random Attacks of Kindness - Sending treats out into the wilds and not expecting anything in return other than that warm inner feeling that somewhere, someone is about to feel that they are cared about).
* one is the former team mate of one of my first soldiers adopted through Soldiers' Angels. Box of treats should reach him in another week or so - included in there are a packet of Musk Lifesavers which I've teased him about (he seems to think I'm joking since why would *anyone* ever eat such a weird flavour. I'm really hoping he'll document the taste experience with shot-by-shot photos. If he does I'll see if he is okay to share them with you all)
* one parcel of munchies (and as usual a Tinned marsupial*) sent to first of the groups listed at USMC81's website. I'll get to 2nd & 3rd listed after next payday (must pay bills & mortgage first and be responsible.. sigh.. winning the lottery would be a treat - then I could indulge all the guys to something really special and not worry about counting the costs). Tried to send emails to all three of them to make sure they don't mind receiving weird Aussie items but no reply received (They are no doubt in the thick of things so I'll just send stuff off and hope it makes them smile just a little bit)
*And I've just found this really great treating system via Soldiers' Angels facebook page - Green Beans Coffees have a "Cup of Joe for a Joe" system where you can donate a small amount and they give free cups of coffee to serving military. Since I am so caffeine dependent myself (cola mostly) I think this is fantastic [Pax's definition of the four major needs of humanity - oxygen, sustenance, shelter & caffeine]
It's also amazing who tunes into my online ramblings - after my post on the 22nd of April I received communications from the team over at Soldiers' Angels, including the boss who sent me a very nice note and asked for my contact address. I'm still a bit gob-smacked that she took the time from her very busy life to say Hello (actually I had a "OOOHH - spotted by the boss" feeling and gibbered a bit before sending what I hope was a coherent answer back). Good hearted people like her (and my friend Miss Vicki) are the reason I got involved in the Troop Treating to start with - I'd like to think I can make a difference, be it ever so small, in someone's life - and to cause smiles on the face of those in hard places.
Pax over & out (and off to be indolent for a few days)
It's a toy - HONEST!! Not tinned koala meat for munchies!