Over the last two years, we have also been continuously impressed by the Tanya and Burkemper greeting machines. Despite having to spend triple on international postage, these aunts, cousins and ex-stepmothers never let up their relentless barrage of birthday, Easter, Christmas, and St. Patrick's Day cards, usually accompanied by Cardinals updates and snaps of the ever-expanding clan. (And in the case of Tanya, always punctuated by the appropriate Peanuts holiday sticker.)
And of course my parents, who even few weeks have plastered Jesus stickers all over a box, stuffed every last space with expired holiday candy, emptied the junk drawer, hunted down the right sunglasses or headlamps or running shoes, and forwarded a thick stack of mail and magazines. Even if they have to lug the box on vacation and find a post office in Colorado.
I shouldn't be too surprised by this kindness and devotion. After all, my mom did the exact same thing for six months while I hiked the Appalachian Trail 15 years ago (and thank god she remembers the soap-flavored mashed potato incident and never tried to mail Tide to Africa).
But still... Wow.
I guess what I'm trying to say is: Thanks. A lot.