Living in a college town has made it fairly easy for me to accept the fact that my children are growing older and beginning to make their own ways in their lives. Barbi lived at home during her four years at college, so the transition of her leaving home didn’t hit me until just last summer. Russ has also been living at home during his college days. But Ben decided he wanted to attend The Citadel…the military college of SC located in Charleston, 3-1/2 hours away. Having a child living in the
dorms barracks has made preparing care packages a necessity. However, Knobs at the Citadel are the lowest guys on the Totem Pole, so to speak. Any Knob can be stopped by any upper classman and asked to do all sorts of crazy stuff, including opening up care packages and “sharing” any goodies. So it became a necessity to figure out how to mail said goodies to my Knob so that he could have them for himself and not have to give them to upper classmen. Packages must be small enough to fit inside Ben’s Knobbie bag so that he can slip them into his bag before he leaves the post office. This means using a flat rate bag or box from the PO…the smallest size they have! But the package must also be sturdy enough so that home baked goodies do not get crushed in the process of going from here to there.
The workers at The Citadel post office were actually the ones who gave me the idea that I am about to share here. I can use a small priority mail box and a small flat rate envelope together.
I fill the box with cookies, pop tarts or other items that could get crushed. Then I slip the box into the flat rate envelope and stuff other items around it. This flat rate envelope costs me
$4.95 $5.30 (postage just went up) no matter how heavy it is! If I mailed the box alone, it would cost according to weight. The first and only time I did that cost me almost $7.00!
I got some really good deals last week on a trip to my favorite Bargain Food store, so this particular package doesn’t have any homemade goodies. Here is what I put inside this package for Ben:
3 applesauce cups; 5 hot chocolate packets; 6 craisin snack packs; 2 Chex mix snack packs; 4 disposable razors; 1 regular size tube of toothpaste; and 2 sticks of chapstick. Oh, yes, also a letter from Mom!
I also discovered about half-way through the school year that knobs always share care packages. They will often go to the post office together and split up packages into several knobbie bags before they head back to the barracks. I began to send extra home made goodies to my son so that he had plenty to share!
**Edited for my new readers–The first picture below shows my son as a very scared knob on Matriculation Day, 2011. The second picture is when he received his ring in October,2014.The confidence he shows in the second picture is just amazing! The same transformation will occur in your cadets as you journey on the Road Less Traveled!