A Mother's Joy

My son Jack is in the Army and is currently deployed to Iraq. This is his second tour; the first one being only four months. He left on December 1, 2008 and will return about the same time this year. He loves the Army and is excited about serving his country. See Jack believes that everyone has a right to think and speak their own thoughts and he is here to see that they keep that right.

We had not heard from him in a while so when my cell phone rang at 5:40 a.m. this morning I knew that it could only be him. Unfortunately I did not get to it before it went to voice mail. He did call back a short time later and we were able to get our web cam set up so we could see him. The picture wasn't the greatest and there was a bit of delay in the transmission, but we could have cared less. Sitting at the computer in our pajamas and seeing our son's face was the greatest thing we could imagine.

Mail delivery has been an issue for him, but he did finally receive his Christmas box. Since he can't wear civilian clothes and there are limited places for him to go, I sent silly stuff to him, like a package of plastic drinking cups with the University of Georgia's logo on it and chemical activated hand warmers. I also sent the makings for his favorite fruit salad Five Cup Salad, or Jack's Salad as it is known to us and countless friends. I thought that maybe he would feel a little closer to home if he had something he knew we would serve on Christmas. I'm certain that you have this or a variation of the recipe, but it has been in my family for as long as I can remember. It always is on the holiday menu, regardless of the holiday. For those of you who may not have the recipe here it is:

Jack's Salad (aka Five Cup)

1 can mandarin oranges. drained
1 can pineapple tidbits, drained
1 cup mini-marshmallows
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup sour cream
Mix ingredients together and chill for at least two hours. A variation to this is to replace the pecans with one cup of coconut.

Now I don't know how he solved the sour cream issue; perhaps he talked a mess cook out of some. Hopefully he was able to have a little slice of home in a far away place.