Moms Love Their Marines: Letter 3–Vans with Plumes, Ice Creams With Perfumes

...two sheep leap over ripe asparagus tips under the harvest moon, three sheep leap over ripe asparagus tips...

Another letter sent to my Marine son when he was stationed in Iraq–slightly edited so that he won’t hunt me down and kill me when I reveal what style boxers he wears. If you like order in all things, you can get to the first letter, here.

Dear Justin,

Listened to all my voicemails today. Sorry I missed your calls. Again. (Again?!!! Good grief!!! Was I never going to get to speak to this boy ?!!!!)

What to do in the middle of the night when you can’t sleep:

I sent this to Craigslist under the signature “Grammar Goddess”: (Here I had a jokey poem that has already appeared as the first part of another post:) Apostrophe Catastrophe. Almost immediately, someone emailed this back:

Dear Goddess:

THANK YOU SO MUCH for making a statement about the correct use of apostrophes! When I first saw this error on Craigslist awhile back I thought it was kind of funny. But then I started seeing more & more people use it until it began to seem “normal” — yikes! Now I see it everywhere, and people seem to think it’s a new rule of punctuation they somehow missed in 3rd grade. We must stop this before the Ubiquitous Apostrophe kills again!!!

Punctually yours,



Oh! Must’ve nodded off there for a minute. I’m back. But am hittin’ the sack. After a snack. Then, lights out (a.k.a. black).

Rats. Now too tired for a snack. Don’t you hate when that happens?

Love again,


P.P.P.P.P.P.S. (“Pitifully, Pathetically, Perfidiously, Painfully, Perilously, Permanently-Stupid”): VAN!

Stupid van still not fixed. Stupid van.

Stupid van.

Now—tell me what YOU’ve been up to. How often do you patrol, how is it done (how many in a truck, are you mostly in the back and can’t see out) what is guard duty like, etc., etc.?

Is It Like This...?

(I had no idea what to envision when Justin talked about “patrols”–was he in danger? How much? He was [I was] one of the luckiest, in that he was stationed on an air base, instead of doing hand-to-hand in a town. For the most part, “all” he/I had to worry about were air strikes on the base.)

...Or This?

Oh–I now eat ice cream, which I never liked very much, but Winnie and I and I go to a Persian restaurant and I order rosewater ice-cream with embedded crushed pistachios. It is like a cross between sherbet and a gelato, and tastes and feels like eating frozen perfume. I love it. It makes me happy just thinking about it. She gets something coconut-and-mango-y which is yucky to me, but it makes her as happy as I am. We just sit quietly and smile at each other while eating tiny bites to make the bliss last. Ah…

Saffron and Rosewater Ice Cream

On that happy, dreamy note, ahma gonna lay down for a little while and try not to fall asleep, before tackling the next job.

I love you.



P.S. For showing the house, needed to sew curtains for the laundry porch window–didn’t have time or energy to get the years-old lightly-oversprayed paint off. (Lexan is such a pain to clean if you get paint on it–that’s why the painters were told to use only brushes on that part of the house…) The Lexan would have looked like frosted glass, kinda, but “some” little boy had drawn a happy face on it long ago, which I happen to love, but which clearly demonstrates that it is not frosted glass! I’ll miss that happy little face in the laundry room when the house is sold.

Looking Back At a Happy Face

Okay, this post officially ends here. But the letter actually had a postscript, which you can find after the References. It’s just a creaky old joke…


The rear-view mirror happy face is from Clarity’s Story. That mom loved it because it made her think of looking back at the past with fondness, which is exactly why I liked it for my memory’s image. Her site features some of the best family photos you will see, close and intimate, and focused on joyfulness.

The photo of the heavenly ice-cream comes from My Persian Kitchen, which, among other tasty recipes, offers one for a yummy-sounding Persian Rose mixed drink. The lovely restaurant I used to enjoy my ice cream at was Javan on Santa Monica Blvd. However, if you don’t have a Persian restaurant in your area, but do have access to a Whole Foods store, they now carry a line of perfumed ice-creams (I didn’t check to see if they’re available at all stores):

Mashti Malone's Line of Perfumed Ice Creams, Available at Whole Foods

The photo in the postscript below is from Grateful Living, and the same joke is on that site, but I hadn’t known that until I went there to lift the photo. Really!

Okay–Here’s that postscript:

S.P. (“Still P.S.-ing”)

Lifelong atheist, and proud of it, walking on a mountainside. Spots a big, angry bear, headed his way. “God, please, please, please!” he repeats over and over, frantically.

God answers: “Let me get this straight. All your life, you’ve boasted about how you don’t believe in me, and anyone who does is a fool, and now, all of the sudden when you need me, you want some proof I exist?”

The atheist, ashamed, admits it.

“Very well, then,” says the Lord.

Suddenly, the bear stops dead in its tracks, and falls to its knees.

“God,” it says, “Thank you for this wonderful meal you’ve set before me.”
Next letter, please. (Thank you.)


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