And now for Bakerella's thoughts:
Freedom, independence & a marine named Carlos. Last week I was trying to decide what kind of Fourth of July sweets to make or if I was even going to make anything at all. Then I received an email from a reader's boyfriend and I knew I wanted to… had to… do something for the holiday.
Here's his letter. And by the way, I couldn't make anything sweeter than this.
Hi there Bakerella!
My name is Carlos and I'm a United States Marine, and have been one since 1998. If you wouldn't mind just giving my e-mail some thought, I'd be grateful. Here's the story:
My girlfriend just went away to Marine Corps bootcamp not yet a month ago. She LOVES to bake, but unfortunately didn't get much time to do so because her job took up most of her free time, so she lived vicariously through you. She's a fan of photography also, so your blog was a welcome reprieve from a long, hard day at the office. As you may or may not know, bootcamp for Marines is 13 weeks long; the only contact with the outside world is through snail mail. I miss my girlfriend immensely and while I know she's doing something for her country that she's always wanted to do, it's hard on me. I digress, she loves your blog. I know the 4th of July is coming up and I ask you this not only for her, but also for the men and women in the Armed Forces who really know and FEEL the meaning behind this holiday. I think it would be very patriotic and meaningful to bake and decorate something in the spirit of the military, not just flags and sparklers like everyone else is doing - but something to show people that our military needs support and we need to remember them while we're lighting off fireworks at the family BBQ. You know?
Now, I'm asking this because I think it would touch a special place in some of your reader's hearts. I'm willing to bet you have quite a following amongst military wives and/or girlfriends. How nice would it be to show your support? I've served 3 tours in Iraq and am due to go to Afghanistan for a year in the next few months. I won't get to see my girlfriend graduate from bootcamp in September, I won't get to see her looking sharp in her uniform, I won't get to see the pride on her face as finally, at 28 years old, she joins the ranks of The Few, The Proud... so this would be my chance to show her I thought of her. This is your chance to show you think of our military, as many others should be doing. Maybe it'll get people to look for ways to support us with baked goods? During the colder months overseas, my girlfriend would bake cookies and anything else she could that would hold up to the travel and heat, and send on enough for my whole platoon. A taste of home, a taste of love... opening up a box with the smells of back home was something you just can't explain. It was magical. My girlfriend didn't stop there though, she adopted Marines, Soldiers and Airman through Anysoldier.com and sent them care packages and notes of encouragement.
I realize I'm all over the place here, but trying to get my point across is difficult without writing you a novel. I think you get the gist. 4th of July is about more and I'd love to write my girlfriend a letter and say, 'Bakerella appreciates the Armed Forces, when you get back to the real world and have access to a computer... go see her 4th of July post.' Now, I don't know if you'll do this or not and it's fine either way. I just wanted to tell you a little story and hope that maybe a tiny blurb in your blog would entice your readers into caring just a tiny bit more and thinking just a bit deeper on our Independence Day.
I appreciate your time in reading this!
What a sweetheart. When I read his letter, I immediately wanted to make and send something to surprise his girlfriend. I thought, how cute would it be for her to open a box of colorful cake pops! Then, Carlos informed me that they can't receive food during boot camp. I pictured her being forced to eat all the pops at one time and then made to run 10 miles or something. I don't think she'd like that too much. Picture it. Cute little cake pops. Marines. Lollipop sticks. Marines. Sprinkles. Marines. Not the best idea for her sake.
Now, I can't send her anything sweet, but I can send her these sweet simple words of appreciation.
It's not much, but I hope that if you do see this when your 13 weeks of boot camp are over, that it puts a smile on your face. And know that you and all members of the armed forces were thought of this July 4th.
Plus… that Carlos… he sounds like a keeper.
What about you? Is there someone on your mind… or in your heart… this holiday?
Hope you all have a happy, safe and sweet Fourth of July!