3/27/2011

BB CW #13 and Email from Afghanistan


Sigh. I'm not being a very good Civil War Purist with these blocks. Realized too late that the shirting background isn't CW era. Also this is supposed to be a Confederate block but I wanted to use the red "Union" motifs. Renegade Quilter. Runaway Leg Quilter. Timmy used to do this routine when he was little where one leg would run off with him with the rest of his body following. We both found this hilarious. He may not be doing Runaway Leg in Afghanistan, but I did get this email a few weeks ago:

Hey Momma,

I assure you, I did indeed send my letter home. From the timestamp on the letters I've been sending/recieving it looks like it takes about a month for a letter to make the trek one way or another. You should get it sometime soon. I finally got a fat stack of letters from you about a week ago, so I was glad to finally get them and hear about the homefront. It sounds like you might be worse off in ATL than I am in AFG.

Despite all the personal setbacks, I'm glad to hear that the quilting spectrum of your life is going well. Sorry to hear that I wasn't home to wield the shovel to bury Stray Cat. It might have been for the best; I'm sure you gave him a more sanctimonious funeral than I would have. For some reason or another I thought about that time we went fishing and we accidentally bought the live shrimp for bait and had to use the spatula to properly hook them on the line. Neither one of us were too enthused.
[editor's note: we flattened and immobilized the shrimp with the spatula, then hooked them amid much angst. Shrimp jump, you know.]

AFG is going fine. We've spent the last couple days escorting my new man-crush "John" around the countryside. John works in the awesomely named Human Exploitation Team, which is some branch of Marine Corps intelligence that focuses on human intelligence networks. As far as I can tell, John's whole job is to go around interrogating Afghanis and being awesome. Part James Bond, part grizzled CIA shadow warrior, John epitomizes my dream job. The kind of man you expect to walk around with a suitcase handcuffed to his wrist.

John did indeed manage to capture a confirmed Taliban member. This guy was acting suspicious as we were searching his compound (mud hut), so John started looking through the guy's cellphone.

The background on the phone was an Al-Qaeda banner that had two crossed AK-47's in front of a flaming Quaran.

Suspicious.

In the Recent Calls list, he had a contact named "Commander." He kept his Taliban commander's phone number saved as "Commander."

Suspicious.

That's essentially the same as a cocaine dealer having Pablo Escobar's phone number saved as "Cocaine Cartel Boss." Suspicious.

So our new friend was flexcuffed and blindfolded. Baker and I ended up drawing the unfortunate post of Detainee Guards. Halfway through our shift on Detainee Watch 2011, our buddy started yelling something in Pashtu and gesturing with his bound hands. We couldn't figure out what he wanted, so we pulled out our pocket Pashtu/English translation book. I asked "Are you hungry?" He responds with a negative sounding grunt. "Are you thirsty?" Another negative sounding grunt. So I find a phrase that asks "Is it time for prayer?" I figure maybe this guy needs to pray, so I decide to ask him. Unfortunately I missread the phrasebook and accidentally said, in a loud frustrated tone, "You are a prisoner of the United States!" He started crying. It was basically Abu Ghraib all over again.

Love you Mama,

Timmy

11 comments:

Me and My Stitches said...

I love your block - the Union motif was what I noticed first, and I wouldn't worry at all about that shirting - sure looks like a repro to me. Thanks so much for sharing your letters from your son. Prayers are with you both to keep him safe.

Michele said...

Purist, schmurist, it could be screaming lime green...........who the heck cares when you get letters like Timmy's. Man, that kid can write, and all mothers of sons know what a wonder, and a joy it is to have such a close, wonderful relationship with your boy. I know you are saving these missives, and (honestly) think they would make a fabulous book. I know I'd buy it. Best to you both, Michele

Gretchen said...

I love your block! Northern women had baskets too so there ya go. I agree with the commenter--Timmy's letters are priceless and I would buy a book from both of you. Good writing runs in the family at your house. Hope you are hanging in there with the day job. The school where one of my friends teaches kindergarten is closing and he doesn't know where he is going to be reassigned. Hugs for everyone at chez sewprimitive.

The Calico Cat said...

Thank Timmy for the laugh - I needed it! (Among other things...)

Libby said...

Oh how we all love hearing from Timmy! He has a flair for writing . . . I bet the apple didn't fall far from the tree *s*

Caron said...

I love your basket block! It looks perfect to me! Tell your soldier thanks for me, please.

Vivian said...

If it looks like a shirting and sits in a block like a shirting -- I'd call it a shirting. Nuff said.

Add me to the list of those who'd love seeing Timmy's writing and Mom's writing in print. He has a grand talent for describing a dangerous or mundane situation and a turning it into a wonderful story. What a wit! I usually end up bursting into loud laughter somewhere in his message. This time it was with the 3nd "suspicious" comment.
Blessings to you both, from one military mom to another.

MARCIE said...

Always a treat to hear from Timmy! What a character he is.
And you are so on top of these CW blocks. Hard to believe, but I have fallen behind! Love your basket!

Betty (picture circa 1951) said...

Knowing nothing about quilting and being authentic I would be perfectly happy with that quilt block. Will that many people really know?

You should suggest to Timothy that he keep a journal while he's over there. He's a very good writer anc could write a book someday about his military experiences.

Kathie said...

love the basket block
the union on the top row is perfect!!!!!
very good.
so nice to hear Timmy is keeping is sense of humor thru this and writing to you when he can
hope that pile of letters arrived to you this week
Kathie

Sharon said...

Letters from abroad.....thanks so much for sharing, this is the first one I've seen here, I must stop by more often. Give your son a big Thank You, what a marvelous son you have raised.