Ode to Greeting Cards & Snail Mail

I've told you before that I don't send Christmas cards but I kind of fibbed because I send them to close family members and some others. In the old days I sent more than 100 of those buggers, each hand written and each with a message. The list got smaller over the years and finally when I just couldn't use my hands very well, the number got much smaller. Daughter Pam actually helped address my cards one year because I couldn't.

I'd like to say that if you get to this point and are still sending cards you should volunteer for Christmas card counseling. It's been a long time since I sent all those cards but I went down fighting. My hands just don't work the way they should. I'm blessed that they work as well as they do because I've seen some old hands that almost make me cry. Mine aren't that bad but the thumb joints are a mess. They are so messy that I saw a surgeon who explained to me that he'd have to work on all three joints to fix them and the thumb would be fixed. For a moment I got excited and then I understood that he meant the thumb wouldn't be able to move. That was the last time we two met.

If you are wondering, I am able to type on a computer keyboard because mine is made for old people and has a light touch and big letters. I can't do it for an extended period of time and I will pay for it later but I can't help coming to this computer as often as possible to check in on my Facebook family and of course my e-mail. Some weeks I can't do this task every day but I miss the interaction with other people.

A few weeks ago I turned 71 years of age with little or no fanfare. The best part of my birthday was that I was still alive and able to spend the day with Mr. S. The next best were the cards I got in the mail and the greetings on Facebook. I loved them all but I have a special fondness for three cards I received which I will keep for all my days.

Those cards were from my husband, my mom and my eldest daughter. These three cards expressed sentiments that I have so needed during this year. I kind of fell into the abyss for awhile after my hip surgery one year ago and lost my bearings. Those cards helped me get on my feet again and feel like I was a whole lot better person than I thought I was.

This is the power of greeting cards. I have sent them all my life for birthdays and wellness and sympathy and sometimes just for fun. I have chosen each of these carefully because of what they said. I am a person who cares about words so this makes me pretty critical and also means that I would have to pack a lunch if I went to a mega card store. In fact, I'd have to have help and a wheelchair so I wouldn't fall over laughing. No matter what, it seems like I look for funny ones but not always. Some folks require a different kind of message.

I love what is now known as snail mail. First of all, it's not slow and moves along pretty darned fast. Also, who among you does not check your mail every day? I trust that you don't go to that mail box because you are excited about getting a bill from some company. You go there hoping for a letter or maybe a catalog or something fun to read or a greeting card. You just never know when one might come. That's the best part of it all.

I used to be religious about sending cards for every event available to celebrate. Since last year I have let myself slip into sending most greetings on the internet. This is not a bad thing but it is not always the best thing. It is wonderful because I get to wish a whole group of people well when they have something to celebrate. I love this. These are folks who aren't in my address book but they are in my heart.

I know it's not time for resolutions but I just raided the Dollar Store when I was in Corvallis and loaded my greeting card stash. If you can understand how I spent $20 on two for $1 cards and a few $1 cards you will know that I am serious about sending cards again. If you are in my address book you'll be hearing from me in the coming year... or at least some of you will!

In the meantime I've got to go to the Great Valley again this month and you can bet the Dollar Store is on my list. Oh, and always remember, Snail Mail Rocks!

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