Last Wednesday I didn’t have a plan. Yes, I could go gamble (again); I could feed the dogs (and I did). I could throw a few things in the trash (yep) and then–I could take that stack of Christmas cards and–
I’m old these days and decided to write down every name of people who sent me Christmas cards this year. That way, next year, I’ll know for sure those folks were still alive and kicking a year ago.
And you know what? I didn’t realize I had gotten so many cards. During the Christmas rush of mail, I had just given each card a quick glance. On Wednesday I had a delightful time really reading the cards, their messages and the “what we did in 2023” group letters.
One of the cards talked of world travels–at advanced ages, don’t you know. How about Argentina, Peru and a planned trip to Egypt that didn’t happen because of world events. Another letter talked of finding, after 50 or more years, a long-lost half brother. A reunion was held in Australia and the story had a very happy ending.
A couple cards mentioned being regular readers of this column — an ego boost to yours truly on a lonely Wednesday. Other cards mentioned lots of kids and grandkids and their accomplishments. A friend from college talked about an award-winning garden.
Yes, I read a few sad notes as well. I learned a cousin I hadn’t seen since childhood passed away. Another told of a serious illness and a brave and caring wife. Because my own card this year mentioned the death of my gentleman friend, many condolences were sent with the holiday greetings. Here’s a sentiment one writer sent, “Those wonderful men are more delicate than ladies and they leave us too soon.”
I have one friend who’s an expert in calligraphy and her beautiful handwriting gracefully decorated her and her husband’s card.
Two people sent me two cards each. I don’t think I was so special; the senders just had senior brain lapses. A couple of people’s names on cards I didn’t recognize at all myself. Who were these people and they sent me a card? (My senior brain needs a tune-up, too.)
And surprise, another name I didn’t recognize was the man (or boy?) who delivers my newspaper. He included an envelope which, at this late date, is now filled with some cash to surprise him. (The mailman got his gift at Christmas.)
One card was from “all the hounds and a parrot named Blu.” Another talked of a family expansion with the purchase of a bulldog puppy. A dog breeder told of winning dog shows with beagles. A long-time friend said he is still a train-master in Chicagoland at the age of 93.
I also was sent words to remember through the year such as “May each day be kind and may your world continue to be filled with wonder.” And another: “It takes a long time to grow an old friend” One old friend gave me a gift card to the local cinema.
Thank you all for the cards. They made my last day in January Very Merry indeed!