Another Day in the Country
Cards, cards, and more cards
© Another Day in the Country
There’s a plastic shoe box full of cards under my desk because the container is too bulky to fit in a drawer or on a shelf.
In a fit of organization, I made cardboard dividers: Birthday, Blank, Easter, Get Well, Money, Congrats, Warm Thoughts, Thank You, Valentine’s and Christmas.
It used to be in alphabetical order, but Christmas always was at the end because it comes in December. Go figure.
My sister and I collect cards because you never know when you’ll need one, and cards, in the country, can be hard to find.
That said, I’m not easy to please when it comes to cards. I want them to be beautiful and timely if they are sympathy cards. I want them to be funny if they are get-well cards.
Come to think of it, I usually want them to be funny. Most people need to laugh more, or at least chuckle, and I want my card to encourage them.
I even want my handwriting on the envelope to make them smile in anticipation as to what patwick has sent them.
So, you can see that this collection of cards is unique. It’s the best of the best, even though at times it’ been purchased at discount stores and garage sales. Some of them are homemade.
At various times in my life, I’ve made cards. When Jess and I started a business, we tried making exotically beautiful cards in California and sold them at a gift shop.
There wasn’t much call for exotic, expensive, handmade cards in Ramona when we moved here, so I started making chicken cards — each card a miniature watercolor painting with chickens doing human things. Each card had a real feather attached somewhere appropriate with a glue gun.
I have trouble with repetition, so eventually painting 50 cards at a time went out the window. They were time consuming and couldn’t qualify as significant income, so now I make cards when the mood hits and just send them to friends and family.
Sometimes, I buy cards from other card makers. Let’s face it: I’m a sucker for cards. I love getting them and I love sending them. I love making them. I love buying the ones someone else has made. I am a bona fide card collector.
Some of the cards in what I call my stash have been there for more than 20 years. Some of them I will never send away because I love the art or the message. I may make a card similar to one I have, but I’ll keep the original.
There are a couple of cards that I bought but don’t know who I’d ever send them to.
One is a darling, handmade card that reads, “You are my lucky charm.” It’s brightly colored with embossing and tiny buttons on a rainbow background with smiling stars parading across the page.
It’s absolutely precious, but who would I send it to? At 85 and counting, I don’t think I have a living, breathing lucky charm left — except for my ancestors with good genetics.
I bought a funny get-well card a while back. On the front, there’s a picture of a prairie dog standing in a field with his front legs stretched toward heaven and the caption, “Be Healed.”
On the inside, glorious beams radiate down onto a caption, “There. All better? Can I get an amen?”
That is the funniest card in my book. I laugh just seeing it in the stash.
But who can I ever send it to? I’m afraid most of my relatives might be offended at the irreverence, especially if they were really sick and needed all the help they could get.
Which friend would enjoy this, I regularly ask myself when I run across it in the box.
Who’s sick is the next question. Would he or she laugh?
The only answer I’ve come up with so far is our friend Kay in New Mexico, but she’s not sick at the moment.
I bought some cards from Bangladesh a few years back that have the message of the card in needlepoint — some fundraising ruse.
The last one has been sitting in this box for decades. It’s actually an Easter card quoting John 3:16, but it isn’t a happy-looking card. A little tacky, it just languishes. I would hate to throw it away. Surely someone needs a weary-looking Easter card.
At the back of the box are all the extra Christmas cards I’ve collected through the years and not used for one reason or another.
There are at least a dozen beautifully embossed cards with oval frames for Christmas pictures. Sadly, their envelopes got repurposed for something else, so the cards wait for their day in the mail.
There’s always some reason not to use them. The photo is the wrong size, they look too elegant, they are going to cost extra postage — oh, and no proper envelope.
There’s a card at the front, out of place, with a bawdy looking old lady saying, “I just heard the juiciest gossip, but I can’t tell you.” On the inside, it says, “There’s not enough room, so call me!”
So, who do I want to call (which means staying indoors and listening for the phone to ring) on another day in the country?