Love my card basket

My Christmas card basket was pleasantly full this year. Not crowded but pleasantly full!
There were the usual cards–the ones I always can depend on.
A card from Esther, my college roommate. Esther is a gentle person, who lives in Richmond, Ind. and is a Quaker. Every year, she updates us on her day lilies, which she has raised and bred for years.
Then there was one from my cousins from northern New York–Doris, Adalene, and Loretta. It begins this way, “Snow, snow, snow is the news these days, maybe three feet around here. Tug Hill at least six-and-a-half feet in the last two days!!”
The exclamation marks are mine. They’re used to snow!
And then there are the creative cards, such as a beautifully-crafted one from my cousin, Ruthann, and one card from Nadine and Norman in Colorado, with one of Nadine’s stunning nature photos and these special words: “Blessings to you and to this planet we share!”
And a very clever card from Mildred Slack, who summarized her family in short, well-written verse.
Mildred’s card was unexpected. She, like Kay Self and Nancy Anderson, were helping to fill my forlorn basket by the fireplace.
Before Christmas I had written, “In recent years, the generous card basket seems too large. Actually, we don’t need a basket at all!”
Nancy wrote on her always-creative card (this year featuring owl masks on the family photo), “Read your column about fewer Christmas cards. Added you to my list.”
Kay, meanwhile, wrote: “Can’t help but want to add one to your once-upon-a-time basket by the fireplace.”
She added that reading “This Side of 60“ brings a “smile to my heart.”
What a wonderful accolade!
Every card in my well-filled basket was appreciated, but one was very special. I hadn’t heard from John Younkman for years, so getting a card from him and his wife, Irene, was a real surprise.
And what he wrote was heart-warming.
John was the postmaster in our little college town for many years. When my mother, Dorothy Gingerich, moved here in retirement, it was her job to pick up the mail every day.
She and our postmaster forged a special friendship. In fact, John served as an honorary pallbearer at her funeral in 1985.
And now to hear from him after all these years. What a pleasure!
John also has an empty basket, as he and Irene stopped sending cards some time ago. But he admits to missing “some” of the cards.
His thoughtful message about my mother brought back many memories and was a sentimental treat this holiday season.
“When I think back on my 23 or more years in the North Newton post office, I always think of your mother. . . .
“She always brightened my day. She always had a kind word and a smile–except on stormy days. . . . [note: in her 15 years in Kansas, my mother never became acclimated to the threat of tornadoes].
“Of all my customers, she was No. 1,” John added. “So, Marie, here is a card to throw in your basket. At least I’ve done my part.”
Thank you, John. And thanks to all of you who shared thoughts of goodwill with your family and friends this holiday season.
Perhaps Christmas cards are a good idea after all!
Write Marie Snider at thisside60@cox.net

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