Thursday, January 10, 2008
updating my birthday book
My mom had two hobbies that kept her happy as she got older, and kept her from losing her mind after Daddy died: Quilting, and corresponding with people by mail. The latter included sending birthday and anniversary cards to, not just family and friends, but practically anybody with whom she had ever rubbed shoulders.
For instance, my first schoolteacher, up in Iowa. Mother hadn't seen her for at least fifty years, but when she found out her birth date, she was put on the list. And her favorite weatherman on TV, Gary Lezak. And the President, if he happened to be of her party affiliation. You get my drift.
Postage stamps became one of her major expenses, and many people would give her stamps as gifts, on her birthday and at Christmas. She picked up a lot of her greeting cards at garage sales, and she recycled greeting cards she received by turning them into post cards.
Even though I'm not the thoughtful type at all, for some reason about fifteen years ago, I decided to join in my mom's crusade and start card-sending. Now, I'm of the belief that a card means a lot more if there's a note or letter sent with it, and I had a brand new word processor at the time (long before I imagined owning a computer). I wasn't working outside the home; just milking my cows twice a day and raising bottle-calves. It seemed like it would be a simple thing to do, and it was.
I collected relatives' birthdays and anniversaries, both mine and Cliff's.
Cliff's Aunt Olive, in Arkansas, would write back every time I sent her something. I never met her, but I began to feel like I knew her through our spotty correspondence. She's deceased now.
When my mom threw me a surprise 50th birthday party, one uncle who attended said he just had to come, because I was one of only two nieces who gave a hoot for him. All I ever did for him was send greeting cards a couple of times a year!
Even though it was a worthwhile hobby, ministry, or whatever you might call it, at some point I lost interest and stopped doing it. Maybe it was when I got a full-time job, but I think not; I suspect I just got lazy, as I do so often. Or maybe the time for that was over. To everything there is a season.
This morning during my quiet time, I felt strongly impressed that I'm supposed to start corresponding like that again. So I got out my old birthday-and-anniversary book.
I'd say at least a third of those people have died, so I scratched a line through their names. (But I left their names legible, so I can at least remember their important days in my heart.)
Probably a quarter of the names are those of people who used to attend the same church I did, but have moved on to God-only-knows-where.
There are still plenty of folks left, though. I may have to look up some of their current addresses, but they're still alive and kicking.
I guess I'd better find out the birth-dates of my two youngest grandchildren (yes, I'm serious... I've been that bad).
Now playing: Talley Trio - It Ain't Gonna Worry Me Long