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).


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Now playing: Talley Trio - It Ain't Gonna Worry Me Long
via FoxyTunes   

21 comments:

madcobug said...

That is a good picture of your Mother. Those were good hobbies. I made a quilt top like that once, not those colors but that design. I never finished it though. It did serve it's purpose at the time because it settled my nerves to keep my hands busy. Good luck on updating your address book. Helen

dbaumgartner said...

That's a great idea. I've never done anything like that and not sure I would know where to start. But I guess the best place to start is at the beginning.

Great pic of your Mom!

Deb

magran42 said...

I never heard one thing that would lead me to believe you are lazy.  It was just a season and sometimes seasons do come around again.

marainey1 said...

Back in the days of yesterday, letter writing was not an option we had no other way of keeping in touch, but sending cards was .  I'll never forget one of my Aunts that always remembered to send a card on my birthday.  Other than my own immediate family hers was one of the only others I received and it was so special.  I think  you will be greatly blessed by continuing the cards.  Everyone could use a little inspiration and just to know that someone cares.

;On Ya' - ma

randlprysock said...

This is an admirable thing to do Mosie.  Always brings hope to someone through the mail and that is wonderful!!  I used to have a lot more time for letter writing and card sending too and I really miss it.  I did do some thank you cards lastnight for a few Christmas gifts we received and it felt good to get those out in the mail.  I so enjoy it from time to time and you are right, a season for everything.  Your mom sounds like a great person!  
Lisa

mutualaide said...

Donna, I've done the same thing for years and years.  I still send birthday cards and Christmas cards to two of my mothers friends who have are still living!  I get a call from one of them now and again.  :)

My calendars are marked each month with names and either B (birthday) or A (anniversary)  Along with all those birthdays for this month are two anniversaries and a wedding at the end of this month.  

I believe that people, in particular our older folks, really enjoy receiving a card or letter from the mailman ...

ora4uk said...

beautiful pic of your Mom....and blessings on you and your new "hobby"....Hugs...Ora

loisontheweb said...

   You make me ashamed that I've been so lax about sending REAL mail & REAL cards to everyone. (I did hand-make 60 Christmas cards to mail out.)  I usta make a project out of birthday cards, etc. .... have let that slide.  Each year, I make the feeble resolution to send out birthday cards.  I'LL HAVE TO TRY HARDER; YOU'VE INSPIRED ME!
LOIS

breakaway1968 said...

that actually sounds like a fun hobby to do.  And when you said JUST milking cows twice a day...ummm  my dad did that and I don't call that easy! lol  Unless you only had a cow or two.  Have a good time with your hobby :)

lanurseprn said...

That's a nice pic of your Mom. She looks like a very nice lady.
Pam

amy122389 said...

I'm the one that all of the family looks to for remembering birthdays and special occasions...
When my uncle was alive and in a nursing home, he wrote me once saying that even though it was very difficult for him to write back, he loved getting cards or letters from me because he felt like somebody cared.... we weren't particularly close or anything, but it did my heart good...

~Amy

gen0507 said...

I think that is a wonderful idea.  I love sending cards myself.  (Especially Christmas cards)  I think it's just a nice inexpensive way to say I'm thinking about you.  

Hollie

monponsett said...

Tell your Mom that I'm October 13th, and I like pie.

domsmom27 said...

Hello,  I am new to reading your Journal.  I am a regular reader of Sugars and Danas Journal, but have just recently come upon yours.  Can I say that I have spent all of the last 3 hours or so on your Journal and places that it has sent me.  From here, I went to your MYSpace which I enjoyed lots and lots.  From there, somehow I went on a Journey reading about getting out of debt.  I don't even know how I did it.  But I am really enyoying your Journal and your MYSpace page.  You know I will be back.  Happy New Year to ya.   Marlene

jctopaz55 said...

Mosie...that is a great picture of your Mom and also a beautiful quilt there she has in her hand. I do so wish that I would do better about sending cards too. I know I enjoy getting them . You will have fun starting this hobby all over again. Enjoy !!

Hugs,
Jctopaz55

purplehazebarn said...

I agree with you, that at least a short note or letter included with the card makes it VERY special for the receiver.  Glad you have decided to resume that ministry again.  If you only touch "specially" one life, it is well worth it.  LaVern

tendernoggle said...

That is the prettiest quilt that your mama is holding!!!
love ya,
carlene

fowfies said...

I believe that real paper and pencil sent means more. There is nothing like getting a note, or a letter, card, to let someone know they are thought of. Makes me think maybe I should try a little harder to do what she did, and what you are picking up from her...very thoughtful thoughts.

ksquester said...

Just saw on Oprah that she suggest framing one page notes.  It might be right for some........esp. if Cliff never wrote much.  Interesting thought though. Anne

helmswondermom said...

What a wonderful way for  your mom to get through a hard time.  When I first glanced at that picture I thought it was you!  You look a lot like your mother, a very handsome woman.  She sounds like a special soul.
Lori

rdautumnsage said...

Docs Mom used to gently remind us when someones Birthday or Anniversary was approaching in the family. Now that's she's passed on, I told Doc I wanted to sit down with his sister in law and get those names and dates down for good. Almost everyone emails anymore. For me I've started trading correspondence by mail to a few close friends online. Somehow it gives you a feeling of connecting in real life, instead of just the computer. (Hugs) Indigo