I'm often amazed and amused by the similarities that exist between my life and that of my dear friend Songbird...There have been assorted "separated at birth" moments, but I think this is the first time we have blogged unprompted on the same subject on the same day. It must be that time of year...
I wrote this in draft while avoiding writing the dreaded cards - then went blog hopping and found Songbird's post addressing the self same issue (though no more envelopes than I was addressing myself) Here we go. If you have a sensation of deja vue,it's probably because you've visited Reflectionary first!
The legacy of our mothers is an unnerving thing, isn't it? My mother took huge care of her friends...she never missed sending a card for a birthday, anniversary or above all Christmas. For years after her death, I sent cards to all those people who had been my parents' friends and who had taken an interest in my well-being - but whom I had never met, never would meet and knew practically nothing about. I used to produce the requisite hand-written personal letter to each and every one of the 200 assorted names on the list. Then one day life intervened. With 3 children, a B&B business and a job, plus Reader ministry and ordination training, something had to give.
Christmas 2001 saw names expunged from the list . I wrote the first round-robin - apologising left, right and centre as I did so. Others followed, some funny, some less so. One year there was a multiple choice test, another a map...Always, it has been my enterprise, though the family have right of veto. Always it has taken time I don't really have, but the possibility of sending just a card consistently seemed too bald and unsatisfactory. Each year, when I receive cards with only a signature and no news at all, I wonder what has been happening for that household...I genuinely long to know more...though fully understanding that it's just not easy to find time to do anything, really.
This year with the time issue spiralling into free-fall I have resorted to a pseudo telegram, with positively no pictures and have pared the remaining card list to the bone. I'll hope to find a good e-card to send to those with internet access, and trust that others will forgive me if they seem to have been "thinned". It's not a reflection of your importance in my life, but probably a measure of my confidence that you will understand and forgive...and know me well enough to be up to date anyway. Even with the reduced list, I am about to run out of cards, which means a trip I can't fit in to find some more in town...and I'm realising that I really don't know the local shops well enough...and what's worse, tomorrow is the last posting date for 2nd class. aaargh
If I ever suceed in posting the things, the 2008 telegram reads thus
MANIC YEAR SO TELEGRAPHIC APPROACH SEEMS BEST STOP
ALL ALIVE & WELL STOP. KATHRYN'S NEW PARISHES GREAT THOUGH TONS TO DO STOP
ESCAPED TO NEW ORLEANS WITH U.S. CLERGY FRIENDS FIRST STOP
LONGSUFFERING CLOCK-MAKER & CHILDREN MOVED HOUSE FOR HER IN ABSENTIA STOP
HATTIE GANDHI RELUCTANT TO LEAVE UNI STOP
HAS ORGANISED SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL WHILE APPLYING FOR MA STOP
HUGGER STEWARD TRAVELLED TO ICELAND, TANZANIA & CAMBRIDGE STOP
SEEMS TO HAVE SETTLED THERE STOP
THE DUFFLEPUD HAS NEW SCHOOL & SAX & WEEKEND JOB AT MCDONALD'S BUT WANTS TO ...STOP!
NARROWBOAT “AMUSES” LCM IN FREE TIME STOP
OLD PARISH FUNDED GOLDEN RETRIEVER PUPPY LIBBY STOP
BEST EARS ON THE PLANET STOP
FORGIVE BREVITY STOP
MUCH LOVE FOR CHRISTMAS STOP
HOPE TO SEE YOU NEXT YEAR STOP