Cards and Conversations

Observations about life, people and relationships from the card department.

The Anniversary Card

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In the card department the other day, a woman asked where she could find the anniversary cards.

“It’s for Dot and Jim,” she said. “They’ve been married ten years now. There was a crazy storm the day of their wedding. Such a disaster that day, but we had so much fun.”

I didn’t think I heard her correctly. “A disaster?”

“Yup. The local police started an evacuation due to a hurricane warning. We made it to the church okay, but the roads were closed so we couldn’t get to the reception hall. After the ceremony, a few people got some sodas and snacks, and set them up in the back of the church. And we had the wedding cake, too, because the lady who made it was trying to bring it to the hall. We ate cake and snacks and had a ball!”

Random folding chairs and a few plastic tables wouldn’t win the Reception of the Year award in my opinion.

“Were you nervous?” I asked, “You know, about the weather and all?”

“No, not really. A group of ten of us were visiting from out of town and we were glad to have the chance to hang out for the weekend. After the ceremony, we all traveled to the same hotel, which, fortunately, still had power and water. Not a problem, except for the one couple whose room was on the top floor.”

“What happened to them?”

“No one was hurt, but the roof caved in from all the water and wind. They were moved to another room, no problem.”

Really, a near-miss with possible death, and it’s no problem?

She continued. “Then, in the middle of the night, I had one of those funny feelings I get. I told my husband to get up and take a shower. He listened to me that time. I’m glad he did, because the hotel lost their water supply about twenty minutes later.”

“Wow, that must have been difficult!”

“It wasn’t too bad. We got up, packed, and left for home the next day. It was so much fun!”

I’ve been to fun weddings, and this was not what I’d call fun.

She then found the perfect anniversary card. It had a little boat on the front and the greeting: The adventure continues…

I appreciated her final comment to me before leaving. “They are a wonderful couple. And I know if they can weather that storm, they can weather anything!”

I’d hate to see what happens when this lady is having a bad day. Now that would be quite an adventure.

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The Holiday Card

In the card department the other day, I set up the Halloween cards. Shades of orange and brown with a splash of purple thrown in made the display as inviting as the crisp fall air outside. It was time for a change. Well, maybe.

A young girl walked by. “Dad! They’re putting Halloween cards out already!”

“I know, honey.”

“But Mom says she’s not ready!”

Funny how children pick up on the urgency of the season. Halloween cards mark the beginning of the holiday season, and people start panicking about Christmas being around the corner.

I understand.

My grandmother used to say she never understood why people seemed frantic at the holidays since Christmas comes at the same day every year. I always remembered her comment. I tried to tackle the holiday rush by planning ahead.

One year, I had all my Christmas shopping finished by September 1st. It felt wonderful. I could enjoy the holidays for what they’re meant to be—a time for family, reflection and good memories. Except for one thing. By the time December rolled around, I purchased more items than I needed because, well, they were there.

The following year, I finished my holiday shopping and planning by October 1st. Not quite so early, but not too late either. Conscientious about staying within my budget, I managed not to purchase more than I needed. Sounds great, right? Except for the fact I forgot where I hid the Christmas presents for my family. A couple last-minute searches in the far corners of the closet helped save the day. It turned out to be a fun experience to wrap the gifts because I forgot what I had purchased.

My recommendation? Go ahead and plan for the holiday now so you can enjoy it. And go ahead and enjoy the Halloween cards, too. They are not meant to spook you about the holiday season, just about Halloween. Boo!

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