Stationery Stories

I have a very large stash of notecards, birthday cards, belated birthday cards, Christmas cards, postcards and various other holiday cards. They’ve been in a large canvas container for at least a decade and as I find more stationery I just toss it in with the rest of the cards, not really thinking what I am going to do with all those cards, some of which were my mother’s.

Today, wanting to find the perfect card for a friend, I decided to organize the stationery container — after all, I am retired and have all the time in the world.

It was an interesting trip down memory lane. A selection of the cards were cards I’d bought back when I still wrote a lot of letters. They were also from a time when, either there was nothing but saccharine pastel illustrations and sentiments on greeting cards or I actually liked saccharine pastel illustrations and sentiments on greeting cards. A lot of these were from Current, a catalog from which I ordered all of my stationery for many years. I thought that for sure Current was not around anymore, but looked it up anyway. According to its website it is still around and has been for 75 years. I am not sure who I will send those cards to.

At some point when we lived in Alexandria, I discovered Diversions, a (mostly) card store whose stock made me realize that cards could be tasteful without being overly sentimental. Sometimes I would stock up on cards there that I didn’t immediately need, just because I loved going into the store. The owner, Lindsey Bashore, was always very helpful and very friendly. My most memorable visit was the time I’d just left my obstetrician’s office after having been on bedrest for 3 weeks. I was in front of the thank-you cards, deciding how many to buy to thank for expected gifts for the baby when I felt a much stronger contraction than I’d been experiencing previously. I quickly decided and paid for my purchase and drove home. Sadly, Diversions is now closed. The last time I stopped in was a few years ago, Dean and the kids were along. I told the owner how much I’d loved shopping there and even told him about going into labor there and introduced Andrew — the child who happily was not born in the card store.

One of my plans for retirement is to write more actual letters. Maybe I will go through the stash after all. Apologies ahead of time if you get one of the saccharine ones.

Dean’s Pal

I sent this note to a friend today, but wanted to share it here. It was her description of how her Roomba was such a convenient way to keep the floors swept that gave Dean the idea that he might like one. I gave him one for Christmas that he ignored for a couple of months until our friend reminded him how much she liked hers. I’ve created a monster.


From: Dona
To: xxxxxxxxx@xxxxx.xxx
Subject: I take back my gratitude about Dean liking the Roomba

Dear: Xxxxxx

We have a problem. Dean vacuums the floors far too often. Not only that, he caters to the little fellow a little too much for my liking. (I have heard him chit-chatting with it on more than one occasion.)

For example, he places heavy furniture on other furniture so Roomba can move around easier (see Exhibits A through E below. Not pictured: armchair, floor lamp and clothes rack on bed).

In addition, I saved some Styrofoam packing material to place under the front of the fridge so Roomba wouldn’t get stuck, but Dean has yet to use it and the little fella (Roomba, not Dean) gets stuck under the fridge (see Exhibit F below) on a regular basis and cries for help, but Dean is never within hearing range when this happens so I am forced to rescue it.

I write, seeking your expert advice. Should the Roomba go, or the Husband (or both)? I have already purchased an analog device (a broom) for sweeping the floors.

Sincerely,

Sick and tired of saving the Roomba and having nowhere to sit.

Exhibit A
Exhibit B
Exhibit C
Exhibit D
Exhibit E
Exhibit F

All My (Mobile) Phones

My first phone was one of those large, heavy devices that were exclusively for calling someone. I think I called it my car phone. Note that it was not as large as my dad’s car phone from the 1980s. Mine was more like the phone in this photo.

My second phone was likely a flip phone, but I honestly don’t remember it much. A workmate tried to teach me how to text on it, but it was so laborious, I never did it. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to text, I did, but I didn’t want to deal with a numerical keyboard.

I wanted a real keyboard, so that’s why I saved my money when T-Mobil announced the Sidekick would be available in early 2003. I was the coolest kid on the block (except for everyone who had Blackberries). The screen swiveled out and revealed the physical keyboard. It had a large (black and white) display. I loved it. I named it Loki because it could shape shift. I ended up getting a couple more Sidekicks, until I saw a commercial for an iPhone.

I wanted that iPhone, but I didn’t (and still don’t) like the brand. Not long after the iPhone came out, the first Android phone was announced. Again I saved my money to buy one of the first Android phones, the T-Mobile MyTouch. It was my first phone without a physical keyboard and that was hard to get used to. I bought it the day before we went to Northern Wisconsin where there was no service which kind of sucked, but it had enough on it to keep me busy. It was such a cute phone.

My next phone was a Samsung Galaxy SIII. I think by the time I go this one, my excitement about smart phones was over. Not that I was not excited about it at first, but there was not much different, other than size, from the MyTouch.

There were a couple other phones in between the Galaxy SIII and the Pixel 3a that I use today, including an LG G6 that I still have, and could use if something happened to my Pixel phone. Those phones were either LGs or Samsungs and I gave them to Andrew when he broke, lost or had it stolen.

My three outdated phones in the photo above might find themselves at the recycling center along with Franklin. Maybe just the Samsung, since it is completely dead and kind of boring.