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.