I'm a keeper. Boxes of stuff I've kept over the years are piled up down in our basement awaiting for the day (probably when I'm retired) when I can sort through all of it and start to throw some of it away.
Among the items stashed away for future review are cards....birthday cards, holiday cards, "we're going to miss you cards", that sort of thing. Georgette and I are card-givers and we celebrate almost every occasion with some kind of card. Easter..you get a card. Thanksgiving..another card. Christmas...sometimes you get 2 cards, a funny one and a mushy one.
And we both like to buy those 5-6 dollar cards- those cards you buy in gift stores or fancy-shmancy boutiques-the kind that look like they could be displayed in the Louvre. None of those 99 cent Dollar Store cards for us. Even Grace the beagle gets into the card-giving act and gives a card or two during the year. Had I known how many cards we would end up giving to each other over the years, I'd bought stock in Hallmark or American Greetings.
During the 12 years I worked for a national consulting company and traveled almost every week, she always "hid" a card in my suitcase so I would be surprised when I unpacked in my hotel room. That's a lot of cards. And she never missed a trip, even if the card was post-it note stuck beneath my underwear and socks. How romantic is that?
Anybody tearing up yet?
I kept every one of them. Just couldn't bring myself to throw them away. Maybe it's a superstition, like if I throw even one away, I will come home some night and find all my stuff thrown out in the front yard. Mostly I keep them because it just doesn't feel right to thrown them away. And because they are keeper-cards.
I will, however, admit to throwing away some birthday cards from friends and family after....oh, a couple of weeks. For example, there are a bunch of cards displayed on my dresser since my birthday was just a couple of days ago. And sometime next week after the statute of limitations on throwing out birthday cards expires, most of them will find the trash.
My older sister Shelly sent me a card and I truly appreciate that she did.....but Shelly, if you read this, sorry, it's going in the trash.
I did receive a couple of birthday cards, beside the one that Georgette gave me, that are definitely keepers. Meaning I'll never throw them away. Meaning someone else who will get to sort through my stuff after I've left the world will make that decision.
The first card I'm keeping was from our Gainesville family- Georgette's son Mike, his wife Elsa, and our 3 grandchildren, Reese, Christopher and Marissa. At first glance, it's your typical humorous card with the cartoon picture of an older woman in her underwear on the outside and inside it says
Betty confuses her husband's "little blue pill" for her calcium supplement.
It's your birthday!
Are you up for it?
Yeah, I'm thinking Reese and Christopher, 16 and 14 respectively, got a big yuk out of that. There is a personal note written by each of them, which makes it special, but the note written by Reese, who was our first grandchild, seals the deal.
Not only does he reference my favorite band, Tower of Power, but he quotes the lyric from one of their signature songs, "What is Hip" and then....well, read it for yourself and I think you'll see why it's a keeper-card.
The other card was presented to me at our Kansas City family's home, where we spent Thanksgiving. Not only did our granddaughter Sayler, who just turned 5, help her Nana bake the birthday cake, she designed the birthday card. Her sister, Maesyn, who is 2 and half, no doubt provided some kind of support, even if that meant minding her own business.
So when the family gathered and sang "Happy Birthday" and when Sayler and Maesyn helped their Papa blow out the candles, I was presented with this wonderful work of art.
I think it's Louvre-worthy...almost. Who needs those fancy-shmancy 6 dollar cards? This girl has talent. And she can sing and dance and draw and read.
And someday when she is a grown woman, I'll show her this card, because it's a keeper-card.
And because I keep things.