• Last modified 205 days ago (Dec. 20, 2023)


Another Day in the Country

An imaginary Christmas card

© Another Day in the Country

It’s that time of year. I just finished addressing the last of my Christmas cards. This is the first year in a long time that my sister and I haven’t combined our efforts and sent a card together — “Love, Jess and Pat,” as if we were an old married couple.

We are a couple of sorts — a couple of sisters.

“Sie ist meine Schwester,” as I’m learning to say in German Duolingo class. I have such a time with the spelling in German — always getting the i’s and e’s mixed up, never knowing for sure when a t gets inserted.

Live and learn, I say.

Every year, the stack of accumulated Christmas cards gets smaller and smaller. As of this writing, I’ve received six precious cards.

I have an old-fashioned post office box with a slit where you can put your cards into the box and a drawer where you can pull them out, if you are the mistress of the post. But none of the cards that I’ve received so far this year have fit into the slot.

The box must have been made in China. Surely someone didn’t know the correct size for cards in the USA. Letters would fit — not cards.

For a bit, I thought maybe my problem was that those people who do send cards are sending bigger ones to make up for the deficit.

It took me a while to get inspired about sending cards this year.

Jess got an inspiration for a Christmas letter a week ago and, blink blink, she had them in the mail already.

Repainting and refurbishing of her house is now complete except for a couple of piddly things no one but us would notice, and she decided she’d pour out her gratitude and joy into a Christmas letter. 

That’s what Christmas is all about, right? Good tidings of great joy!

I’ve had a lot of adventures and good things happen this year but nothing quite so cataclysmic as a house with new windows and a purple roof. What did I want to write about?

I sent my grandson a book a week or so ago and included a bookmark that I’d made.

He texted me when the book arrived: “Baba, did you paint that bookmark?”

“Yes,” I texted back.

“The poem, too?” he wanted to know.

“Yes,” was my reply. 

“I think they’d make nice Christmas cards,” he said.

Well, there was my inspiration.

I wish I could send a card to all of you who read this column, but sadly you aren’t in my address book and I don’t even know most of you by sight.

I do, I think, know your heart. And, if we lived near enough, ever saw each other, we’d be friends, so I’m sending you my Christmas card in the Marion County Record.

You’ll have to use your imagination, now — even if it’s rusty. My printer is kaput, even with $80 worth of new ink — which is more than the machine is worth.

Heroics would be involved in getting the card printed. Then there would be painting, trimming, addressing, and posting. 

Imagine “Merry Christmas,” written in a fancy flourishing font across the top of a pristine white card.

Then there’s a three-inch space to allow the insertion of a hand-painted bookmark with my poem on it, and another sentence at the bottom of the card.

“When you read your next good book,” it says, “I’ll be right there with you…” — meaning the bookmark. It’s a metaphor, a verbal hug.

The bookmark (also on card stock) features a planet with a sunshine face peaking around the outside edge at the top.

The planet is shades of blue — an artistic suggestion of our wonderful world — and the sunshine every shade of yellow, orange, red, that you imagine with squirts and drops of paint flying across the paper.

It’s a mini piece of artwork, each one different, and it took a while to paint the simple little design — 40 of them so far — but it’s fun.

The poem says, “As the world spins on its axis, as the sun rides through the sky, so does love bend now to hold you, as my heart toward you does fly.”

That’s my Christmas wish to all of you this season — that you will recognize and cherish all the love that bends to hold you, and that you will bask in its warmth.

Aren’t we the lucky ducks to have another day in the country, and I wish all of you a very Merry Christmas.

Last modified Dec. 20, 2023