It’s the Thursday before Mother’s Day. I wanted to get my Mother’s Day cards in the mail today so they had at least a slight chance of arriving Saturday or at least by Monday (the last mail pickup is 4:30 this afternoon).
Step #1: Buy cards. I know, I know, I should have stopped by the card store long before this, but, come on, you know how it is. I had to wait until sometime after the store opened at 9:00, but I did manage to carve out enough time to buy the cards I needed.
Step #2: Sign the cards. Since the dining room table afforded the largest clear surface I took care of this step there. I like to include a little “good wish” message – not just, “Love, [family names],” so that takes another few minutes. I had hardly begun the signing part when the doorbell rang. It was our neighbor’s nephew, Charlie, asking to borrow an extension cord so he could use his electric hedge clippers (and could he also plug it into our outdoor receptacle because his aunt’s receptacles weren’t working?). I got him going and went back to signing the cards.
Step #3: Addressing the envelopes. This required a trip to my office for the address list we use for our Christmas newsletter mailings. Brought that out to the dining room table and got the envelopes addressed. Charlie was back to say that he wasn’t getting any power from our receptacle, so I checked the breaker panel as well as the master bathroom itself (which is on the same circuit as the outdoor receptacles), but everything checked out (the radio and night light were working in the bathroom). I finally got the envelopes addressed (all this while fielding text messages from our pastor).
Step #4: Adhering the stamps and return address labels. I had a set of return address labels (oh, man, do I have return address labels!! After years of collecting them from the charitable mailings I get every year, I’ll never live long enough to use them up!) that I liked (they had little red hearts on them). However, Evelyn had a card to send to a friend of hers, so I had to root thru her collection of labels to find one with her name on it. After stamping and labeling the cards, I was ready for the trip to the post office.
Step #5: Taking the cards to the post office. Our local p. o. is about four or five blocks from our house, so it took some effort on the part of chance, coincidence, or whatever we want to attribute it to to cram as many cars in that short a distance as there were (I just shoulda taken my bike). But on narrow School Lane – an optimistically-two-lane connector – I encountered two or three cars coming in the opposite direction. As I was about to make my left-hand turn onto McKee Rd, I had to swerve sharply to the right to allow yet another car to turn onto School Lane, narrowly avoiding a side-swipe.
Step #6: Putting the cards in the mail slot. I was cautiously pleased when I pulled into the post office parking lot and saw only another couple of cars there. I say “cautiously” pleased because it seems that when there are few cars in the lot, there’s a long line in the lobby; however, this time it worked out logically. In fact, there was no one in the lobby. After mailing the cards I went to the counter to buy stamps. I had to ring the little bell on the counter to summon the clerk. Having taken care of those two items (mailing the cards and buying stamps), I could put a “Done” stamp on the project.
You wouldn’t think that mailing a few cards to wish someone a happy Mother’s Day would be so labor-intensive, would you? But I’m starting to see why those electronic cards have become so popular.