The Ottumwa Courier

December 12, 2012

It’s card sending time

Et Cetera

former Courier editor

OTTUMWA — Here am I, looking forward to the mail daily, hoping there is a Christmas card in the mailbox. Silly me. I send fewer cards each year, but yet I want to receive cards from everyone who usually sends them.

My first card this season is from a former Mt. Union couple who have kept in contact all these years. I used to baby-sit their two daughters, who are grown and now have grandchildren of their own. But Don and Dorothy stay in touch with many in southeast Iowa. She added a note this year — they visited Mt. Union this summer, but with so many changes, they probably won’t again. I understand that.

And they are staying in Ackley this winter rather than their usual winters spent in south Texas.

The photo card from Mary and Art Ovrom of Keosauqua was, as usual, just great. I try to guess who everyone is. She did name them this year but forgot one row. And they, too, are staying in Green Valley, Ariz., this Christmas but will be visited by one of their sons and family.

My cousin, Vicky, is probably in Ft. Myers, Fla., now, but flies home every few weeks to see her grandkids in the Quad Cities area.

I expect to hear from Drake buddy Tom Longden, who writes about famous Iowans in the Register. We exchange cards every holiday but haven’t seen each other since June 1965. Hopefully we can hook up for our 50th reunion in 2015.

I really don’t mind form letters anymore from friends far away. I took umbrage when a Mt. Union friend wrote in her form letter that we had an MUHS reunion, and she was in the last graduating class. Oh no, she wasn’t. It’s my class of 1961 that holds that honor. Maybe it makes her sound more important or something in Chapel Hill, N.C.

I lost a former friend, Luise Hansen, this year. She was at the Courier when I started. We roomed together a bit, then she went west to Colorado to make her career and always sent cards with wildlife on them. She loved the mountains.

One of my best friend times this year has been staying connected with Chris and Jeri, two Drake friends I met when we all roomed in Carpenter Hall. I wish Des Moines and Ames weren’t so far away.

I don’t expect cards from my Ottumwa friends — we see each other often, and I think we know what we mean to each other. In fact, if I did receive a card — any kind of card — from one of them, I would keel over. She is not a card-sending person. I fear not many people will be as time goes on. But I still love to send them for birthdays, in sympathy, new babies, weddings and sometimes for no reason. There are so many fun wine cards!

I don’t think emails cut it, nor tweets, chirps, Facebook or whatever is out there.

I like being old-fashioned and finding the right card for the right person. My buddy Tony’s mom makes great handmade cards for any occasion.

It gets more difficult each year to buy for friends or family, for birthdays or for the holidays. But to me, a card is always welcome. I know it didn’t set the sender back a lot of money, and the right saying says a lot.

So every day I wait for the postal person and hope to find a Christmas card in my mailbox.

But don’t be offended if you don’t receive one from me. I like to receive them, remember, not necessarily send them.

Happy holidays!

Judy Krieger is a retired Courier editor.