I have always been one of those people, maybe you are too, who loves the idea of picking out cards for special people or people that just need a little TLC, but so often, too often, I never find time to send them.
In this new day and age with email and text and, of course, Facebook, many people probably think they are just not necessary anymore — just send a little text or "like" a page. But I know for a fact that this is just not true. All of us still love getting a special card in the mail that was meant for just them.
Recently I was at the funeral of a dear friend's mom, Darlene Farrin. Darlene lived in Londonderry most of her life, and her daughter Mary Jane "MJ" Stone was one of my students when I taught at Londonderry High. To this day, we are very close. We consider each other family.
Honestly, I went to Darlene's funeral just to support MJ and her family because I really didn't know her mom through the years.
It seems a new trend at funerals is to give others in attendance a chance to stand up and share a memory or story of how the person had touched their lives. I always worry at this point because it can be scary to stand up and speak in front of people.
In my mind, I'm ready and waiting just in case I need to stand up and go first. Even if I didn't know the person well, I could speak of their family and the love they shared.
Well, in Darlene's case, people were waiting to speak. I learned so many things about this lovely woman from our town. She had been very active in 4-H, she loved horses and, of course, she lived for her family. What really touched my heart was that almost every person that spoke, even the minister, mentioned how much her special cards had touched their lives throughout the years.
What a beautiful way to be remembered. This week my hat goes off to Darlene and all the lives she touched.
Well, a few months ago on one of those days when I could really use a boost, I received a very unexpected card, with a delicious brownie, too, from Bob Haywood.
Bob and his family stopped by my office because they needed help with a couple of things. A "thank you" was not necessary at all, but boy did it brighten my day when I opened the envelope to find not only a personalized card but on the front of the card was a picture, a picture of me they had taken while I was helping them out. On the back was a photo of their family and the words described our time together and why they wanted to say "thank you."
Each time I see Bob in town ever since receiving that card, I always say something like "I want to write a story about the importance of cards in our lives," but I have to wait until the time is "write." Well, this is an "On the Road With Sherry" first for me as Bob helped me write the next part of our story.
I have been contemplating this column for some time. Just waiting for the proper moment to submit it. It has always seemed to me that I needed to do more research or the timing was not right.
I mean, we know when to send a birthday card. We know when to send an anniversary card, even the holiday cards have their time frame. Thank-you cards are pretty obvious but for some reason they mostly have gone by the wayside. But when do you send an appreciation card or a "thinking of you" card?
I am always thinking of somebody and then the moment passes and because it was too time consuming I didn't act. I have even thought, if only there was a way for me to send a card at a moment's notice, at exactly the time I wanted to, something that would have a personal connection to the person I am thinking of, something that would allow me to express my real feelings with a very special personal connection to the person who will receive it.
I have to back track here for a moment because I actually met a man a few months ago and we talked about this very thing. I saw him a few days ago and we immediately started talking about the deep value of cards again. He introduced me to the perfect solution to the problem.
Imagine this, someone does something nice for you and you take out your phone, take a picture, but before you put your phone away, you open an app to move the photo and then type to say exactly what is on your mind at that moment you just shared. The app will allow you to create the card with your message on it, enters the address and you just click "send." The system prints the card, addresses an envelope, inserts the card, stamps it and brings it to the post office for you the next morning. In addition, they system allows you to store names, addresses and important dates. It will send you a reminder of the important date before it comes up. That way you can access this system by phone, tablet or PC and make a card to send that person.
Now my spin, imagine how this can help businesses, too. Now back to Bob.
Since 2003, this system has been changing people's lives one greeting card at a time. They have delivered more than 100 million cards and 3 million gifts, making it the largest first-class mailing company in the United States.
With this system, you can send appreciation they can touch. In less than 60 seconds you can choose your custom card, add a personal photo, write your heartfelt inspirational, or cheerful message and click "send."
The gift selection is icing on the cake to this great service and allows you to go the extra mile to bring about another smile. If you want to learn more, contact Bob at 617-996-0641 or email to email@example.com
On a side note, even our Christmas cards never made it out the door this year. We gave it one great try but the place we sent it to for printing had a major problem with the printer. We were patient as they tried at least three different printers and not one got the job done for us. We decided it wasn't meant to be. On the bright side, we plan to send out Valentine's Day cards very soon. If you'd like to receive one, email me the address at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sherry Farrell is Londonderry town clerk and a lifelong resident of New Hampshire.