When the mail arrived at our Bombay home on Monday, there was a handwritten envelope included.
Receiving a handwritten letter is always a welcome surprise amidst bills and catalogs.
The letter received this week was absolutely wonderful, touching our hearts.
The card was addressed to The Gardener, me and our feline friend, Tigger.
The handwritten greeting shared warm wishes for “Happy Birthdays — Whenever they are!”
The card and wonderful letter were from a dear friend with whom I was in a book study decades ago in Massena.
She has since moved downstate.
We have visited a few times on the telephone, but our communication now is mainly through notes and cards.
The note told us this remarkable woman didn’t have the “faintest” idea of when our birthdays were.
But when she stopped at a card shop recently and saw a card depicting a cat in a plant, she knew she had to send it with her birthday wishes.
My friend had read in a recent column about Tigger’s love of digging in and destructing all of our household plants, including our Christmas tree.
The birthday card was perfect — the picture on the front of the card was a darling cat sprawled across the top of a potted plant.
All of the flowers that had been attempting to grow in that pot were hanging downward around the outside of the pot.
Yes, this card fit our household plant experiences with our feline friend, Tigger.
The card was wonderful, but the warm birthday wishes and note that were included are what meant the most.
The birthday card arrived on an April day, a day that isn’t designated as a birthday for anyone in our home.
But her thought of us on an ordinary day meant a great deal.
As I thought about my friend’s thoughtfulness, I was sure this should be an activity in which we all participate.
Take a moment this week and think of a friend you might not know the birthday of — and then mail a card to that friend with a note “Happy Birthday — whenever it is!”
How thoughtful and kind — what a beautiful way to begin the week.
With heartfelt thanks to my friend for thinking of us with a most appropriate card and for sending the warmest wishes celebrating our birth on a Monday!
Your thought of us touched my heart and meant a great deal to each of us.
My thanks this week to postal clerk Mark at the Bombay post office.
We received a telephone call from Mark:
The Gardener’s bees had arrived and were at the post office.
The Gardener (now with Bee Keeper added to the listing of titles!) went to Bombay to pick up the three boxes of bees that arrived in the mail!
Mark was helpful and so kind to call and let us know when they arrived.
It is wonderful news to report all of the bees arrived safely.
The bees were placed in their hives the day of their arrival and seem to be quite happy with their new Bombay home.
On Sunday, we were able to watch the bees in cherry blossoms near our home as they worked busily flying from blossom to blossom.
Again, our thanks to Mark and each postal employee who made sure the bees arrived safely last week traveling to our Bombay home all the way from Georgia.
Sunday as I started toward Massena, I took CDs with me to play in the car (yes, our car still has a CD player!).
I took the marvelous organ music of E. Power Biggs with me.
This was a CD I had from my father’s collection.
My father had actually heard this gentleman in concert.
The organ music is amazing and will have to do until Jimmy Phillips records a new CD of organ music.
Wouldn’t a CD of Jimmy’s patriotic music be wonderful?
Hopefully, there will be a Jim Phillips CD or I will have to learn how to download music.
That technology has escaped me.
I also took a CD that I haven’t listened to in years.
It is an India Arie CD, which I had purchased for one song, “There Is Hope.”
On Sunday morning, I thought that centering on hope would be a good thing.
And it was.
What fun to listen to this song with the artist singing cheerfully “It doesn’t cost a thing to smile; You don’t have to pay to laugh — There’s hope!”
I thought about that phrase “it doesn’t cost a thing to smile” and thought that when I met friends certainly, I should make sure to smile — but what about the mask concealing that smile?
It is certainly a challenge today to smile and show compassion through a mask.
And then I saw the perfect mask.
I had stopped at Price Chopper.
As I was paying for my groceries, I noticed a clerk at the end of the aisle. Across her mask were the words “Actually, I Am Smiling!”
I loved that affirmation that there was a smile behind the mask.
Perhaps we should all purchase a mask with that phrase imprinted on it to use when needed!
A number of wonderful people celebrate their birthdays this week.
Keith Fletcher will celebrate his birthday Saturday.
What a terrific gentleman!
And on Tuesday, three extraordinary women — Louise Boyea, Jackie Sheehan and Martha Palmer — will celebrate their birthdays.
My warmest wishes to each of you.
With both of my COVID vaccines completed and shots completed by friends, too, there was shared coffee on Sunday.
What a joy it was to have Bruce bring me a cup of coffee and be able to visit “over coffee” with my dear friend Joe.
There is hope!
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK
“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.”
— Desmond Tutu