I asked my sister Madeline, bookmaker extraordinaire to make me something to help remember all the birthdays and anniversaries of the children, their spouses and grandchildren.
Give an artist a project and it becomes a mission. Madeline created a work of art, using collage items like buttons and photos, poetry and quotes, and applied fashion as a theme to remember the year. Each season has a different motif and different ways to record names on dates.
It’s beautiful; yet even she admits, not too functional. I love it; and have it on my shelf over my desk.
I had bought one for my mother, thinking that she too could benefit from it and has even more dates to remember than me. While it serves the purpose, it’s long and narrow and doesn’t fit on a desk or shelf. It needs to be hung on a corkboard, which my mother doesn’t have near her desk.
Having some time before a hair appointment, I entered a stationary store, and asked the proprietor, an elderly woman, if she had perpetual calendars, having learned that’s what these things are called when no year is given.
Delighted to have a customer on a scorching summer day, she smiled, and said, “You mean you still send cards?” I try I responded, if I can remember.
She dug around and found a book on a bottom shelf, covered with dust. It’s a greeting card organizer and comes with an assortment of cards, and each month not only has the dates listed but a pocket to store extra cards. I could buy cards when I see them and save them for when they’re needed. Its design is no match for my sister’s creation – but it will work, if I remember to look in it!
The shopkeeper and I chatted about the lost art of writing personal cards- like thank you notes. Most of her business is custom printing for invitations and such. I suggested she move the remaining organizers to a higher shelf – certainly there are other grandmothers who’d want one as a gift.
Now if I could combine the artistry of the one Madeline made me with the usefulness of this one…