CHALLENGING TIMES often inspire reflection on important touchstones, reminding us of loved ones we’ve lost and the importance of people in our lives. The pandemic has emphasized our need to connect with them. As an avid sender of cards, I began sending more last March and April. I was overjoyed by the response, which often included a phone call and a great conversation. I’d been thinking of opening a greeting cards business and decided that if I didn’t do it during this pandemic, then I never would, so Cards and Coffee became a reality. Cards are connections to hold in your hands, to keep, to treasure, and remind us of the strong connections we have with other human beings. I have a box full of cards I’ve received over the years and it is one of my greatest treasures. I have cards for almost every occasion, but I honestly believe you don’t need to wait for an occasion to send a card. There is nothing better than getting a card in the mail for no reason other than someone saying they thought of you. Right now, I’m selling cards out of my home and at occasional pop-ups in town. I include a postage stamp with all my cards so there is no excuse for not mailing it! When we can gather together again, I plan to host card parties for all ages where we can sit with a good cup of coffee and write cards together. My mission is simply spreading joy through snail mail.
I’m blessed to have a wonderful neighbor who has become a great friend—we both love cards and the Lake Forest Book Store. During the last few months she gave me two books that I treasure. The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse is a wonderful illustrated book offering hope during challenging times. The Stillness of Winter explores the holy all around during this sacred season and I look forward to reading it over the next three months. On my nightstand, I also have a Limoges china soup bowl that belonged to my grandfather. During the pandemic, I took it out of the cabinet and now each night I place my jewelry in it when I go to bed. It’s a reminder of my grandfather and to take things out of cabinets and use them! I also have a copy of The Essential Calvin and Hobbes to remind me to not take life to seriously and to laugh. Calvin is my favorite cartoon character.
I’m currently reading Vesper Flights which my college roommate recommended to me. We’ve been talking and writing to each other frequently during the pandemic. I’m also reading Everything Happens for a Reason, which one of my Faith Keeper friends suggested. The Faith Keepers is a group of friends I text with on an almost daily basis that began as a daily gratitude text we could share. After reading I’ve Been Thinking by Maria Shriver, we chose the thread name Faith Keepers (FKs). As Maria so eloquently says, this group of women “keeps the faith for me when I can’t find it within myself. And I do it for them. And that’s what we all need.” I encourage you to find your group of FKs because it is a connection that can change everything for you when you need it most. I’m truly grateful for my FKs.
For information on Cards and Coffee pop ups and card sales, visit @cards_and_coffee_martha on Instagram.