Cards, 12-6-23

Several of you have asked about our friend Jo in Wyoming and I’m sorry to tell you she’s not adjusting too well. She and her dog Loretta are lonely and I thought she might like a card from any of you who felt so inclined.

Jo Sunderman

1810 Columbia Dr.

Cheyenne, WY. 82009

To be honest here I did not ask her permission to do this because I was afraid she’d tell me no, don’t bother, so I’m just doing it.

I’d like you to meet Darlene Swanson who is at Concord Care Center temporarily and hoping to return to Prairie View. She was our neighbor on the farm and actually used to be my babysitter. We both attended the Upper Flat Evangelical Free Church located between our two farms. Yes, we have a real history. I have known her all my life. She’s now a widow and has also lost one of her two sons. She could use a bit of friendly chatter. Please mention me and this blog as to where you got her address. 🙂

Darlene Swanson

490 W. Lyons

Garner, IA 50438

When you address her card, please add DO NOT FORWARD. Thanks for that detail.

Reader photos:

Found this online – this is me, my new red chair, Hazel and any one of 8 cats – you pick!

43 thoughts on “Cards, 12-6-23

  1. Diane in Colorado

    Thanks for giving us the opportunity to send cards out to folks who may need a little cheering up! I’m happy to do that!

    Loving the Christmas Tree parade here!

  2. Diana in Des Moines

    I’m so happy to send cards to those who need cheered up. We all have bad days now and then, and nothing cheers me up like getting mail. I suppose it’s my age. But a real letter or card does work wonders for one’s soil!

    Love the tree photos. Makes me want to up my game. Lol

    The red chair pic is perfect!!

  3. Kathy in western NY

    Jo has been on my mind so much. I’ve missed her.
    I’ve been enjoying writing out and addressing my Christmas cards today. It’s always been a joy to me to send out cards and receive them too.

  4. Jo in Wyoming

    You’re exactly correct, I’d tell you not to bother.
    This is so very much harder than I expected. I thought I was doing ok till I attended a friend’s funeral. Brother, that was real hard. The minister told us to give the gift of time to grieve. I’m taking lots of that gift.
    I read Mary’s blog, enjoy all the pictures, and hope someday to have happy thoughts to share.
    Until then…thanks to all and have merry holidays.

    1. Kathy in western NY

      Jo, you have been so missed. You are not alone in this. I was with a friend over the summer who lost her husband a year ago. We were at a funeral together and she cried the entire time at it. She said it was the first one she had attended one since her husband had passed and it was harder than she thought it would be. We all certainly understood her so please give yourself moments to grieve.

    2. Martha W in WY

      Hi, Jo. I remember you from the quilting group in Cheyenne. Also, didn’t you work at one of the quilt stores in town? I’m still in the area. It would be nice to connect with you.

        1. Martha W in WY

          Mary, yes. It was like 25 years ago or so. I was just learning to make quilts when I knew who she was. She probably doesn’t even remember me.

    3. patti

      Jo, so glad to hear from you, even briefly. please remember that God does not put anything in our path that the two of us together cannot get through. sometimes we have to lean on Him more than we think, but He will help us and keep us safe. take it day by day or minute by minute. grief is different for everyone and i truly think it is different every day for any one person. i pray for peace for you. patti in florida

  5. Connie R. in Wis.

    Thank you for Jo’s address. With each day’s blog, I hope to see a comment from her. I’m so sorry to hear she’s having a rough time. I will certainly send her a card as well as one to your former babysitter. Your blog oftentimes shows that we are very much alike with good times and bad times. Sometimes knowing that helps.

  6. Vicki Ibarra

    I am glad we heard from you, Jo. I have been wondering how you are doing. This is such a very hard time and everyone does this on their own time frame. Mary, thank you for Darlene’s address. When I was a little girl, she once gave me a pair of her heels to use to when I played “dress up”. She certainly had stylish shoes. And she had small feet so the shoes actually fit me pretty good. Oh, those were the days.
    Love all the pictures. The leaning tree quilt (I call it a drunken quilt) reminds me of one I made and have stashed away somewhere. The red chair picture is grand.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Vicki – I will remember to greet Darlene for you!! Of course her high heels would have fit you – I had an aunt with tiny feet who died this fall – she also let me wear her high heels as a kid. No little girl would forget that!

  7. Jeanie S, Central IL

    Thanks for posting the beautiful trees and quilts. I loved seeing the sweet dog and his toys on his comfy blanket. The red chair picture was great!

  8. Deb in Idaho

    I love the red chair, maybe someday…. Jo I will say a prayer for you. Take all the time to grieve. We’re all here to support you. I love the parade of trees.

  9. Kim from Wi

    Jo, it was wonderful to see you on the blog about nothing. We have missed you. Take care of yourself and we will be here when you feel more like joining in. Grief is a fickle thing; it comes and goes at the strangest times. Love all those gorgeous trees and the tipsy tree is perfect for how I feel this year, droopy. The red chair is hilarious, and I know it’s how I look some days. Will get those cards in the mail, soon.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Kim – you’ve had a tough year, too. There’s a lot of grief in the world as well as joy.

      1. Kathy in western NY

        Kim, I just read your comment response from yesterday and how awful to lose your mom unexpectedly. I am glad you were there for her in these past months to make memories you’ll both have and never regret that time spent. Being together with other family planning the funeral arrangements doesn’t get any easier. Our children lost all three remaining grandparents 10 months apart in 2019 and it was difficult planning funerals so close together while trying to grieve.

  10. Sheila


    That picture in the red chair was a hoot. I just came home from my granddaughters high school concert. She plays the flute and it was a lovely performance. I was reading my emails to unwind and opened yours. I am glad to add two more names to the card list. You get much more in return for spreading a little kindness.
    Be well and keep us smiling.
    Sheila in MA

  11. Amy F

    I’m happy to send a card to brighten Jo and Darlene’s day. There’s nothing like getting mail to make a person feel cared for.

  12. Martha W in WY

    Love seeing the trees and quilts. I especially had to chuckle at the dog with all the toys. I imagined the dog was thinking, “What? You want me to play by myself?”
    I hope everyone is keeping well. I still can’t get rid of my cough. It’s been 2 weeks now. I’m so tired of cough syrup and cough drops. At least I am beginning to sleep all night.
    I am looking forward to our daughter and 3 year old granddaughter coming this weekend. 😃

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Martha – several years ago when I had a lingering cough that nearly choked me, I read about putting Vicks on the soles of my feet at night. I know it sounds like the stupidest idea in the world but if I recall it actually worked! Nothing ventured, nothing gained. I’d rather have the flu than a deep cough that takes my breath away and won’t stop.

  13. patti

    hi mary, love the blog today. love the trees and the animals. that wooden tree is perfect for my house. thanks for all you do for us and letting us know of people who could use a tad bit of cheering up. patti in florida

  14. Sandy

    Hi Mary, the dog with the toys is a laugh,Bella has her favourite feather duster to play with and a few teddies, it’s like picking up after the kids some nights . I’m sorry for Jo and others feeling lonely, l hope they get support from the group,it has been important to me while l dealt with my husband at home with dementia, and then the sorting out and big move once we had him in care.
    I got Stella, s cushion cover together today, next finish one for Luna to store their spare quilts in.Still need to make pj pants for my husband and a couple of cushion covers from my sons Hawaiian shirt.Take care everyone, best wishes from Sandy

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Sandy – how is your husband doing? Is he in a dementia unit? How far for you to travel to him? Does he know you? Sorry for so many questions but we care about you and yours, too. Glad you’re close to family and those little girls!

  15. Lee Bowers

    Early Merry Christmas and blessings in the New Year.
    And fewer trips to the Mayo clinic!!
    Will be addressing some cards later. Thanks for plugging us into a real need out there. Who knows, one of us might be on the receiving end one day in the future.
    Have a great day, Lee in North Carolina

  16. Angie from Baltimore

    I love the chance to brighten someone’s day. Life goes so fast so it is nice to slow down and think of someone who can use a cheer. You keep them coming and I will do what little I can do.
    We are to get 3 inches of rain on Sunday which the area needs but not all at once. In 1999 we had a horrible drought with 60 days of water for the Baltimore Washington area. They were taking water from the rivers and I swore that I wouldn’t ever complain about rain again and accept the gift of water. So bring on the three inches.

  17. Linda in North Carolina

    The Red Chair picture is great. It is you Mary at times when “Everyone is exhausted” Love the trees and sending of cards. Everyone needs some cheer!

  18. Mary Etherington Post author

    Viv – finding a chair like that is my goal!! I want to sink into it and have it just fit. The new red chair is great for reading but not for relaxing.

  19. Lois Ann Johnson

    I’ve had a cold with a lingering cough since before Thanksgiving! I put Vicks on my lips, chest and nose at bedtime, but didn’t think about rubbing it on my feet! Now I vaguely remember my dear mom doing that when I was a little girl! I intend to try that tonight at bedtime. Thanks for the tip. I have not had a cold this lingering for many years and it is beginning to wear me down. No, my tree or Christmas decorations are not out yet. I did put some Christmas place mats on the kitchen table the other day when I entertained some friends for coffee. I haven’t felt too festive lately.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Why are you entertaining friends when you’re sick? You should be resting and your friends don’t want your cold. Hope the Vicks on your feet works for you!

  20. Mareen

    Mary, thanks for all you do for the people that are needing a little lift in their day. I do remember her and I hope she gets back to Prairie View soon. And oh boy always enjoyed the pictures of the pups. Brightens my day holiday blessings to everyone.

  21. Kathy Hanson

    I will send cards and hope that is something to cheer these women up! You are so good to let us know so we can be of some help!

  22. Janet S

    The picture of you and the critters sure brought a chuckle. That is me more times than I care to count but without the animals. Have a great day everyone and enjoy the nice weather – I’ll be washing a few outside windows and it’s December!

  23. Launa

    I added Loretta to Jo’s addressed Christmas card. Pets are a real comfort!
    Our three youngest Great Grand’s and parents left yesterday….it is so quiet here now! Fortunately they missed the Snow Squall today…news broke into morning program and reported nearly 25 minutes with some pictures about it! Then we had a good snow until after 2pm mountain time in Idaho!
    Always enjoy your blog!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Launa – did the kids have a good time in the snow? I’m sure they did and Pepper loved it, too! Thank you for remembering Loretta! Jo needs her.

  24. Jackie in NY

    Hi Mary – love that cartoon at the end, lol! It could just as easily be me any evening after 6! That dowel Christmas tree was really clever! Thanks for introducing us to your former babysitter.

  25. Sandy D'Angelo

    That cartoon is me! I love it. Glad to see all the Christmas trees. In such a hectic season they bring some calming cheer. Actually so does Amazon. Before I became handicapped I would be running all over the place looking for presents that are just right for people. Now all I do is scroll down my iPad and click and everyone is happy and I can enjoy my decorations. Hope the farmers get more moisture soon.

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