Darrell Huckaby - Procrastination takes hold during card-mailing season

Yogi Berra once said that there are two kinds of people - those that send cards and those that don't and those that mean to but never get around to it. I'm the third kind - and I know there were only supposed to be two. That's why I blamed the quote on Yogi.

I like getting cards, be they birthday cards or Christmas cards or cards for no reason at all. I like sending cards, too. In fact, I am always stocking up on note cards and boxed sets of all occasion cards - I would be a sucker for the kids who ordered cards to sell out of the back pages of magazines if kids still did that - and I can't pass a card display without picking up one or two, just in case.

Sometimes I even sit down and write them, too - long letters, short notes, whatever's on my mind - and I usually put them inside the envelopes and lick the flap and seal those suckers up and, most of the time, I even scrawl the name of the intended recipient across the front of the envelope.

That's where the process starts breaking down, y'all.

I am the most disorganized person in the world. I'm talking bar none. Don't even waste your breath telling me about your spouse or your children or your mother-in-law or any other disorganized soul in your life. I can top any story you can tell and I have plenty of people who will bear witness on my behalf. Not only that, but I am a procrastinator's procrastinator. That's not a good combination when it comes to posting mail for delievery.

Besides all that, I can never find anyone's address. Never. So most of those cards I write, even the ones that get stuffed in envelopes, seldom get addressed - and then if they do get addressed, well, actually finding a stamp for the right amount of postage is simply too much to hope for. Finding an address tucked away in a drawer on the back of an old matchbook cover is more likely.

And even on those rare occasions when I get the cards written and addressed and stamped, it is next to impossible for me to remember to pick them up off the desk to take them to the mailbox. And after a while the message inside the card just isn't all that current. I mean, if I have mentioned that the temperature was in the high 90s for the third straight day and I have to scrape the ice off my windshield to drive to the post office, that card is probably a little outdated, even if it does have an address and a stamp.

I know some of you are just like me in the card department because every now and then I get a card in the mail with my name written in blue ink and the address written in black. And I understand. Really, I do.

I have cards on my mind this week because I bought a couple of boxes of Thanksgiving cards, fully intending to sit by the fire and write notes to certain folks who have blessed my life in special ways this year - or through the years. So far I have spent a lot of time sitting by the fire - but usually the television remote has been in my hand and not a fountain pen. Or my computer has been on my lap and not the little writing desk I got for Christmas last year - from someone who never got a thank you note, I am sure. And the cards? They are on the floor, right beside my chair, where they have been for a week, much to the dismay of my lovely wife, Lisa, who prophesized when I bought the cards that they would never get mailed.

But, hey - I have a few days left, and miracles do happen.

As long as we are talking about cards, you know Christmas is coming up soon and we, as a country, send more cards at Christmas than any other time of the year. Even I get my Christmas cards in the mail. Sometimes. And I really enjoy getting Christmas cards, because they are so festive and the messages are so uplifting and full of hope and because it means that somebody cared enough to actually sign the card, put it in an envelope, find my address, write it on the card, put the right stamp on the card and get it to the mailbox. I am one of the few folks who realize how much that's asking of a person, so I like getting cards.

Know who else might appreciate a card this Christmas?

A recovering American Soldier c/o Walter Reed Army Medical Center, 6900 Georgia Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. 20307-5001.

Now you have the address, so you don't have an excuse not to send one.

And for the record, a stamp is 42 cents. I am positive they are worth it.

Darrell Huckaby is a local author and educator. He can be reached at dHuck08@bellsouth.net.