You made my day!

If you missed our “Hannlis is Turning 94!” eblast a month ago, in it we invited any Cardie who wished to, to send greetings to this much-admired card muse of mine. I’m now writing to share highlights of her birthday bash, and the first thing I’d say is what Hannlis said: “Opening the box filled with cards was a Wonderful! surprise, and then reading all of them lifted me up and up. To all those thoughtful Cardies I say thank you, thank you, thank you!!!”

Let me back up here and say, Friday before last, 20 close friends, fans & fam of Hannlis gathered under the full Miami moon that glittered over my seaside terrace. Honoring her request that we have “shrimp, shrimp and more shrimp!” throughout the evening we served two yummy variations chilled, and another four grilled, from Honey Ginger to Rosemary & Thyme.

Because we didn’t want to muss the gorgeous cake decorated to look like her beloved beach, we also made an H-shaped rice krispie candelabra … great holding-power but, hard as we tried on that breezy night, no way could we get all 94 candles lit at the same time!  🙂

When it came time for Hannlis to open her pile of presents, she turned to me and grinned, “Looks like I’m going to need a few more boxes of Thank You notes!”  I wish you could have seen her open the sweet box stuffed with cards sent by Cardthartic Cardies throughout the land. Taking in such a show of thoughtfulness from complete and gracious strangers, Hannlis said, “Wow! This made my day!” It really did. She was touched at the time, and even more in the days after as we sat by the sea re-reading every last card she received. She especially loved that:
~ Cardthartic’s long-appreciated Connecticut Rep, Donna Dillingham, wrote, “This card comes from four friends who’ve hiked together and shared your appreciation for fine wine for nearly 40 years. As we celebrate a birthday here this week, we will raise our glasses and toast you, an inspiration to us all.”  And each friend had penned her own little note.
~ Clever Ruth Wakefield of Albany, NY, wrote what surely has the makings of a great new Passages card: “Cheers to you, and for you!”
Nancy Sinelli in Livonia, MI, warmly wrote, “I enjoy reading about you, Hannlis. You sound like someone I would enjoy having as a friend!”
~ Our Retail Partner, For Goodness Sake, in Waterloo, IA, was good enough to send a card to say, “Have a fabulous birthday, Hannlis. We ❤ your humor!”
~ Hannlis Fan Nancy McGinn in Peoria, IL, wrote, “After reading your motto in a story two years ago, I hung it on my wall to remind me to, ‘Make more time for friends, sunshine, books, music, wine: They all exist solely for our enrichment.’ I’ve not even met you (yet!) and you’re making my life better.”
~ And the gracious Ann John of Columbia, SC, penned in her card, “What a privilege to have the opportunity to know of and about you, Hannlis. It’s only been in the past year that I have begun a bucket list ~ so mine is more of a pail list ~ but meeting you is on it!”

At one point in the pleasant afternoon of re-reading, Hannlis admitted, “I really have no idea why these kind strangers consider me an inspiration.” Then, with a giggle added, “but OKAY!” I tried to explain how much we all gain from her near-century’s worth of wisdom, and simply how she lives her life. For example, the week before the party, I’d mentioned to Hannlis that several friends had asked me for gift suggestions. Now, in my experience, many people hearing that would insist, “Please tell them that’s not necessary.”  Not Hannlis!  “That’s very nice,” she said, before adding, “Books are always good.” 🙂  And darned if she wasn’t given three!  The most appreciative person I’ve ever known, Hannlis could teach a master class in “How to Receive.” It makes her such a pleasure to give to.

As Candace Sklarz of Ipswich, MA, wrote in her card filled with good wishes, “Happy 94th, Hannlis, and many more to come!”  To Candace and all you other considerate Cardies, Hannlis replies, “Truly, your gesture made my day!”

~ jodee stevens
founder & chief creative officer

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