There is something about serendipity especially when its random. Sort of like when you run into someone you haven’t seen in a long time — you both are happy to see each other again and have time to sit for a chat and a coffee and a visit. Or someone reaches out to you and you are able to make plans — sometimes the spontaneous part of it works out.
It’s like a gift.
Although not always, especially today I’m finding that people are very busy — sometimes too busy to email or text back a reply and when they do it’s usually that they cannot make time to see you. Work and children are difficult, and I’m a caretaker for an elderly parent and less able to make plans as well so it’s understandable but still isolating and overwhelming sometimes.
The flurry of activities around the holidays are over. We had two visits with extended family between Christmas and New Years, one went forward the other cancelled due to illness. This weekend I’ll be packing up Rudolph and the holiday decorations — or at least starting the process while taking care of my mum, who is ill, what we thought was a sinus infection has gotten worse to the point I think it may actually be a version of the Flu, but she is on meds and doing a little better and will go into her doctor next week which was already scheduled. Between holiday clean up and regular chores I’ve yet to write my thank you notes.
Sadly thank you notes are sort of going into the realm of the outdated and most people feel they are no longer required. At work I think it’s acceptable to send a nicely composed thank you note over email when I cannot thank someone in person, but while I’ve maybe sent a quick thank you text, I’ve always followed up with a proper written note. This year there aren’t that many to send and they will be done this weekend.
I did receive some lovely Jane Austen-related gifts this year. From my Janeite friend, a Jane Austen Rubber Duck — carrying a copy of Pond and Prejudice.
From an extended family member, that visited us just before New Years, a lovely illustrated copy of Jane Austen’s letters, selected and introduced by Penelope Hughes-Hallett, which is actually a reprint of an edition/previously published in 1990 and titled: My Dear Cassandra. This is a very lovely book, I’m not sure how she knew I love Jane Austen, I think perhaps because I gave one of her daughters a copy of Pride and Prejudice many years ago.
Finally, a Jane Austen candle from Paddywax in Nashville, Tennessee in the United States. This was from my aunt, and I was very surprised that she included this in my gift and when I texted her she said my cousin thought I would like it. I’m thinking my cousin remembered because I mentioned the upcoming Jane Austen tea at Thanksgiving and they shopped soon after.
And I still have to sit down and write this proper thank you note along with two others, although my aunt does not have my cousins write them. My younger cousin just turned legal age (21) and my aunt threw him a party, and afterward, she sent out pre-printed notes, he did not even sign his name. So I gave him a small booklet/book for Christmas with guides to writing notes, including thank you notes but also sympathy notes and notes for birthdays and special occasions. I think everyone should have this basic knowledge and ability or at least be able to reference it when needed. I did give a similar book to his sister — who selected the candle for me — back when she was younger, and now he has one and that’s it. Serendipity takes over.