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24: contrast

Dear Friend,


I will begin by wishing a belated Happy Celebration of Dads! What did you do in honor of your dad yesterday? Did you bring him a can of worms for fishing? New blades for the Sawzall? A pair of slippers? A cactus? Maybe you made him a card? And if your dad, like mine, has already passed away, what then? Extra thoughts his way for sure, right? What would you want to say to your Dad today, in a conversation, an email or a card?


Have you spent much time looking at all of the different greeting card companies that supply the shelves of grocery stores or online sites that offer eCards?  


If you like to buy and send cards, do you usually have an easy time finding exactly the right card for someone? Everyone is different. Every relationship is different. I always have a difficult time finding exactly the right card for anyone. Maybe I’m too literal, I assume a card is speaking for me – most just don’t have my words. If I do buy a card to send, it will usually be blank inside (for my own words) with some sort of a relatable image on the outside.


reflection of burned forest in a water-filled grinding rock
'reflecting on contrast' an award-winning photo by Frank Bevans


Or it will be a funny (satirical type) card that conveys the sort of humor that I share with the receiver of the card. Picture a yellow banana covered with dark spots, standing before a full-length mirror. Caption: Beatrix suddenly felt unappealing then remembered that she was only getting sweeter with age.


While the prices of greeting cards and postage are so high, it is amazing to me that the greeting card companies are still in business. The HISTORY OF GREETING CARDS is pretty interesting. It has become an industry with a strong, social impact on our culture.


I do enjoy making cards to send via snail-mail so even if cards totally become a thing of the past, I might still make them anyway. I guess I hope that there is always some sort of a post-office?  Here is a fun video (with optional music) that shows how to make 6 Easy Greeting Cards.


I didn’t make or purchase cards for any Moms or Dads this year. I had planned to – maybe you can relate, I like to send cards more than I actually send them. But I did walk aisle after aisle in many different stores, reading card after card, intent on finding the perfect ones … (and not even one could speak for me)…


While I studied the marketing and branding of several little greeting card kiosks along with the rows and rows of the recognizable card brands like Hallmark, Papyrus, American Greetings and a huge ever-growing list of others, I noticed that there is quite a contrast between the messages (and perhaps buyers of) Mother’s and Father’s Day cards.


Mother’s Day cards tend to be flowery cards full of gratitude. The majority are poetic and meaningful, there are a few humorous cards that allow the sender to offer a side-ways apology for being such a crummy child. Most Mother’s Day cards tend to point out the Virtues of the intended receiver.


Father’s Day cards tend to be less serious. There might be a somber thanks-for-teaching-me-everything-I-know sports or camping theme with a hint of gratitude, an image of a stag, an illustration of a pocket-watch or an empty, drifting, row-boat, but nearly all Father’s Day cards are full of jokes, (the majority of which mention and celebrate one or more of the seven deadly sins).


Marketing is a big subject that I’m not going to get into right here but I find it interesting that over all, if you just arrived on the planet and you didn’t have any other frame of reference than the grocery store greeting card section during the months of May and June, you might surmise that American Earthlings take their mothers more seriously than they do their fathers. What do you think?


Well, contrast is one of my favorite things about the world. High, low, big, small, over, under… you have your own list… I can honestly say that last week was a difficult week, some stretches of time are like that. But contrast requires dark and light. This week is starting out much lighter.


We do VERY MUCH appreciate you for being here to read Tracks by the Post!


Write to us if you would like to share your favorite Dad stories, card-making tips, or just to catch up.


In the meantime, I look forward to getting back to collaborating with Frank. (It seems that every time I write that to you, something happens to prevent it. Let’s see if we can break that silly pattern).


Wishes for a happy week ahead!


Gently Be,

Leslie and Frank

To enjoy more of Frank's Nature Work, visit FBPHOTO.COM


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