Birthday card still making the rounds after 20 years

GLADSTONE – When Louise LeGault of Gladstone received a birthday card early this month from her longtime friend, Sandy Boutilier, it looked oddly familiar.

She had received the same card last year, and the year before that, and the year before that. In fact, she has received the same card from Sandy for the past 20 years years.

But Louise is a willing participant in this birthday card escapade. She has given her friend the same birthday card in return over the same time period.

Louise, who just turned 78, and Sandy, 73 have been friends for many years and their husbands were golfing buddies even longer. Louise is the one who first purchased the card for Sandy in 1993 and it was her idea to suggest they try sending the same card back and forth. But neither imagined in the beginning that the exchange would last for so many years.

“I can’t believe that it’s been 20 years,” Sandy said with a shake of her head. “Actually, when you think about it, it saves on searching and buying cards each year. And besides, it’s kind of fun to receive and to see how the handwriting and messages have changed. But it’s always amazing that we can even find the card!”

But while the card itself is certainly familiar, each writes a different personal message each year.

Both expressed thanks that there are two extra blank pages in the card that makes the message writing easier. In fact, they haven’t had the need to write on the back page as yet.

“Actually with the back page, I think we should be good for another five years. But even after that, we can always add an extra page,” Sandy said.

Until this year, both ladies have delivered the birthday greetings in person rather than attempt to find a suitable envelop for mailing.

“But I was out of town on Louise’s birthday so I put it in a manilla envelope and mailed it,” Sandy said.

So how long with this little greeting exchange go on?

“We really don’t know,” Louise said. “Maybe until I die, I guess.”