please leave your calling card...

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I think Christmas is the perfect time to tell you thank you.

I want you to know how very grateful I am that you visit us, and that you are interested in the happenings at the farmhouse.
Your presence here is a gift, and for that...

 I thank you.

It is that time of year again when I bring out the antique brass "Christmas" tray and place it on the living room coffee table.  The tray would have been originally silver-plate, but when we found it many years ago only hints of silver remained.

It is engraved:

Mary and Nannie

As I wrote last year...
  Over the years I have spent hours wondering who was MA?, who were Mary and Nannie?, what was their Christmas like the year this beautiful tray was given as a gift?, where did they live?, and on and on... . 
Just as I wonder about these three people whose names are engraved on an antique tray that has a presence in my home, I also wonder about you, who also have a presence here.
Some of you I know, as you leave me dear comments or send me emails.... but others of you remain a mystery. On my site meter I get visits from places that are near and dear to us, and places that are far away and magical. Dan and I always talk about and wonder who all of you are!

Last year I mentioned a regular visitor from a tiny town in Oregon.  It is the small town where Dan's father (who died when Dan was two) is buried.  I wrote that we would love to know who that person was. 
Several days after Christmas, I received an email from this woman.  I cried as I read it to Dan.  She lives within walking distance of the cemetery where Dan's father is buried.  Her son learned to ride his bike there; she and her husband often take walks there.  To know that someone across the country just happened to find my blog, and now visits our home, and to know that that person lives so close to Dan's father's resting place, and that this all happened because we share a love of houses is a sweet and dear connection that makes the world seem that much smaller. 
You just never know the connections that we all have to one another... . 
Last year one of the things that surprised me the most when I did this calling card post was that so many of you commented that you were surprised that I wanted to know about you!  I was shocked!  Of course I want to know about you!!  You are our guest and I want to know all about you... who you are, where you are, what makes you return to visit!  Anything and everything you wish to share.  You might share something that resonates with another reader, and thus another connection is made. 

As was the custom in the period of this Victorian tray, people would leave their printed "calling cards" in trays at the homes they visited.
(click here to see images of Victorian calling cards)
On the tray is a collection of antique tortoiseshell and sterling calling card holders.

Dan and I are hoping that in the spirit of the holidays that you, too, will drop your "calling card" in the tray and let us know that you stopped by to visit!  We would love to hear from each and every one of you- those who regularly visit and leave comments, and those of you who usually come and go quietly!!

We are honored to have you all here, and we thank you for stopping by today!

Wishing you the Happiest of Holidays!
dan, joan and ella