While Eunice was crossing the country in a very loud way, my husband and I were on a nostalgic trip ever since we discovered my husband’s old stamp collection in one of the boxes that I went through. The beauty of it: my son is very much intrigued too and yesterday his first album finally arrived. He had been asking for it for a while now, often enough to make me believe that he was genuinely interested in building his own collection.
I had a small envelope with international stamps I saved from my last Postcrossing-episode. He was delighted and we spent the day trying to get them off, which worked for almost all of them. When we also found a big batch of Belgian stamps and a box of old letters that were still in stamped envelopes, we decided another album would come in handy.
Good thing too: I got rid of the letters, which were filled with the most impossible adolescent drama. It’s not nice to throw away letters, but I finally cringed at the idea of rereading them, let alone my kids ever reading them, so this was the last little nudge I needed to delete that shoebox from my life.
Watching him arrange the stamps carefully brought back so many fond memories. My grandfather was very proud of his and showed us how it worked. He would always bring us some doubles. I especially liked the bird series, and they were plenty.
My grandfather also checked contest answers of a magazine my uncle worked for. On a regular basis a big box of envelopes found its way to their large dining room table. He and my grandmother were very routinated and worked like a machine to get the forms out, check for stamps on the envelopes, and then sorting the answers into a pile of totally correct ones, a pile with only one mistake and so on. They had a special red pen to do that and whenever I was sleeping there when one of those boxes arrived, I was invited to help. I felt so proud and involved and I almost forgot about it, until a few days ago.
My mother sent me pictures of our stamp collections (and reclaimed albums), and the gazillion little envelopes with international stamps. On each of them is the name of the country, in my handwriting. I can still feel the pure joy that ran through my veins when I sorted everything out.
It’s a bit harder to fuel the hobby today though. People aren’t exactly writing letters or postcards anymore. Of course, there are some options. I could buy a batch from those sellers who offer them for scrapbooking. But because the slow and steady flow of stamps coming in was part of the fun, I spread the word in the family. And I reactivated my Postcrossing account. That too. So far for my ‘cheaper than Pokémon shizzle’ math. But at least it will be way more fun to open the mailbox in the coming weeks!