:: stamped nostalgia ::

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.

old Belgian stamps
All those stamps in old Belgian francs. I remember each time when postal services upped the price for sending a letter, we had to buy new stamps, or a sheet of very cheap stamps to complement the previous value.

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.

stamp european nuthatch
This one was my favorite – a European nuthatch!

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.

envelopes stamp collection
It took me a while to know what all those weird country names were 🙂

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!

Author: Elvira

Woman, wife, mother. Trying to slow down and take the time to listen.

2 thoughts on “:: stamped nostalgia ::”

  1. i used to collect stamps, too!!! i remember it so tenderly, i even would change stamps with my teachers! Now i think my mum threw them away along with all my dolls and kid games…
    What is it, postcrossing?

  2. it’s quite fun – you can go to the website and they will explain it way better than me. It’s about sending postcards to random people who are doing the same.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: