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The Humble Postage Stamp

I realize that postage keeps going up, but I still think that a 68¢ stamp is a deal. It is cheaper than a candy bar or a soda, and even if you are healthy and vegan, it's cheaper than an apple, orange, or tomato. (And though I haven't seen candy and soda depicted on stamps, I have seen apples, oranges, and tomatoes.)

My interest in stamps began when we used to go to the Coronet store in Chandler, Arizona. This was a five and dime store with a little bit of everything. They had little glassine envelopes filled with five or ten cancelled U.S. stamps for a nickel or dime. I may not have gotten another treat, but Mom would usually say yes to an envelope of stamps. (I believe these were the precursor to my long-time love of stickers. For this past Valentine's Day, Thomas was asking if I had enough stickers, or if he should get me some, to which I replied, "You can never have enough stickers!" I believe this to be true.)

These stamps were part of what began my love of American history. I remember making a timeline using stamps in my high school American history class. This was near 1976, and the bicentennial celebration was well represented in postage stamps. I also had stamps for all of the wars, the Presidents, inventions, states, National Parks, authors, etc.

I continue to go on eBay and buy old live postage stamps. (This means they can still be used for their face value.) The current price to mail a postcard in the US is 53¢. Forever postcard stamps are available, but the designs are limited. I bought a lot (as in a varied group of items) of 33¢ and 20¢ stamps. I love choosing stamps that might mean something to the receiver, and if not, at least they are fun to look at.

When I traveled to Ghana, I found out that one cannot buy stamps and take them home and apply them there. All posting has to be done at the post office, and one has no choice of the stamps to be put on a letter or postcard.

I have a pen-friend whose job or at least a major hobby is selling collectable stamps. He knows what has value and what doesn't. At one point, he sent me a 4 lb bag of stamps of little to no value, but thought that I could use them for my collages and art. And, yes, I have done that. These are the smaller square stamps and are from various countries. I didn't count them, but I do not exaggerate when I say that there were probably a million stamps in that 4 lbs. If you would care to have some, please let me know, and I will share.

And yes, the price of stamps will continue to increase, so buy some now. (I do dislike that current stamps are pre-gummed. This makes it hard to take them off of envelopes and to save them.) In defense of stamps, where else can you send love, news, wedding and baby announcements, birthday wishes, a hello, or any other salutation for such a small price? (As always, if you would like a postcard or note from me, complete with interesting stamps chosen with thought, please let me know.)


I want to thank all postal workers, especially those at my St. Johns Post Office, who do so much to get our letters and mail to us so that we can see what cool stamps are attached.

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Feb 18
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Great post - I love stamps too!

Your fellow Stationery Nerd from the Herd

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