The bits and pieces of a letter: The Postage Stamp
For all of us, something has drawn us (back) to letter writing. That is why we gather up in February and celebrate INCOWRIMO. When we get right down to it, a letter is a way to share something, of course the letter inside, but more than that, we share our interests in stationary, writing utensils, and stamp choices.
For some a stamp is just a stamp. In many cases they are purchased in bulk, rolls of little American flags used to send mail without a second thought. For people like me though, stamps are a message, a chance to collect and share something that I care about. My letter writing story heavily involves the post office, I grew up there. My grandparents both retired from the postal service, rural letter carriers both of them. Stamps were a part of everday life, found on prints, tshirts, coloring books, and of course in their vehicles incase anyone needed to purchase some. I even won an essay contest about stamps back in fifth grade. I wish I was a more exacting stamp collector, I just buy the ones I like by the sheet and file one sheet away in an album. If I liquidated my forever stamps, I could probably write for years without another purchase.
Stamps are wonderful little pieces of history. They are art commissioned by a government, able to be collected by most citizens. One of my collections is of stamps from Soviet Russia, and they are amazing. I am able to purchase them by the year. Stamps do not have to be rare to be collected, and they do not have to appreciate or depreciate as they always retain value and purpose.
I am both collector and user. In my most recent stock up there are international stamps for getting letters overseas. There are ones I bought just to appreciate the artwork of another culture. There are Star Wars droids, reflecting a fiction I have loved most of my life and that my sons are starting to be passionat about. There are the little monsters which are just cute, and the Ravens which I find to be wonderful and something dear to me.
What about you? Are stamps something you stick on and forget about? Or are they a choice you make, a part of your letter rather than just something to get it on its way? Something to consider, as there are only 15 days till INCOWRIMO!