Stuff and Memories

Okay, this was my day:

I planned to finish some writing I started early this morning.

I was committed to sorting, shredding and shedding in my office.

My next commitment was to clear all stuff from surfaces in the kitchen.

My fun job was to work in the yard, making the patio a lovely place to spend this evening.

BOING, gurgle, gurgle…the sound of hitting my head against the past and of my plans going down the drain.

I have run into a bag of Mom’s S & H Green Stamps.  The stuff of dreams: looking through the slick, shiny catalog which held marvelous camping equipment, bread boxes and canisters; the memory of clutching books of stamps and wandering through the brightly lit redemption store.  Did we have enough?  Should we go back and save more?  Was it to be instant gratification for a paltry item or holding out for the unattainable?

Saving stamps were like money.  If I forgot them at the grocery store my mother would send me back.  We would drive around the block again if we left the gas station without them.  The little green insignia in the window of a store drew us like a magnet.  This bag of stamps tells the story.  In later years the stamps came in larger denominations.  They were stamped with a big “10” or “50” indicating the amount of individual stamps represented.  This collections holds all amounts.  There are individual stamps held together in small bunches with paper clips.  There are strips of stamps.  And then there are the envelopes sent from her friends and stuffed with their blessings and bunches of green stamps.  Love in a letter.

So now my day has changed.  My first task is to put the stray stamps on sheets of paper.  I am going to redeem them, but it can’t possibly be for the $1.20.  It’s because it MATTERED.  My sticky, parched tongue reminds me of my Mother and her lamp that she got with S & H Green Stamps.

Wow. If this can take up a day, what will happen when I run into Grandma’s crockery?



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