Thursday, August 6, 2015

A Stamp Act

Act I, Scene I

Sometimes I remember to look up. When I do I lean my head so far back I stagger. I have a big head, so you know it's heavy. On occasion I do manage to forget the weight of being me, especially when I use apps like Night Sky and Go Sky Watch. The cool ones talk. They tell you the names of the things that light up the night sky; they give you true north, and the names of new and familiar constellations. This is my first photograph of the mapped view I remembered to keep. So what does this have to do with mail? Absolutely nothing. Wait! Not really. I wish there were constellation stamps. Someone sent me Apollo space craft postage before. I came across it today, so that's probably what prompted me to share this recent view of my night sky. 

Goodness! How could I forget the International orb, another classy stamp act. I like the roundness of it. The cute little faux stamp is from a 12 x 12 sheet of Bird Song Stickers. I'm halfway through Amy Tan's The Valley of Amazement, which is a Chinese story. Bird Song has Japanese stickers. What's my point? I'm not sure. But the colors on the envelope match. And I have a strong suspicion that I have read this story before, despite the fact that it was published in 2013. I've spent weeks searching old files to prove I've seen Kate's earrings before too. This sense of deja vu is something else.

This post began as a commentary on how a simple act of kindness can have a major impact on one's entire day. I've been giving my patronage to the post office in Ace Hardware lately. It's closer, and encounters with the clerks are agreeable with my ego. Then I needed to send a package via international mail, so it meant a visit to Katy's official P.O. I bought a mess of stamps, and the kind clerk whipped out this gem to package my purchases. She said, "Look what we found. We were cleaning up and came across these." I was genuinely touched. My heart's rhythm was all about the bass, the bass.  Guess who didn't have her out-going mail and packages. 

Still and all, I was treated like the day's Number One Customer. I was told, "I know you like these . . ." just before she put the Between Me & You stamps on the counter. I bought them. I'm almost out of Summer Harvest, so why not, right? I bought them

I went hog wild. My postage coffers needed a boost. I bought.

I asked what non-machinable meant. Do you know? Did you know . . . No. How could you, seeing as how you don't live in Katy. But someone used one of these beauties to mail a letter to Canada. It was used as the extra ounce. It wasn't recognized as legitimate postage because the value was not printed on the face. Imagine that! So the letter was returned. Imagine that too! It's also a thicker stamp. Did you know that? Perhaps the postal police thought it was a counterfeit? Kind clerk said, "You do a lot of international mail and you've never had problems with postage, so do you still want to give them a try?" Right on, I did. I'm going for five tries. 

Over the years I've had just two letters returned to me when I put my return address on the back. The stamps were on the front, so go figure. The clerk simply sent them through again. I do wonder if all of my mail is delivered, since receipt is not always acknowledged. From this day forward, will you let me know if you get mail from me that bears this pretty little butterfly? I'd be much obliged if you do.

The butterfly stamps were a lovely segue to this article I saw in a copy of Edible Houston yesterday. Since they're free, the cashier at WFM encouraged me to "take as many as you want." And so I did. There's a little something inside about Katy. I've never seen a Cockerel butterfly before. Have you? They'd be just as lovely on a stamp too, yes? Five magazines will go out soon. Recipients, see if you can spot me atop the rice dryer in the photo!

The butterfly colors carried over to this letter. I meant to mail it today, but of course I didn't. It's simply too hot. There's tomorrow though.

For a while I thought I'd gag if I saw these words one more time. There's a huge British community in and around Katy, because of the Energy Corridor. They're building a larger-better English school here as well. There's an "all things British" store near Rice Village that sells anything a homesick Brit might need. Some days I cannot go a day without hearing an English accent. I've recognized the truth that "Keep calm and carry on" is often the only thing a body can do to keep going in a sane and healthy way. So, keep calm, carry on. Then write on.

When you do . . . 

. . . to be continued.


  1. okay now you have me puzzled and I need more of the puzzle to put it together . Oh well take care and have an awesome weekend .

    1. Sorry. I'm trying to cut down on long posts. :) Serial posts seem like a good idea, so . . . Stay tuned a little longer.

  2. Hummmm the value is not printed on those round Global mail stamps my mail clerk told me you can use them for anything for international postage rules! And it seems no one really knows the they told me in art school "you've got to know the rules before you break the rules....."

    1. I remember that rule. Is why I'm slowly learning calligraphy rule by rule. And, when in doubt about the "why" of a poser, I ask someone in the know. Maybe Canada hadn't caught on then. The customer brought the returned mail to the post office and asked why the butterfly wasn't accepted. Perhaps it felt like an artiststamp to the Canadian post? We shall see. :) Thanks for your inquiry.