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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

Snail Mail Stamp Decisions

thGenerally, there is the odd postage stamp available in our home. Generally, it’s an American flag “Forever” stamp, meaning, if the postal rates go up or down, it may still be used.

Do you remember back in the day when you had to buy 5-cent, 2-cent and 1-cent stamps to make your old stamps work? Those were the days….

But now, our eldest had taken a leave of absence to volunteer at a very special summer camp for the next month. Electronics were verboten, so I would need to be writing some missives.

That’s right. Snail mail. Pen and paper. Postage stamps.

I could not even recall how much a U.S. stamp cost since the only time I bought individual stamps was when I was abroad, in order to send postcards that would not arrive to the kids until after my return. And then, they were over $1 usually. Nowadays, an American stamp is 49 cents.

The local post office had unusual hours, not opening until 10:00 am, but I made my way there rather than the larger, more central post office with its long lines.th There, the clerk presented me with three books of stamps, 20 self-adhesives stamps on one small, two-sided swatch, really no “book” at all anymore, 12 on one side and 8 on the other. I had my choice of American flags, something else that I can’t remember and pets.

I chose pets, cute, furry creatures from cats and dogs to chinchillas and gerbils, from horses and goldfish to mice and… corn snakes?! Naturally, I noticed the snake part after departing the post office. I could see the hermit crab, the rabbit or the parakeet, but to whom would you send a letter with a snake on front???

Maybe if you mail in your utility bill in the heat of summer?

thIt led me to visit the U.S. Postal Service web site where I was amazed at the variety of stamps available if one planned ahead and ordered some. From Disney villains, to seashells, to Thoreau and Kennedy and fruits and flowers and green succulents… it’s all there for the purchase.

Kinda nice. Writing letters never went out in my book, since I do send holiday cards, and invitations, announcements and thanks yous, but seeing all of the offerings in postage stamps demonstrates that the post office is not behind the times at all. Not to mention them processing passports and winning contracts to make deliveries for other courier companies normally bringing packages to your door.

So while you’re lazing around in the hammock this summer, maybe you can write a letter to a loved one, former mentor or friend. And put a pretty stamp on it!

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