Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Behind the Stamp

The inspiration for the background painted on The Temple Valley Time's finely crafted holiday greeting came from a Christmas stamp I found in my stationery draw. The creative process involved carefully measuring out the size of the stamp and painting a wintry scene around a blank rectangular space. I then scanned the final picture on my computer and printed out a dozen or so postcards addressed to the dozen or so people across the globe I hoped would be delighted to receive them. 

Grabbing the single stamp that served as the anchor for the whole project, I headed out to the biggest post office in town to get eleven or so more stamps. Standing on line, I imagined how clever all my friends and family would think I was after searching for and finally spying the stamp hidden in the postcard’s picture. The anticipation of getting the cards in the mail continued to mount as I approached the front of the line.

Finally standing face to face with the counter clerk I offered him the stamp in my hand and uttered, “I’d like twelve of these please.” As he perused the cute little postage sticker, a curious frown crawled across his lips. Slowly shaking his head he replied, “I’m sorry these are last year’s stamps. We have a new design this year.” 

The words fell like a sword cutting me off at the knees. “GEEZUS, what am I supposed to do now,” I cried out as I shot the bewildered clerk a dirty look. After all I had tailor-made the cards for that exact stamp no other would do. Panic-stricken, I fled the building as quick as I could in a desperate search for the last of last year's elusive Xmas stamps. 

I combed the streets, stopping at the bigger branch offices first but didn't have a lick of luck. At the end of my rope, I finally entered the tiny branch office serving Temple Valley and there, before my eyes, was an entire rack just full of last year’s stamps. I felt like a kid on Christmas morning. It was miraculous.

Related post: In the Cards

A Further Note: Behind the Post Office Counter
                                                        (@ Japan Today)


  1. I had to take off my computer glasses & get close to my small laptop screen to see the stamp -- delightful! -- in the window. Finding last year's stamp was an amazing Christmas story...Wishing you, your's, and all in Temple Valley a beautiful holiday season!

    1. Thanks very much and the same to you and your's as well!