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Rubber stamps
Rubber Stamps.JPG

Over the weekend I was in the mood to go thrift store browsing. We stopped at one that is a quaint cottage style shop. It looks like it used to be a small home. It took me a while to get past the entrance of books stacked to greet visitors. I found two. Then as I edged my way into the store I was plopped right into Halloween: Cobwebs, Halloween jars, a strangely wicked old wooden puppet on a string; purples and silver; orange glimmering. It was a visual whirlwind of razzle-dazzle all around this small cottage.

My eyes darted as though following a maze, viewing all the interesting items. Something caught my eye that was nestled among some Halloween knick-knacks. It was a bag of rubber stamps. I crouched down to take a closer look. They were wooden stamps. Childhood was nearby. I remembered how much I loved rubber stamps as a child and the different ones flooded into my memory bank—Hello Kitty, farm animals, date stamps, smiley face stamps, and other random novelty stamps I’d collected as a child.

I turned the bag over in my hand to see if I could see what was on these stamps. I recognized the company—The Oakland Stamp Company—and how my older brother had a custom stamp made for me as a gift. I loved that stamp. It had my name and address in beautiful script letters. I was too young to pay bills; as I grew old enough to have more reason to use it appropriately, I began stamping the return address on envelopes for bills and letters. So when I saw this bag of stamps, I felt that I wanted it. It was $10.  Not bad, a little more than I wanted to spend. As I turned the bag of stamps over in my hands, trying to peek inside without opening it, I saw that they told a unique story and I wanted them. Some of the stamps I could see were “beef stew,” “ground round,” a cat, “in confidence,” other creatures, and “have a nice life.”

I suppose that nostalgia go a hold of me. I  hold on not  with a tight grip, rather with a loose string connected to a past that slips by, not a straight string, but one that has offshoots that go in all directions. I want to have a little something so simple to sit there beside the other advancements that inevitably replace that which is deemed no longer relevant.

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Rebbecca, There is something


There is something wonderful about poking around a thrift store. I remember I found a plastic Tony the Tiger container that we had when I was a kid. My mom used it to store her clothespins and had it attached to our clothesline. I had forgotten about that silly thing until I saw it on shelf. Suddenly the memories came flooding back~ how I used to play with the clothespins in the Tony the Tiger container. Watching my Mom hang our sheets, towels, t-shirts and pants on the clothesline. The smell of the clean laundry drying in the breeze, and so on...

Funny how one item can be the portal key to a treasure trove of memories.

Thanks for that great post.


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Annette, Yes, thrift stores

Annette, Yes, thrift stores are fun to poke around in, aren’t’ they…Thank you for sharing your Tony the Tiger story. You re-remind me about an English class that I took and one our assignments was to find an object and both write about and share with the class what it meant to us. It was a ‘Found Story’ assignment. As you can imagine, we each had found such different objects and it was great to hear all the stories. I still have my found object; it was physical and very metaphorical/symbolic— and in a way, I draw from it everyday.

Thanks for adding to the ‘treasure trove.’

Beauty is in memory,
triggered by all of our senses.


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Stamping out memories...

I hope you enjoy finding ways to use your stamps.  I certainly enjoyed reading about your stamping history.  Thrift shops are one of my "special treats" that I provide for myself on the rare occasions that I feel I have time to stop in.

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Thank you, Sue! 'Stamping out

Thank you, Sue! 'Stamping out memories'--I really like that line. I haven't felt ready to open the bag yet. I think I will very soon and see what other interesting stamps are inside the bag. It's funny that I can just sit with it, the bag in plain sight, patiently waiting for the right moment. It feels like my pre-Halloween "treat."


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a challenge?


Wouldn't it be a challenge to combine all the messages on the stamps into a poem?

Each little message must have been significant to a particular someone.

Just a thought.

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Dolores, I like your idea

Dolores, I like your idea and I will most definitely play around with it once I open the bag. It is a challenge indeed. Thank you for the thought!

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"Message in the Rubber Stamps"

Hello Rebbecca,

I love that thought that Dolores mentioned! Perhaps we'll read an update together: "Message in the Rubber Stamps."  

I also enjoy walking through thrift shops and can resonate with your pleasure. Perhaps there's even a larger treasure of some sort that awaits in your rubber stamps!

Thank you very much for sharing:-)



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Catherine, I love all the

Catherine, I love all the ideas that are coming up. Yes, Dolores's idea is excellent! I like that: "Message in the Rubber Stamps."

I'm off on a treasure hunt! Oh, what fun!

Thank you so much for reading!


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treasure hunt

That reminds me of a dear friend, Judy. She taught 2nd grade. She had a blue denim skirt on which she had sewn many pockets. When it was story time, she would sit on a low stool in front of the class. The children were all sitting on the floor. 

The children took turns choosing one of the pockets. In each there was a hidden object! Judy would pull the object from the pocket--and make up a story with the object as the center of her tale.

She was such a creative person. I love thinking about how that must have impressed the children.


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Dolores, Thank you for

Dolores, Thank you for sharing your memory. That is such a wonderful way to engage the children. That would actually be a fun exercise for any adult writing groups as well—or a twist on it, anyway. It’s given me further impetus for my rubber stamp adventure. I must say, I did take them out and stamp them all to see what’s there. A few made me think of Halloween. It feels like when the time comes—it ever comes to fruition, the story seems to want to be a children’s story, which I began, but I don’t know. Children’s stories is a genre I do love and I’ve dreamed of writing one, but it seems difficult to be unique. I suppose though and I tell myself, if I’m able to pull my own experiences into the stories, then it might work or if I allow pure imagination to run wild, well that might work too. I still need to allow myself to jump in and let the wild come out.


Your friend, Judy, sounds like quite a special lady. I thank you and her for the inspiration! :)

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more special than you think

Your friend, Judy, sounds like quite a special lady.

Judy was a master teacher. She had taught every grade 1 through 12. It was she who suggested I try my "Chaucer game" on her AP high school class. What an afternoon it was for them and for me! 

Everything in her home was personalized. I loved the little pads that surround her light switches. Each had been decorated with illustrations that fit the room. She learned to work with stained glass so that she could replace the ordinary long window high up on her bedroom wall with--a row of blooming irises!

It was a great loss to the world when she died of cancer at age 62. Memories of her still inspire her family and friends and former students.

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  Judy's students were lucky.


Judy's students were lucky. I remember having only a small handful of teachers that made a deep impression upon my little soul. One in particular will always be an angel, as we were all her angels and she told us so all the time. 

I have been curious about taking a stained glass course. I've seen the classes offered in the adult education booklets. I enjoy viewing stained glass and the iris is one of my favorite flowers. I just purchased some recently for the dining room table.

I'm happy to have been introduced to your dear friend, Judy, here through this blog. There is no doubt, after learning just a little bit about her, that her memories still live on and inspire. Thank you so very much for sharing.