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General Philatelic/Gen. Discussion : Sorting Stamps Has a New Meaning

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Poodle_Mum
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01 Jan 2016
10:42:57pm
I have a boxlot that I've been wanting to sort but due to obvious circumstances the past two years, it's never happened.

My Dad is not a hobbyist of any sort. He doesn't do jigsaw puzzles like my Mum did or crosswords or anything of that sort.

The other day I said "Hey, you wouldn't happen to want to help me sort some of my stamps, would you? You can say no, that's ok." He said "No." Ok, then we were still talking and then he said "How about you come over on Sunday and bring some of them stamps and I'll see if I can help you sort a few?" Sounded good to me. Then Thursday afternoon I was talking to him and said, "Can I come over on New Years with my stamps?" "Sure, sounds good, and bring your laundry too!"

We sat down at the dining room table as the washer started the first load. I opened the box and I thought he was gonna lose his glasses and his false teeth when he took a look at it! Then of course I had the other box that had the envelopes that have been sorted, etc.

So as I pull out the first lot, I handed him the spade tongs because I thought it would be easier for him to use and I used the straight ones - I said "I really oughta get a second pair of spades." He said, "Well, I think that might be a good idea." Then he said, "Well, you know, this isn't really my kind of thing. I don't have the patience for this." "No problem, if you don't want to help, that's ok." "No, no, let's just see what we have here."

So we started sorting and getting the piles together. He looked at some of them and said "Well, I can't read this, why isn't it in English?" I said, "Well, they tend to use their own country name on their stamps." "Well, that's rather odd," he says. I had to help him out to figure out what some of them said and the piles grew. Then he told me the washer was finished so we went and put in the next load.

We came back to the table and he said, "Well, put these ones away so we can do the next lot." So I put everything in their right envelopes and we started again.

Altogether, we sorted at least 300 stamps.

As I finished up the last envelopes, he said, "Are you coming Sunday? I have something I need you to do for me (explaining what needed to be done)." "Sure, of course I can help you with that." So the stamp boxes were closed up and he said, "Why not leave those here until Sunday and we can do some more when you come?"

Well, I seriously doubt I'll have another philatelist in the family but I do believe I have a "Sunday stamp sorter." It's a shame I'm not free during the week because that's when he's the most lonely since afternoons were the times when he and Mum spent together during the week, except for Fridays when he goes and plays cribbage.

It's nice to have something to do with him and I love the remarks "Oh Cuba has such nice stamps." "Boy, you have lots of Canada and Australia here." And every time he would come across "Eire" he'd say "What's this one?" "Ireland." "Oh right." Two minutes later, "What's this one?" "Ireland." "Oh right." Every Irish stamp!!! LOL

It was fun.
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carabop
01 Jan 2016
11:07:30pm
re: Sorting Stamps Has a New Meaning

That is very nice Kelly and family is so important.

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musicman
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01 Jan 2016
11:20:02pm

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re: Sorting Stamps Has a New Meaning

Thank you, Kelly, for posting this.

This was so fun to read the first time, I went ahead and read it twice.....

....and it was as much fun as the first time!

Happy







Randy

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BobbyBarnhart
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They who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. -Benjamin Franklin
01 Jan 2016
11:49:13pm
re: Sorting Stamps Has a New Meaning

That is very special, Kelly. Thanks so much for sharing it with us!

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"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. -Edmund Burke"

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Stampme
02 Jan 2016
12:08:14am
re: Sorting Stamps Has a New Meaning

Great posting of a very nice connection made with your Dad.
Bruce

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cdj1122
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Silence in the face of adversity is the father of complicity and collusion, the first cousins of conspiracy..
02 Jan 2016
03:17:17am
re: Sorting Stamps Has a New Meaning

"Well, I can't read this, why isn't it in English?" I said, "Well, they tend to use their own country name on their stamps."

Once after a three month trip around the Mediterranean, while at home, I showed my father a bottle of Bayer Aspirin. It had Bayer in English as you might expect and some French writing along with Turkish as I had bought it in Istanbul.
Said my father, "Why don't they put the instructions in English ?"
"Because in Istanbul they speak Turkish, Dad."
"If they put it in English everyone would read it"
he replied.


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".... You may think you understood what you thought I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you think you heard is not what I thought I meant. .... "
Poodle_Mum
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02 Jan 2016
04:03:13am
re: Sorting Stamps Has a New Meaning

Yup Charlie - that's about spot on what my Dad actually said after his question about why the stamps weren't in English. And, I have to admit, there were a few that had me stumped too that went into the "Unknown" envelope.

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dani20
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02 Jan 2016
06:28:36am
re: Sorting Stamps Has a New Meaning

Connections and family-the stuff of life. A wonderful read Kelly-thanks for the posting.
Best,
Dan C.

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SeawayMa
02 Jan 2016
08:01:41am
re: Sorting Stamps Has a New Meaning

Thanks, Kelly, for sharing this with all of us. Enjoy your special time with your Dad; our elders are too soon gone. Then! we remember all the questions we wish we had asked while they were here!

My Dad was a stamp collector also, but his mother, my 'Grandma White' would take envelopes of stamps home with her, soak them off, and bring them back to Dad and/or me. She was quite attentive and careful, and very proud to help us with our hobby.

Rock on!

Marilyn :-)

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lisagrant87
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02 Jan 2016
08:52:33am
re: Sorting Stamps Has a New Meaning

What a wonderful story, Kelly. These are the things memories are made of, right? I'm so happy for you and your dad that you found a way to bond over your hobby! Happy

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BenFranklin1902
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Tom in Exton, PA
02 Jan 2016
01:19:15pm
re: Sorting Stamps Has a New Meaning

Great story Kelly. Enjoy your time with your dad. Mine has been gone a dozen years and last year my wife asked me what I wanted for Fathers Day. Without thinking I replied, "I'd like to spend the day with my father." What a day that would be!

Quote:

"Said my father, "Why don't they put the instructions in English ?"
"Because in Istanbul they speak Turkish, Dad."
"If they put it in English everyone would read it" he replied.
"



Sounds like my mother in law. She'd say, "Listen, they're speaking foreign!" as if every one who didn't speak English understood each other since they all spoke foreign. I had a good friend who was Egyptian, spoke Arabic, and he got a kick out of that story. So when we'd be somewhere together and someone would be speaking Spanish or another language, I'd turn to him and ask, "What are they saying? You speak foreign!"

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AntoniusRa
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The truth is within and only you can reveal it
02 Jan 2016
05:06:36pm
re: Sorting Stamps Has a New Meaning

What a nice read Kelly. Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks. Anyway you can spend quality time with family is a good way. Hope you continue and maybe even get him hooked.

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ikeyPikey
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02 Jan 2016
10:58:48pm
re: Sorting Stamps Has a New Meaning

Apropos whether/not they should all speak English, this tourist writes:


Image Not Found

Quote:

"These dumb French don't even know their own language. Having hard time making myself understood, and yet in high school I was considered quite the linguist. But then we're even - I don't understand them, either. Affectionately,"



Cheers,

/s/ ikeyPikey
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"I collect stamps today precisely the way I collected stamps when I was ten years old."
ChrisW
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APS# 175366
03 Jan 2016
08:59:33am
re: Sorting Stamps Has a New Meaning

Nice story Kelly. My dad was not a collector, but he did save a few stamps from NZ and some of the South Pacific islands while he was there during WWII. These ultimately made their way into my collection Happy

I wish I would have thought about bringing a pile of stamps with me when visiting my dad. He had been living alone during the past 10 years since mom died. Unfortunately, dad passed away this past summer, a month before his 95th birthday.



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Poodle_Mum
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A Service Dog gives a person with a disability independence. Never approach, distract or pet a working dog, especially when (s)he is in harness. Never be afraid to ask questions to the handler (parent).
03 Jan 2016
11:15:34am
re: Sorting Stamps Has a New Meaning

I'm sorry to hear about your Dad's passing. We lost my Mum on August 17th quite unexpectedly. She was one of the most vibrant person I know, quite healthy and then in a split second she was gone.

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purrfin2
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03 Jan 2016
03:18:23pm
re: Sorting Stamps Has a New Meaning

Kelly,

That is just wonderful to have some good times with your Dad. One of these Sundays you need to have a game of cribbage! Love that game. Easy to learn, too.


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Poodle_Mum
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A Service Dog gives a person with a disability independence. Never approach, distract or pet a working dog, especially when (s)he is in harness. Never be afraid to ask questions to the handler (parent).
03 Jan 2016
03:39:56pm
re: Sorting Stamps Has a New Meaning

Oh I can play crib - my folks taught us both by the time we were six.

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purrfin2
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04 Jan 2016
08:05:02am
re: Sorting Stamps Has a New Meaning

OH Kelly, are you up for a game?

One of these days we'll get the opportunity.

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cdj1122
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Silence in the face of adversity is the father of complicity and collusion, the first cousins of conspiracy..
04 Jan 2016
04:40:32pm
re: Sorting Stamps Has a New Meaning

" .... Having hard time making myself understood, ...."

This is when you have to speak louder.
And wave your hands.

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".... You may think you understood what you thought I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you think you heard is not what I thought I meant. .... "
Poodle_Mum
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A Service Dog gives a person with a disability independence. Never approach, distract or pet a working dog, especially when (s)he is in harness. Never be afraid to ask questions to the handler (parent).
04 Jan 2016
06:24:55pm
re: Sorting Stamps Has a New Meaning

Following up: Sunday was stamp sorting day and we completed quite a few. Upon getting myself and the boy bundled up to head back home, my Dad said that he had put the stamp boxes in the van. Not a problem.

As it lays, the rule is that he rings me when he has returned home so that I know he is safe and sound. Half an hour after leaving my home, I see the phone ringing. I was glad to know he was home and then just before hanging up came the question: "Are you coming over next Sunday so we can sort some stamps?" "Of course I'll be there!"

We have officially gotten past the "Eire = Ireland" issue. I then see the question: "Doesn't the Republic of Ireland have any stamps?" So a few minutes later when I saw one in the sorting pile, I moved it over towards his section of the pile. "Well, I'll be, they DO have stamps!" Happy

Partway through the sorting, I see him say "I'd sure be able to read these better if I had a magnifying glass."

Magnifying glass(es) (he can choose which he prefers) are now on top of the stamp boxes ready for next Sunday!

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jrobin99
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05 Feb 2019
03:15:22pm
re: Sorting Stamps Has a New Meaning

Loved reading this whole post.

Jennifer

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jbaxter5256
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05 Feb 2019
08:58:15pm
re: Sorting Stamps Has a New Meaning

Lovely story. I hope you had the opportunity to continue the interactions.

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