COVID-19 Diaries: A found thing

I brought two books with me to my mom’s — My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante and The Secret Place by Tana French — and have already finished them. So I went digging for more.

I used to belong to a book club so there are a bunch I never read sitting in the closet. I decided to go through them, pull out the ones that sounded interesting, and put them in the bookcase. That meant rearranging stuff, which led me to discover this unassuming little notebook.

At first I thought it was one of the many ledgers my dad used to keep notes, but instead I opened it to find:


When I was kid, probably around 11 or 12, I started collecting stamps. My dad would get mail from all over the world at work and started bringing them home, I think, because he thought they looked cool and that my brother and I would like them.

I have vivid memories of soaking the envelopes so the stamps would peel off and then laying the stamps out to dry. Then I’d put them in the little notebook, which I guess my dad got for us. Of course the stamps are in alphabetical order by country. I remember I loved organizing them, even if that meant having to shift all the stamps over to fit a new one.

Here are some of my favorites:

The former USSR (yes I’m old)
The former Czechoslavakia (my favorite)

I can’t believe my dad kept the book after all these years, moving from our house in Freehold to the one in Plainsboro to their retirement home here. I’m glad he did.

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