The house we moved into in Houston had 4 bedrooms so I had a Stamp Room, but everything was still in boxes. I was immersed in a new job and didn’t really have much time for stamping. I was traveling out of town a lot and the Houston area was like a stamping wasteland. There wasn’t a stamp store for miles around me. Believe me I searched high and low. I think my husband was ecstatic; of course he wouldn’t admit it. Sadly, my Stamp Room was lifeless, dark and disorganized.
My company travels took me to the Minneapolis/St Paul area. What a lovely city. Even though it was the middle of winter with below zero temperatures, I fell in love with Minnesota. The snow on Lake Minnetonka and the powder packed pines were magical. It was close to Christmas and the twinkling lights in the snow were like something right out of a Currier & Ives calendar. This is where I want to live; this is where I want to grow old, I told my husband. "Ha! Yea right" he said. "Listen, I grew up in St. Paul and believe me after a while the cold and snow get old. It is beautiful now to you because you don't have to shovel the snow from your doorstep." So maybe he was right.
One day after a day of training, my new co-worker and I had decided to take a drive over to the Mystic Lakes Casino for a little R & R. We pulled into a little convenience store on the way to grab a pop (as they call it in the midwest). I waiting in the car while he ran inside. I was sitting there, thinking about how cold it had been that day and as I looked up I couldn’t believe my eyes. There, directly in front of me, in lights as big as a Canadian Walleye I saw the words RUBBER ART STAMPS. OMG!!!!! You have GOT to be kidding me. Am I dreaming? No Way! I jumped out of the car and ran inside.
That store was heaven on earth. Rubber stamps lined the walls of this Minnesota stamping Mecca. I could hardly contain myself as I reached for a basket. The lady behind the counter had a huge grin on her face as she watched me toss in one stamp after another. Meanwhile, back at the car, my co-worker thought I had been abducted, because I was nowhere to be found. As he passed by the store window I caught a glimps of him and waved. He had a confused look on his face. It is not everyday that you see a crazed woman in the midst of a passionate embrace with a shopping basket full of rubber art stamps. There I stood in mid stampgasm when he entered the store. “What are you doing? What are these things?” he asked. I tried to explain, I did. But I know he thought I was completely nuts. People that don’t stamp have a hard time understanding the concept. He followed me aimlessly through the store, asking question after question “So now tell me again what you do with these things?” “How do they work?” “Why do you need so many of them?” He asked politely. About an hour later I emerged from the store feeling totally satisfied and totally content. Why, I even had a crazy urge to smoke a cigarette. Well not exactly, but you get the point. The drive to the casino was silent. This is when the real trouble started.
That night I couldn’t sleep. When I got back to the hotel room I sat on the bed with my rubber stamps all lined up. I caressed each one. With the yellow pages flipped open I discovered that the Minneapolis area, heck the state of Minnesota, had more rubber stamp stores than probably any other state in the country. I had to formulate a plan. I had decided that I was going to visit each and every one I could find within a 50-mile radius of where I was staying. I knew that I was going to have to spend lots of time in this area because of the training requirements for my job and I was determined and fixated on checking out each and every store. I was going to make good use of my time there.
And did I, you ask? Oh you betcha I did! Every trip I took I would hit one or two stores. A couple times I even had to buy a suitcase for the trip home, because all the stamps I bought wouldn’t fit in my luggage. But by golly, I was not going to be deprived of my stamps. I wasn't going to miss this opportunity.
Mean while, when I was back at home I had started to unpack and organize my stamps and tools and I began breathing life into my almost forgotten love. Slowly but surely my creativity reared up and my room began showing signs of organization. My Stamp Room was reborn.
Stay tuned to see what happens on the next episode of As My Scrapping World Turns.
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