Tuesday, March 6, 2012

S & H Green Stamps - Slice of Life Challenge

I often hear stories from my forty-eight students of how generous their grandparents are with them when it comes to both items and time spent together.

Recently, I was reminiscing about those ideas and how they applied to my grandmother, my brother, and me.  My grandparents weren't dirt poor, but they most definitely were not wealthy, either.  Every summer of my entire childhood, we would travel out to Arizona or New Mexico (they moved around a bit) to see them.

It was the best feeling when we finally pulled into Nana and Papaw's driveway.  When Nana saw us, she would hug and kiss us, crying tears of joy all at the same time.  Papaw was slightly less demonstrative.  He was a tall, strong, quiet Swedish man, who let Nana get her loving in first, but always had a big bear hug waiting for us.

But after the hugs, the kisses, the unpacking of the car, Nana feeding the undernourished (in her opinion) occupants of the car, and cleaning the dishes, then out would come the S & H green stamps that she had been collecting since we had left the previous summer.  (I'm including an image for those of you not familiar with these stamps.  They were given with purchases at groceries, gas stations, drugstores, to name a few.  The stamps were then redeemable for merchandise.)

Nana would collect boxes and boxes of these stamps over the course of the year, and it was up to my brother and me to lick the stamps, put them into the booklets, and then count how many booklets we were able to fill with stamps.  Then, Nana would hand us the S & H Green Stamp catalog, and Randy and I would start to plan how we would divvy the wealth of the stamps to get items we wanted.

Like I said, my grandparents didn't have a lot of money, but when Nana gave us these stamps and booklets, we felt like the richest kids on earth.

S & H Green Stamps and booklets


As always, thanks to Stacey and Ruth at Two Writing Teachers for hosting the Slice of Life Challenge!

15 comments:

  1. Visiting my grandparents in Texas it was always my great-grandmother who had saved these for us. My sister and I felt just as you all did, like the world was in our hands when we had those books of stamps ready.

    I can't remember a single thing we got with those stamps, but the feeling after sticking them all in the books is one I'll never forget. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh how I LOVED gluing those stamps into those books!!! We used a damp sponge but the books were always soaked and swollen with water. And then the trip to the Green Stamp store. Heaven!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh my gosh. I forgot S and H green stamps. We always licked them for my mom. I vaguely remember going with her to redeem them, but I don't remember ever getting to use them to buy something I wanted…

    ReplyDelete
  4. How cool! I've never seen the stamps before but what a neat memory.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wow! What a blast from the past. I so remember the stamps but can't seem to remember what we used them for YIKES...am I really that old!!! Thanks for the memory.

    ReplyDelete
  6. After losing both of her parents, my mom and I have been working on cleaning out their home of 60+ years. We found so many of these stamp booklets, catalogs, and all of the treasures they'd received from collecting all of them! What a great memory piece this was, Karen.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Oh my, I had forgotten all about them. I was a avid collector in our early marriage. I remember mulling over the catalogs trying to choose exactly the right thing. We got our first card table and chairs from saving the stamps-& still have it! How nice of your grandparents to save for you. It must have been such fun licking and choosing! Thanks for the memories!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I have so many memories with my grandparents out on their farm! My grandma was just the same- didn't have a lot of money, but she made up for it with lots of love and lots of food! :) Thanks for sharing today! I've written about my grandparents a lot in my writer's notebooks, but I've never written a slice about them. You've given me an idea for a post!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Awesome walk down memory lane! I think we had another kind of stamp too, called Top Value. It was quite the competition! Sweet memory of your grandmother.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I haven't thought about Green Stamps in years, but my mother still has a rocking chair she got with them in the 60s. I got a camera of my very own not long after. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I loved hearing about your past, especially about your time with your grandparents. My great-aunt used to save Marlboro points, and she had a houseful of prizes. So fun to read your memories and connect them to my past.

    Love getting to know you better!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hi Karen,
    Your opening reminded me of The Relatives Came. Grandparents play such an important part in our lives. Slicing has made me think so much about my grandparents and how much they impacted my life. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I had forgotten all about these stamps. Oh how much fun we had licking them into the booklets then dreaming about what we were going to purchase. Thanks for the memories.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Karen,
    Oh. My. Goodness. I had completely forgotten about these until your post. My grandma collected them religiously. I licked my fair share and thought it was such fun. My grandma must have been thrilled to have someone crazy enough to do that.

    This line made me feel like I was right there with you as you arrived, "He was a tall, strong, quiet Swedish man, who let Nana get her loving in first, but always had a big bear hug waiting for us." Our grandparents sure did give us a lot of good memories to treasure.

    ReplyDelete
  15. What a great trip down memory lane!!! My brother and I shared this same experience growing up. Thanks for the memories. You made me smile.

    ReplyDelete