Sarah Simpson

Sarah Simpson Column: To warm hearts, all you need is a stamp

I did something the other day that made my heart warm. I had just put on my jacket, when I noticed a book of stamps on the laundry room shelf. No, donning my coat wasn’t what warmed my heart, but it did help keep me warm when I went out with my daughter to run errands that morning. My toasty ticker had more to do with the stamps.

It’s rare these days to own a book of stamps, isn’t it? Every so often though, I need a stamp and I feel really silly buying just one single stamp. I always go for the book. Yes, it means spending $9.20 and getting nine more stamps than I need at any given time, but I’ll tell you something: I never regret it. Here’s why:

After seeing the stamps in the book the other day, I went back into the house and grabbed a small card and an envelope I happened to have handy. I snapped up a pen and pulled out a small bit of crumpled paper I had tucked away. I wrote a quick note to an old friend, slapped on a stamp and 10 minutes later while running our errands around town, my daughter gleefully pushed it into the mailbox slot to be delivered to its recipient.

I’ve been thinking of my 97-year-old friend, George Brewster, more and more frequently as Remembrance Day approaches. I wanted to thank him for his service in the Second World War and for his friendship and to say I was thinking of him. I wasn’t so sure I’d see him at the cenotaph this year as the ceremonies have been scaled back due to the COVID-19 pandemic but I did want him to know he was on my mind.

SEE RELATED: War taught lessons that should be remembered, veteran says on eve of Dieppe 75th

My daughter and I had a great time plunking our note to him into the mailbox. It’s so much more satisfying to drop a physical envelope into a mailbox than it is to click “send” on an email.

We then had a great time guessing what would be in our mailbox (and opening it to find only junk mail… including a pizza flyer that my child was thrilled about, acting almost as if it were an actual pizza.)

I still get a kick out of getting mail. Always have.

Have I ever told you about the time we had nothing better to do on one weekend early in the pandemic’s initial “stay home” phase, so my family opted to drive the Pacific Marine Circle Route out to Botanical Beach?

Of course we hadn’t thought about it until we arrived to find the gate to the park locked, but Dr. Bonnie Henry had closed all the provincial parks. Instead we parked at the gate and got out for a snack and to stretch our legs.

It had recently rained and there were pot holes filled with rainwater scattered across the gravel road that leads to the park. We urged the children to stay out of the puddles and to their credit, they tried. My daughter found a worm in one of them and was quite distraught that the poor creature would drown. Her superhero dad saved the day and moved the worm to a grassy area to, I don’t know… catch its breath?

In praising her for her thoughtfulness in caring for even the smallest of God’s creatures, I suggested that perhaps ‘Slither’ as she’d named the worm, would mail her a thank-you letter. It wouldn’t be anytime soon though, I cautioned, as it takes quite a long time for a worm to find a pen and paper the right size and snail mail really does take awhile.

“We’re still waiting for that tiny letter,” she reminded me at the mailbox when we dropped Mr. Brewster’s note. She reminds me every time. I really should get around to writing that letter, on behalf of ‘Slither’. Just so my daughter doesn’t begin to think it was an ungrateful worm. I’m just having trouble finding tiny stationery.

Anyway, off into the mailbox went the note to Mr. Brewster and off we went to continue on with our errands.

I was away from my phone when Mr. Brewster called me a couple of days later but I knew as soon as I saw a missed call from him that he’d left a voicemail. That’s just how he rolls.

True to form, my sweet veteran friend left me a lovely message thanking me for the card and telling me a little about how things have been going for him. He thanked me for thinking of him. He told me about what he’s up to for Remembrance Day and about some other Legion-related activities he’ll be up to afterward. He mentioned his “dearly beloved” wife and that he’s doing his best to be helpful whenever he can — both at home and elsewhere. In short, it was just a really nice catch up message.

Now, Mr. Brewster has asked me to stop writing about him because he doesn’t particularly want the attention, but I just ignore him. I know if he calls to scold me we’ll just end up having a really nice chat. His calls always warm my heart. I’m glad my letter warmed his. You could say that’s priceless, but really, this time it all happened for the price of a stamp.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

ColumnistComedy and Humour

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

North Cowichan considers extending tax payment deadline by two months. (File photo)
North Cowichan considers extending deadline for property tax payments

A two-month deadline extension to Sept. 1 gets three readings

John Horn is leaving his position as executive director of the Cowichan Housing Association. (File photo)
John Horn leaving Cowichan Housing Association

Will take on role as executive director of John Howard Society in Nanaimo

Cowichan Tribes Chief William Seymour has taken a medical leave of absence but expects to return soon. (Citizen file)
Chief William Seymour takes leave from office

Seymour will return once fully recovered

A cougar was sighted in the 500 block of Cedar Avenue in Duncan on May 6 at about 9:30 p.m. (Facebook)
Cougar sighted in residential Duncan

Spotted in the Cairnsmore neighbourhood

The Lake Cowichan branch of the Royal Bank of Canada is closing. (Google)
Lake Cowichan’s RBC branch will close in November

RBC says banking needs will still be met

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to start releasing neighbourhood-specific COVID numbers after data leak

Documents obtained by the Vancouver Sun show cases broken down by neighbourhoods

Ladysmith RCMP safely escorted the black bear to the woods near Ladysmith Cemetary. (Town of Ladysmith/Facebook photo)
Black bear tranquillized, relocated after wandering around residential Ladysmith

A juvenile black bear was spotted near 2nd Avenue earlier Friday morning

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix update B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count creeps up, seven more deaths

445 people in hospital, 157 in intensive care

Summerland’s positive test rate is much higher than surrounding local health areas, according to internal BC CDC documents. (BC CDC)
Summerland 3rd behind Surrey, Abbotsford in daily per capita COVID-19 cases

Interior Health is rolling out additional vaccine availability to the community

Amazon is pausing its Prime Day marketing event in Canada this year amid ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks at its facilities in Ontario. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Amazon Prime Day halted in Canada due to COVID-19 outbreaks in warehouses

The event was postponed to protect the health and safety of employees and customers, the company says

Ally Thomas, 12, seen in an undated family handout photo, died on April 14 from a suspected overdose. Her family says they are frustrated more public supports weren't available when they tried to get her help. THE CANADIAN PRESS
Minister says suspected overdose death of 12-year-old pushing B.C. to ‘do better’

Minister Sheila Malcolmson of Mental Health and Addictions says the government is working ‘as hard as we can’ to build a system of care for youths

At this Highway 3 check point, police officers will be asking for identification from drivers, documentation regarding the driver’s name and address, and the purpose for the driver’s travel. (RCMP)
No fines handed out at 1st COVID-19 roadblock as checks move across B.C.

Cpl. Chris Manseau says a total of 127 vehicles were stopped at a roadblock in the Manning Park area

Most Read