Posts Tagged ‘Twilight Zone’

A Mystery Birthday Card

August 28, 2012

I love a puzzle.  One came to me in the mail yesterday – a birthday card with a thoughtful gift enclosed. But WHO sent it? There are clues, but dog gone it, not sufficient clues for me to figure this out. I love a puzzle, though.

I received a belated birthday card in a bright, yellow envelop – here are the stamps and postmark:

Being the stamp collector that I am, I noticed two things here right away:

1) these two 10¢ stamps were last sold in the post office in 2003; they are dated 2003 at the bottom left; they were reissued in 2006 if memory serves me, but these stamps were last sold in the post office in 2003;

2) the cancellation is manual – what does it say on the bottom – USPS? Austin? Boston? Houston? I think the standard cancellation says USPS on the bottom. I scanned the cancellation at 1200 dpi, but it is just too smudged to make out…

I can look deeeeep into things. This is fun!

2003, 2003 – we moved and bought our house in 2003. What else happened in 2003? I’ll have to pour over old letters and e-mail and find out. Or is 2003 just a misleading detail?

Someone knows I am a stamp collector.  That, or they are a stamp collector. Or it is possible they just happened to have these particular decade-old stamps in a drawer… I don’t have these particular stamps in my album, by the way.

Someone knows I am particular about time pieces – I designed my wristwatch and had it built for me. That, or the sender is also a fanatic about time pieces. Or it is possible that they just happened to have these stamps in a drawer…

The enclosed card says, “TWILIGHT ZONE” in big letters across the front – my favorite TV show! Coincidence – maybe, but maybe not. Dah-dah-dah-dah. Maybe Twilight Zone was intended to simply support the sense of mystery! Maybe.

Inside the card is a friendly and personal birthday message – “A belated birthday remembrance. With love….” Handwritten in precise, slightly left-leaning script. I’ll check some old Christmas cards I have kept over the years! “Remembrance” is seldom used in the English language today – someone is highly educated.

“With love….” Four dots, and not three. Did you notice the Love forever stamp on the envelop? Coincidence – I don’t think so. Four dots – I will have to look at some old letters and cards. A romance from my past? You can never know what could have been, but I have known a large number of genuinely good people over the years, and some rather fondly, and some I have not seen for a long time who I miss. I truly wish everyone I have known good health and great happiness!

And enclosed with the card is a humble copper chain passing through a Canadian penny minted in the year of my birth – I was born a Canadian. Coincidence – no way, I tell you! Someone knows me well.

No return address. No signature. Smudged postal cancellation. No invisible ink (checked under UV light). Someone is enjoying this as much as I am. What a great birthday card and gift enclosed.

THANK YOU

UPDATE: My close friend SR pointed out that the year of the postmark was 2011 and not 2012 – I didn’t notice – Good Catch! The Love forever stamp was printed in 2012 (lower right of the stamp). Mysteriouser and mysteriouser… I would wager that the dates on the hand stamps can get jiggled over time with handling, and I have actually seen a postal customer convince the clerk to adjust the date on the stamp for a birthday card to avoid the embarrassment of mailing a late card (wasn’t me). If intentional, kudos go to my good friend the sender for enriching the mystery of my card even further!

ANOTHER UPDATE: SR also pointed out upon even closer scrutiny that the time on those clocks is about 8:23 – coincidently the date of the mailing… Rather Spooky! And great fun!

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