Maybe it was checking out a landslide in La Tuna Canyon, California that piqued my interest. Or skipping rocks on one of the largest freshwater lakes in the world. However it happened, I fell in love with rocks.

Through the years, thousands of Florida seashells have followed my family home—in pockets and sand pails. But I never considered them an intentional collection.

As a writer, I love books, but I keep my titles to a minimum. 

Rocks are different. I sneak one or two into my suitcase at every travel destination. Rocks are free souvenirs—actual pieces of the places I visit. 

Thirty-seven-year-old doorstop.

The first rock I collected was in 1984. It looks like a foot. My two-year-old son had to have it. He gave up his stroller seat to the ten-pound boulder and walked the rest of the way home.

My obsession with oceans, lakes, and rivers means most of my rocks are found near water—agates from the shores of Lake Superior, pebbles and sea glass from the Baltic Sea, and stones from a hike in North Bend, Washington with my son.

Northern Germany

I am not alone.

Years ago, my mother-in-law sent me this beautiful article.

My mom-in-law highlighted her favorite parts.

The Lucille Ball movie The Long, Long Trailer made me decide the foot-rock would be the last heavy stone I would lug home.

My rocks aren’t labeled. Somewhere in my collection is a quarter-sized stone from a slaughterhouse in China, a pile of rocks from a project in Hong Kong, and several pebbles from parking lots. The longer I keep them, the harder they are to part with.

Stone soup, anyone?

Rocks adorn windowsills, dressers, coffee tables, and the fireplace hearth.

While going through my rock supply, I found a few special bricks saved from our street when they decided to asphalt. I have a tile from our old pool and rocks from our broken barbecue.

My front hallway is paved in flagstones—probably why I fell in love with this house thirty years ago.

Besides rocks, my walls are decorated with branches from the land we sold next door. I have copious amounts of twigs and driftwood from Wisconsin. Who knew I was such a nature nut? 

What do you collect?


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