Collections… or, why I have rocks and wood in my house

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DSC00866Different things fascinate different people. I lean towards items with textural appeal, like rocks, wood, and pottery. I have a collection of handmade pottery mugs… singletons, each chosen as a memento of a special place. This one came from Israel as a gift from my hubby when he visited there many years ago.

The bits of wood are from two very different locales. The one piece riddled by gribbles and shipworms with a small seagull feather caught in it, came from the ocean’s shore on Vancouver Island. The other, barely two inches long and with minuscule bits of almost-petrified leaves, came from the tundra of the northern Yukon. I probably should have left the latter where I found it, but….

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Rocks are something else. It’s not their geological aspects that catch my attention, but interesting shapes, designs and textures. One of my young granddaughters is attracted to rocks — she had one in her pocket to take home on the airplane yesterday — and my BFF’s husband used to regularly pick up a rock on his daily runs. Their front garden displayed an impressive collection!

DSC00861I’ve taken to using a felt pen to print the source of many of mine on their undersides. It’s impossible to recall where all of them originated so you might wonder why I bother to keep them. I may not remember the exact occasions, but I know I would have been enjoying a stroll along a rocky shore, or wandering a wooded trail, visiting a special holiday location or perhaps marvelling at an awesome view when I stooped to gather the stones. Their existence is a pleasant reminder of my past and in an obscure kind of way they make me happy just by having them to admire.

In one of my novels a character dries and presses flowers to create a collection that preserves her memories of a place that was special during her childhood. Collections are distinctive and represent a person’s interests. They tell us something about that person without the need for a narrative description. (I admit to not wanting to know what my collections say about me!)

Are any of your characters collectors? Are you?

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7 thoughts on “Collections… or, why I have rocks and wood in my house

  1. Sue Harrison says:

    I’ve never considered writing my characters as collectors. What a great, great idea, Carol. Thank you!! (And I loved the “tours” of your collections!)

  2. cluculzwriter says:

    I collected clowns for years. I loved their whimsical nature, the joy they brought me every time I looked at them. I’d place them in special spots all over the house. One was perched in my china cabinet and always a nice reminder when I spotted him. When we decided to put the house on the market, I put them all away in a safe place. I thought it would only be for a little while.

    Beautiful photos, Carol.

    • Carol says:

      I also collect loons… have several on a windowsill, plus loons decorate a number of things like candleholders, a light switchplate, a wallhanging, etc. They’re probably not seen as quite such an eccentric collection as wood and rocks. ;)

      Don’t lose heart… you’ll have another place to display those clowns again one day.

  3. Laura Best says:

    I’m also a rock collector. And my husband can’t resist an interesting looking rock as well. And while I don’t travel myself, some of my friends do and they bring me rocks from some of their travels. I even have one from BC. :)

    • Carol says:

      At least you remember where your rocks come from! I think I only have two that I didn’t collect myself — my son brought them back in his suitcase from Mexico for me.

  4. Katt says:

    I collect angels. I also love light houses. From the looks of my screen room I probably should add orchids to that too! Does that make me a hoarder! ha ha

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