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


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….



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?

~  ~  ~

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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