Posted in Blogfest Entries, Just Jot it January, Life Writing, Weekend Coffee Share

Collections Over Coffee If We Were Having Coffee/#JusJoJan Day 17

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that, today, I’m combining this post with Just Jot it January Day Seventeen, where today’s prompt is “Collection”, courtesy of my friend Deborah at Container Chronicles.

I would tell you that living an unschooling life with three other creatives leads to a great deal of collecting…and that might lead us to chatting about things we each collect, and why. But we can’t be having coffee if I don’t have any, so I need to go get me another cuppa…back shortly.

If we were having coffee in person, I might take you through the house (it’s little, so it wouldn’t take long), and show you some of our favorite collections. Since we’re having coffee virtually, today, I went around the house myself, and gathered some things to show you. Let’s start with my daughter’s collections, OK? Why? Well, because she’s cute, and interesting, and, since she was born last, she likes to be first at some things. She’s very into nature and animals. She started collecting birds’ nests several years ago, and looks to add to her collection in the fall, when the leaves reveal the nests we couldn’t see, and the winter weather is likely to destroy them.

She also collects Littlest Pet Shop characters. There are over 70 here, and she has more on the way to her. Each of them has a name, a backstory, and a shifting biography. She often creates complex storylines with her two best friends, who also collect these tiny toys. She makes them jewelry, props, and backgrounds, and casts them as the stars in assorted videos.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I’ve been collecting stones and rocks since I was about seven years old. Earlier, while watching a mineral documentary on PBS, my Accomplice remarked that he could have been a geologist, and I agreed that that would have been a cool career choice.

I keep stones, rocks, shells, bits of coral and fossils, and other found items in jars, bowls, and baskets throughout the house. Some of my favorites are tied to personal memories, like the jarof blue shells, sand, pebbles, and bits of beach glass I picked up while walking with the kids on the Atlantic Coast in Salem, Massachusetts during an unschooling picnic, or the stone with a hole straight through the middle that I found long ago, with my Accomplice, while we were newlyweds walking on the Pacific Coast, near the South Jetty at Florence, Oregon.

I can’t identify them for sure, but I’m almost positive there are some items I found on Florida Bay, at the bottom of the Florida Everglades, and some little pieces of Arizona, Montana, and Wyoming, too…not to mention the pebbles picked up far, far away, in Taiwan, by my friend Litsong Lu, who then paints traditional Taiwanese characters on them.

If we were having coffee, I might show you the stack of notebooks where I’ve been scribbling my thoughts and assorted fan fiction stories for years. I’ve just brought these out of a cabinet where they’d been tucked out of sight. I’d also tell you that claiming my fan fiction and sharing it has been tremendously liberating. Declaring that passion, and finding so many folks who appreciate it, has allowed me, in some strange way, to embrace all my writing on a deeper level, and to share without shame. There’s a value in that, and so this collection is moving from that cabinet in a corner of my bedroom to a visible shelf in my study.

If we were having coffee, we’d probably have it here in my study. If you looked at the top of my grandmother’s cedar chest, you’d see a collection of things I haven’t yet gotten to. Such is the nature of life…

And if you looked at the top hutch shelf, you’d see the Star Trek books I’ve been collecting since age 13 (this is a significantly pared-down collection) – and a collection of mail my Accomplice and I need to go through, but haven’t yet.

If we were having coffee, here in my study, you’d feel the cozy warmth of the fire in the woodstove at the far end of the long living room. This last collection is destined for consumption – some collections are inherently transient, and so it is with firewood…

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you it’s time for me to go, and direct you to Part Time Monster’s Weekend Coffee Share…via the link or the little blue froggy! I’d also remind you that you can find more Just Jot it January by clicking the link. I’d invite you to share your own collections. And, of course, I’d wish you all a week full of the very loveliest of chaos!


I am myself. I own my life, and live with three other people who own theirs. My intention is to do only those things that bring me joy, and to give myself wholly to those things I do. Writing has been my passion throughout my life, and this will become the home for my writing life...because it brings me great joy!

12 thoughts on “Collections Over Coffee If We Were Having Coffee/#JusJoJan Day 17

    1. Long ago, when I had my first real job working for a veterinary clinic, a coworker embraced the idea, “Work smart, not hard”. I do that whenever I can, and your prompt was perfect! =D

  1. Do you polish stones? My accountant has a whole basket of stones she polished in her office, and they’re really pretty.

    Never knew a kid who collected birds’ nests….

    1. My son got interested in rock tumbling since he was very small. When he was three, and his sister a newborn, we went to a petrified sea garden in our (now inland) area. He bought a little bag’s worth of tumbled rocks he chose himself from their bins, and he loved them. Later, we found a rock tumbler at a thrift store – but it was way too loud for our little house. We never finished with the tumbling. Later, though we went as a family to the Herkimer Diamond Mines (terminated quartz), not actually diamonds, where we mined in the quarry, bought mining rough and wet-screened it, visited the rock shop, and spent a good deal of time in their rock museum. This was a trip with our local unschooling group, and one of the other dads just happens to be a geologist. =)

      Jim and I enjoy watching Prospectors, and, as I mentioned, geologically oriented documentaries.

      I’ve got some tumbled rocks, but I usually bought them or received them as gifts from Eden Mabee, who’s been my best friend since we were little girls, and who has an impressive love of all things rock. When one reminds her of me, I usually end up owning it!

      I would have collected birds’ nests if I’d been allowed to. It makes me happy to be able to indulge this passion of my daughter’s. After I took the picture, she was examining her nests, and found bits of litter (and a lot of my long silver hair) used as construction material. We decided that my hair really IS a bird’s nest, and that they’d made good use of the litter, turning the destructive into useful CONstruction.

      And she is a most unusual girl (not that I’m even a little biased on that score!).

        1. I see LOTS of books here in my little study. LOTS and LOTS of them, stretching out into the rest of the house. Kids’ books. Not kids’ books. The Globe Complete Illustrated Shakespeare, leatherbound and gold-leafed, that was a gift from an ex-fiance who felt he had a great deal to apologize for (I tend to agree with him). Thousands of books. Books in every room….books overflowig bookshelves….uh, what were we talking about again?! I got lost in the books….

  2. Love the collections! Such fun and eclectic things!

    I hope you won’t mind, but I like to keep the link-up at Part-Time Monster, as it’s through my paid account.

    Hope you have an excellent week!

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