You know how little kids like having their favorite stuffed animal or doll around to comfort them? My inner child is alive and well inside me because I have my little comforting friends on my writing desk, up front where I can see them. I’ve shown them in the photo.

On the left is a piece of pink quartz I’ve had over 20 years. When I worked at the Forest Service, a geologist brought it to me and said a piece of quartz by my computer made it run better. I had no reason to doubt it, so I took it and told him thanks. It sat by my computer there, and when I left for my job in Boise, I took it with me. It sat on my work desk there until I retired, and I brought it home with me. This well-traveled piece of pink quartz is very special to me because it reminds me of friends I worked with and how much I liked them.

Next to the quartz is a figurine of a Navajo storyteller. It and the figurine on the far right remind me that I’m a storyteller, writing stories for others to enjoy. The women depicted in the figures passed on stories of their culture. In a way, my writing describes my culture using imaginary people and how they faced difficulties. I hope people learn something from them and/or are uplifted in knowing there is hope out there.

Next to her is Edna Mode, my favorite character from a favorite movie, The Incredibles. I love how self-assured she is and knows her business. She’s enthusiastic about what she does and helps everyone who needs her. It’s how I’d like to be. (No capes.)

In the back and hard to see is a rock my Uncle Harvey gave me. I treasure it just because of that. He said it was a tektite, meaning it’s debris that was kicked up by a meteor impact that burned on its way back to earth. I’ll take his word for it because I’m no geologist. But this rock reminds me of him and my family who love me and encourage me to keep writing.

Next to it is a piece of feldspar. There’s a lot of it in the Black Hills, and it reminds me of the beautiful place I live. Nothing beats having a piece of home you can hold in your hand.

That’s probably why out in our yard we have a rock garden. There’s a rock from every place we’ve lived, starting from my folks’ place in Colorado where I spent my teenaged years. Several pieces are petrified wood which came from our land in Colorado. We have lava rock from Idaho and nondescript rock from Wyoming. Most of it is from the Black Hills, granite, feldspar, tourmaline, and quartz because we’ve lived here the longest. Whenever we move, we take our box of rocks with us. May seem crazy but it’s how we touch our past. It’s like holding a beloved teddy bear and remembering what it meant to us.

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