Saturday, October 4, 2008

In the beginning...

Growing up in Northern California, the odds of getting snow are slim. One morning in May of 1980, as a high school senior excited about graduation in June, I awoke to what I thought was an early graduation present from the "GODS". SNOW! Or what I thought was snow. Come to find out, Mount St. Helens located in the state of Washington had erupted. Intrigued by the ash that had landed as a result of that eruption, I gathered a small amount of it and tucked it away with many other items that I had collected over the years. In the beginning, I planned on just keeping that small jar tucked away for whatever reason. Now, nearly 30 years later, I am glad that I didn't stop there. I have always had a love of things different. Some people collect spoons, thimbles, coins, stamps, whatever. Me? I collect dirt. I have collected a lot of dirt over the years. Helping me with my collection are friends, family members, co-workers, neighbors, and even total strangers. (see future posts) All in all it has been really fun collecting my dirt. The interesting thing however is that the dirt itself , although fascinating, isn't the reason I love my collection as much as I do. I can spend hours looking at each dirt sample, smelling it, feeling the different textures, observing the different colors. I can recall the details of where I was when I collected it. Was it a family vacation, a quiet moment alone, or just a whim because I may not have any dirt from where I was? Perhaps. But the love and appreciation really comes from the dirt that others have given me. I am so touched when I know that someone took the time to collect a little teaspoon from where they have been. At their home, on a vacation, traveling for work, or whatever the case may be. They took the time to think about me, so in a round about way, I am always with them and their dirt in the journey. How cool is that?

So after many years of collecting, I finally decided to organize all of the the samples that I have. I contacted a company called Specialty Bottle. They have wonderful glass bottles with screw top lids that I know will preserve my precious soil. Each bottle holds one dram of dirt. That's just a little over 1 teaspoon. I purchased 100 bottles to start with, but quickly realized, I've only just begun. I will continue to post various stories about my dirt, and the memories attached to it. And here's the thing...Dirt travels was created in hopes that I might share with others the love I have for my collection. Hope you dig it as much as I do!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That is a neat journey that you have been on with the dirt. I too have dirt from Mt. Shasta. I cannot even believe that you thought of this dirt travel and all the places that you have received dirt from. How exciting to be in touch with so many places with dirt! Your collection looks like a lot of fun and a big project and a wonderful hobby and now taking the time to share with all of us about the journey you and your dirt have gone on. Keeping my eye peeled on what and where your next one is from and all about the history behind it. Cassie