Why Do Kids Love Rocks?

Item #13 in my treasure chest – rocks

Kids find so many simple things intriguing. I’m sure all of us can think of a time when we’ve seen a kid pick up a rock and examine it closely before throwing it or stuffing it in his pocket. Why do kids like rocks so much? And I don’t know, maybe city kids don’t really have any interest in rocks, but I know for a fact that growing up in west Central Texas, I liked rocks.

First of all, there are tons of cool rocks out in that area. It is common to stumble across a piece of flint out around Abilene, and I bet something about the smooth surface of a piece of flint makes it appealing to a child’s mind. On some occasions we even found some old Indian arrowheads.

Of course some rocks you just throw at a bigger rock, or into a pond or something. But sometimes, I’d find one that was unique in some way, and I’d keep it. I’m not saying they were the arkenstone but there was always just something that made me want to hold onto them. And all these years later I’m glad I did.

Why do I keep these rocks in my treasure chest?

These rocks are like so many other things in the treasure chest. There’s nothing in them that makes them intrinsically valuable, but they are memories and pictures of a part of my life that is past. Every part of a life, makes the current life what it is, or isn’t. So you can never keep too many reminders of where you’ve been, and what you did there. That’s what the rocks do.


Collecting Cards

Item #12 in my treasure chest – playing cards

Have you ever been on one of those kicks where you start collecting different types of things? When I was younger, I just sort of felt like I was supposed to be collecting something. It seemed to me everyone should have at least one collection. Over the years I haven’t created one specific collection set, but I have started several different ones, which has honestly turned out to be more interesting.

I used to collect decks of playing cards. On any vacation, I would buy a pack of cards, and other time I saw a deck that I liked. I don’t remember why I thought cards would be a good collectible, but somewhere along the way I decided they were. At one time, I probably had somewhere between 15 and 20 decks.

The decks in the picture are Civil War battles, Iraq most wanted, Roy Rogers and Spider Man 3 collectible cards. As you can see, I had quite an odd variety. Of these four sets I think the Iraq most wanted is my favorite. I obviously found these around the time when the war had started over there and it has the names of Iraqi and terrorist leaders on the cards.

Why do I keep these cards in my treasure chest?

Like I said, they started as collectibles but then I probably moved on to collecting something else. And I do love to play cards, so it’s always nice to know exactly where to go when I want to play a hand. What’s your favorite card game?

The Cause Of Violence

Item #11 found in my treasure chest – an original screenplay

When does it become acceptable to violently oppose people who are trying to harm you? Is it ever acceptable? Many people believe we live in a hyper-violent world, which is becoming more violent every day. Some argue guns are the problem and others suggest there’s just a lot of bad people. Most sane people hope for more peaceful days to come, where violence is nothing but an afterthought and rare occurrence. We may argue over the cause of this violence but it is present regardless of its source.

This past semester, I was enrolled in a screenwriting class. I really enjoyed the class and found myself writing in a style I had never tested before. I would describe screenwriting as a solid blend between journalistic conciseness, and creative overflow. No purposeless words need to appear in a screenplay. Every beat and word needs to advance the conflict, forcing characters to make a decision, and advance the plot.

In our final project for this class, we wrote our own short screenplay. A Promise of Violence ended up being about 20 pages. For my first screenplay, I think it was pretty solid. I made an A on it, if that matters. My screenplay deals with the issues of violence I mentioned above. The main character is in a situation where he believes his only choice, is to retaliate violently, even though violence is strictly against his beliefs.

Why do I keep it in my treasure chest?

When Matt Damon was in college, he and Ben Affleck wrote a short screenplay together. Several hundred pages later, they had written Good Will Hunting. I’m obviously, not comparing my work to Good Will Hunting, but who knows, maybe several years from now, I can pull out the manuscript and turn it into a full-length film.

The Game Of Lacrosse

Item #10 found in my treasure chest – lacrosse jerseys

In college, I played two years of lacrosse. I had never played before but my roommate and I learned, and found that we had a good knack for it. I’ve played a lot of different sports competitively and lacrosse is by far one of the most physical. A game of lacrosse can be brutal. The only way you’re getting through a game without being sore and bruised and bloody is if you didn’t play.

I keep my practice jerseys in my treasure chest because I didn’t get to keep my game jerseys.  Playing lacrosse in college was probably my most unique experience. I learned a lot about a game I’d never heard anything about before.


Lacrosse is one of the oldest sports in the world. It was a game invented by the Native American tribes, although to them, it was often more than a game. To them it often had spiritual implications, and brought them closer to their god. Sometimes, if there was a dispute between two tribes, rather than going to war, they would decide the issue with a lacrosse match.

When some French Catholic missionaries saw the natives playing the game, they called it lacrosse after the sticks the Indians used to carry the ball. The game was much different from what it is now. The goals were often miles apart and anywhere between 40 and 200 Indians would be playing at once.

Of course the game evolved, and rules and safety equipment were implemented. Today, lacrosse is the fastest growing sport in America. It’s fast-paced and hard-hitting. It combines the running and endurance of soccer, with higher scoring, and an intensity which resembles hockey.

Although the sport suffered a few publicity setbacks, it is on the rise again. NCAA games are now televised on ESPN occasionally and the MLL has eight teams. If you’ve never watched a game, make it a point to record one on your dvr and you might be surprised with what you see.

The Knife

Item #9 found in my treasure chest – the knife 

When most people not from Texas, think of Texas, they think of burning heat, rocks and dust, cactus and ugly mesquite trees. Texas is actually a lot more diverse than that, however the very stereotypical Texas does exist too.

I used to live out in Cisco, Texas. It was a great place to be a kid. We would go trekking through the country and I loved climbing up on big boulders and through the rocks and all that. Walking around out there you couldn’t help but think you were actually a cowboy. There was a lot of flint in that area too, so it wasn’t all that uncommon to stumble across an old arrowhead. And it was even less uncommon to come up on a bunch of rattlesnakes, which by the way are wretched creatures.

One time when we were out walking around in the country, I found an old knife blade. It was pretty rusty and the handle had fallen off but I kept it anyway. Even to this day I like knives and swords and bow and arrows and all of that stuff, so obviously I wanted to keep this old knife blade that I found.

One of the men in our church told me he would fix the knife up for me so I gave it to him. Sure enough after a while, the knife was returned to me. All the rust was gone, and it had a deer antler handle attached on it with my initials carved in it. As a kid, I thought it was the most incredible thing ever, but even now I have to admit it is pretty nice looking knife, although it hasn’t had an edge for years.

I think it’s important to never cast aside or to think little of things we may have treasured as children, because one day we’ll treasure them again.

Letters From The Past

Item #8 found in my treasure chest – letters

Maybe I’m a hoarder. I don’t know, but I’ve kept every note, birthday card and letter that anyone has ever sent me. It seems pretty pointless. I guess you really have to be a history buff to understand my reasoning behind keeping all of these documents.

Just think about it… if people didn’t write letters and documents, and those letters and documents weren’t preserved, our understanding of history would be a lot less comprehensive than what it actually is. All of the great historians were avid writers, and many of them sent thousands of letters during their lifetime.

Now of course, I’m not flattering myself by saying I’ll have any sort of particular contribution to world history and no one will probably be interested in my history, but someone might someday. You just never know. Plus I like to think that one day, years from now, I’ll sit down and open up some of these letters and enjoy reading them.

You see letters are like little time capsules. They hold the emotions, feelings and perspective of a day and age which is in the past. If you keep the letters, you can open them up and experience that past time all over again for whatever reason you choose.

Why Money?

Item #7 found in my treasure chest – silver dollars

Money. Think about all the songs or movies that center around money. It’s a huge part of life today. I have to remind myself that money isn’t anywhere close to being one of the most important things in life, but at the same time, we do have to make money to live.

The first idea of money originated a looooooonnnnnnnggggggg time ago. Some cultures used blocks of salt as money, and later civilizations printed money on leather strips. Then of course you have coins which came along later. The first time paper money was used was in ancient China.

Now, almost all money is paper or plastic, but money is also unique depending on what country it came from. I have some Costa Rican money in my treasure chest. It is much thinner and more colorful than the United States dollar.


Whenever I find a piece of foreign money I put it away in my treasure chest. I’ve also collected three silver dollars. Each silver piece is different and unique although they all equal one dollar. I think I keep the silver dollars because they seem to have more value than a paper dollar.

But at the end of the day, I think this quotes sums up perfectly how to look at money.

“A wise man should have money in his head, but not in his heart.” –Jonathan Swift