In January, returning from Vancouver, I tried to smuggle a polished lump of jade green beach stone through Airport Security.  A polite young man asked me to open my suitcase.  "Did I have a large rock inside?" he asked, puzzled.  Well, I did, in the toe of a sock, and he was chagrined to confiscate it, though if I wished to return to the airport concourse, he said I would find everything I needed to mail it to myself.  But I wasn't that attached  to the stone, even if it did feel good in the palm of my hand and came from my parents' beach.  It was a stone with a history.

I thought of this yesterday, going through Security at Vancouver Airport again. This time my socks were full of sea-polished oyster shells:  tools, not weapons, my inner primitive told me, though my stone would have made a nice tool as well, raw material for a stone blade, maybe a hammer to break open a live oyster, or pound a teepee pole into hard ground.  My oyster shells made it through Security.  I have given them to my Park City, Utah (I have travelled from sea level to Katmandou) granddaughter; like good primitives we have made them into a necklace.