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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.  


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Thank you for sharing your

Thank you for sharing your experience. I am reminded of myself, packing my suitcases, getting ready for my US trip to visit my college daughter. I have a suitcase filled with her favorite goodies that she misses having been away from home for months now... I think of your rock.. funny how the oddest or smallest of things can hold sentiment for us. I didn't realize that a rock could be detected at airport cams and not allowed to go through? Although the goodies I am taking in are not prohibited, I hope I make it through without question or confiscation.

I do have an attachment for the goodies I packed (even if they are only goodies of minimal value) because I know how delighted my daughter would be to have them!

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What a nice vignette...

...I've brought home my share of treasures from the places I've visited. Only once did I almost have one confiscated. And it was actually something I'd bought from a street side vendor. How sad I would have been to give it up. I'm happy your shells made it through, though sad about the jade stone. I'm partial to stones....a collector of rocks.

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Knitting Needles

Ah--this reminds me of my daughter catching a plane out of SFO and wondering if her knitting needles would make it through Security so she could knit her way home to London. Long sharp knitting needles. Large loops of soft wool yarn. I watched her through the line: she could run back and give me her knitting if necessary. But--no problem. I could do a lot of damage with a pair of knitting needles.

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beverly!  I need to know

beverly!  I need to know the answer to the needles!  I have the same paranoia.  I refuse to hand carry my knitting needles on cross continent flights for fear that they may get confiscated.  I have no one bidding me goodbye so there is no one to rescue my needles from confiscation.  :-)  I keep telling myself that they are just a pair of bamboo needles and I have replacements packed in my suitcase but still... they're like gold to me, can't bear to have them confiscated!