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SoCS: Calling Collect, Sea Shells, and Spirals


Today’s SoCS prompt is the word, “collect.”

Back in the olden days we could make a collect call – long distance – which meant that the person receiving the call could accept or decline to pay the charges. This came in handy if you were calling from a phone booth or didn’t want to pay, or couldn’t, pay the charges. Local calls didn’t have an extra charge. If you were calling collect, you had to go through the operator who would ask the person being called: “I have a collect call from John Doe, will you accept the charges?” The person could then decide to accept the call or not. I guess some things are simpler these days, though most are more complicated.

Some things I used to collect as a child and adolescent were sea shells, rocks, records, books… I still have a lot of books, and a small collection of rabbits (not real ones) and snow globes. I also collect dust and cat hair, though that is not intentional. My mother collected angel figurines which I have inherited. Dad collected coins which I gave to my son. My x husband collected comic books. I think he cashed one in for a lot of money which was always the plan. My current husband has a lot of books, but so do I. And sea shells, I still have a lot of sea shells. And bottle caps, plastic ones, of a some day art mosaic. I probably have, oh, I don’t know, at least a couple hundred plastic bottle caps. Maybe I’ll make an mermaid, though something abstract – a spiral would be fun, too.

I like spirals and used to want a spiral staircase. Now, I think it might be too much work, and a little risky, but pretty. Fractals are cool, too. Repeated patterns, I think that’s what they are, but in a geometric design. Spirals and fractals are common in nature. Someone out there knows more than I do about their energy.

This window is somewhere in Texas:

A few of my favorite shells

Hey! I just realized that the telephone chord we used to have connected to the receiver was a spiral! In the beginning days they were only a few feet long. It was exciting when we got one that reached from the kitchen to the dining room! Who remembers talking on the phone and twisting the cord with your finger?

An old telephone from pixabay
1957: Should I accept this collect call?

You can read all about Stream of Consciousness Saturday

and find a collection of streams at the blog of our host, Linda HIll:

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS May 29, 2021 | (

Author: JoAnna

An open minded, tree-hugging Jesus follower, former counselor, and life-long lover of animals, I'm returning to my creative roots and have published my first book: Trust the Timing, A Memoir of Finding Love Again as well as the short version: From Loneliness to Love.

25 thoughts on “SoCS: Calling Collect, Sea Shells, and Spirals

  1. Ah those good ole days! Yes, twisting the phone cord was used. Remember getting away without any long distant charge on collect calls?
    If you just wanted to let your Mom know that you made it to your destination safely, your Mom would decline the call but knew you made it just from receiving a call. Human beings are always finding loopholes, aren’t they? lol

    • John at The Sound of One Hand Typing wrote about that loophole. Letting a loved one know you’re safe was a good way to use it! I think the operators understood, being mostly mothers or daughters.

  2. Interesting thoughts on collect. I don’t recall ever making or receiving collect calls, but it brought back a specific long-distance call for help I once made from Brazil to my mother in the USA. As to collecting things, I also collect books. Your plans for a plastic caps mosaic sound like a fun art project 🙂

    • It sounds like that call from Brazil was a big one. Thanks for the encouragement on the bottle caps. My church started doing communion with these little individual plastic cups with wafers foiled in. It’s bizarre and I don’t like it, so don’t partake, but I’ve also been bringing those home and washing them for an art project. I was going to write about those, but got pulled somewhere else in the stream.

  3. I like the idea of an old telephone wire being a spiral. Never thought of it like that

  4. I remember buying my parents a log cord for the phone for their anniversary one year.

  5. This post is delightful. I sure remember those collect calls I used to make to my parent’s house when I was in Florida living with my brother or in Texas away at school! Thanks for the nostalgic treat!

  6. Spirals are great to look at. It’s interesting how they occur in nature, like in sea shells.

  7. What a lovely read. Our spiral cord was so stretched out it was a big tangle in the middle.

  8. These are terrific. They bring back memories.

  9. Linking the window with the shells is excellent

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