The Purpose of “Turn Stones”

By Jerry
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As mentioned in several of my previous missives, I have collected a lot of things over the years. I am especially attracted to old things with family ties. One of the things that I have routinely picked up for around 40 years were what my grandfather called “turn stones.” My grandfather didn’t seem to know much about them other than what they were and where to find a couple of them.

These flat chunks of sandstone, as my grandfather explained, were placed at gates and used as pivot points for gateposts. Unfortunately, I’ve never found many of them; they don’t seem to have been that common, though my collection was blessed with several from my in-laws’ family farm. I have even managed to locate a post and a metal strap used to secure the top of the post to a tree.

I’ve always wondered — largely because of the family connection of many of the stones in my collection — about the stories these stones could tell, the history they’ve seen. Stories about who passed that way: were they moving cows from one field to another, were they hauling hay on a horse-drawn wagon, or were they making mischief on a moonlit night?

I find that these stones are a lot like people — each one has its own personality. Each one keeps its secrets.

And like these stones, each and every one of us is put in a place with a job to do, and we play a role in all that happens around us. We can be someone’s foundation.  We can be someone’s turning point. We can make someone’s life easier. We can be someone’s support. We just have to be in the place we’ve been put and be ready.

As Bob Seger would say, “Like a rock …”