I can actually sense how you feel.I have just picked up 77 tumbled stones, so all natural shapes, it's like having a box full of sweeties only better.
Yes, Mum had a tin full of buttons, I was always sorting them out and arranging them, only to put them all back again. I don't know what happened to it, but I really wish I still had it now.....I do feel a little sad that it has gone.I can actually sense how you feel.
When I was little, my nan lived in a very old terraced house .. backyard toilet and all that. I can smell the old wood and bricks and burning coal dust as I write now.
At the side of the fireplace it was 'boxed in' with an old cupboard and chest of drawers. The top one was my magic drawer. . . full of old buttons, stones, collar studs, bits and pieces ... I spent hours rooting in it every day and I think I felt like you feel now. Every so often my nan would add some bits she had found in the street. Oooh the excitement.
She was special. Enjoy your magic stones, Hazel. Xx