Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Got Rocks?


I really like this picture my daughter-in-law, Shelly, took of me at the winery Saturday. We were sitting on the patio when the subject of the rocks around the fountain came up. I said I already had mine picked out but Bud wouldn't let me take it. Shelly said, "I bet I know which one it is because it's my favorite, too." So we walked around the barn to look at them. Sure enough, we both had chosen the same one. I said I saw it first even though Bud wouldn't let me take it. She told me to hold it up for a picture at least.

My family knows me and my love of rocks very well - as evidenced from some of the Facebook remarks when Bud posted a picture of me while on vacation. ("Please stay off the rocks.") I've written before about some of our rock hunting expeditions and how many rocks I left behind when we retired.


But here are a few more pictures of rocks that did make the move with us. This one I think of as Grandson Ki's rock. He and I found it while exploring the area around an old coal mine west of Carbon. We had given up finding anything and were climbing up the bank to head back to the car when I saw a small piece of stone sticking out. We dug it out to find this prime example of a chunk of petrified wood.


For some reason I always think of the geodes Mom had of her parents' as 'Grandma's Geodes'.


When they could just as rightly have been 'Grandpa's Geodes'. At any rate I have been thinking about having a family get-together this summer with the theme: "Cracking Grandma's Geodes". Part of me would really like to see what the crystals inside are like while the other part of me says, "Leave them whole, as they are, as Grandpa and Grandma Ridnour found them on their trips to Illinois."


But what if the cyrstals are that pretty topaz color like the ones in this small, partially opened geode? I have an affinity for the white and/or yellow quartz rocks like the one in the lower right corner. There's also another piece of petrified wood in this picture.


Which you can see better in this close-up on the right. I'm not sure what kind of rock the one on the left is, but I liked it enough to move it here.


As I did this one. It isn't anything special - just a rather flat piece of limestone - but it has a hole in it and someone told me a rock with a hole in it brings luck.


I should have taken this picture from another angle so the striations on it would have shown up better. Why did I ever believe that I would remember where all my rocks came from? Was this one from Deadwood, SD? Branson, MO? Or SW Iowa?
Back in the 70's a new boyfriend was making a trip to Colorado. He asked me what I would like him to bring back for me. I'm sure he was thinking some sort of Colorado souvenir tee shirt or maybe some jewelry. I think it surprised him when I said I wanted a rock - any rock. Just something he found while hiking. He did bring me a small rock - not this big one.


The largest rock which made the move with us is this one. It is probably about two feet high. Part of it is sunk into the ground, of course. But right above the ground level is a little ledge. If the flowers didn't cover it up I'd most likely have something setting on it.


We've only been rock hunting a couple times since moving. I do not want to have a huge pile of rocks I have to leave behind again. We came home with a few which Bud commandeered to use under a downspout where the ground had started to wash out.


Some special Celtic rocks. The middle one is one purchased at a nursery or landscape business when we lived in West Des Moines. The small one with the celtic design and the word  BE is the one I purchased at Portland Saturday Market when we were visiting Kari & Ken a few years ago. The man selling them said he had a place along the Columbia River where he went to find his stones to carve. I had no problem choosing which one I wanted - BE has been one of my favorite bywords since Jonathan Livingston Seagull.
The rock on the left is a piece of Connemara marble I stopped and picked out of a ditch bank in the west of Ireland in 1994. I was so afraid it might get confiscated at customs, but I got home with it.

Finally, in "Got Rocks?" a rock I don't have. When I was growing up there was a rock on the window ledge at Grandma & Grandpa's that truly fascinated me. It was almost perfectly round, the size of a baseball with stripes of black and red. Grandma told us her father had found it in a field when they lived west of Mt. Etna. Because that area had been home to Indians before being settled by white people, it was easy for me to believe the rock had been used by the Native Americans in some sort of game.
Not long before Grandma died, when she was giving away some of her things, I asked her if I could have that rock. She said I could. But when I went out to get it off the window ledge it was gone - no where to be found. I imagine one of the other grandkids got it before me. Or maybe one of them took it outside to play with and forgot to bring it back inside. Perhaps years from now someone will find it in the ground and wonder where it came from. If only rocks could talk. Will these special rocks speak to my children and/or grandchildren loudly enough that they will want them when I'm gone? I hope so. I hope they remember how much their Grandma R loved her rocks.

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