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Honestly, My Parents Rock

The story of my family can be told in the rocks we gathered together from rivers, forests, deserts, mountains, backyards, railroad tracks and parking lots. These rocks tell the story of my folk's recent visit to the west coast.

Rocks in Hand2

As a family, we always looked for rocks. We went canoeing every summer on the Gasconade and Current rivers in Missouri. A couple of times we went on cross country camping trips and explored remote areas of National Parks . My Dad hated crowds and we always took these trips off season.

Scattered throughout our house on shelves, mantles, in window sills and on wooden boxes we displayed our magnificent rocks: chunks of petrified wood, fragile trilobites, sparkling geodes split in halves, flaky pieces of mica and glassy spikes of quartz. We had a rock that looked like the baby Moses in a basket, found along the Gasconade River. We had a flat, pink one we called "the moon rock" because it had a perfect, pale circle on it's face. My Dad found it in Utah. He also lost his wedding ring in that desert and we'd always joke that had had an affair with a mysterious moon woman who gave him this rock in exchange for his ring.

I used to take rocks to show-and-tell at school and tell outrageous stories about fossilized dinosaur eggs and porous pebbles that were really miniature skulls of a very tiny people who were now extinct. When I got older, my Dad would sometimes take my boyfriends fossil hunting at an abandoned quarry in Ohio.

Here we are collecting rocks along the Eel River in the Humboldt Redwoods again. My Mom had decided to only collect rocks that would fit into her empty water bottle. We were going to give this one to my Dad's friend Chuck who has a strange psychiatric disorder that causes him to see only phallic shapes in the natural world. But it wouldn't fit into the bottle so we took a picture instead.

Eel River

My Dad told me to look at this rock. So I did.



( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 3rd, 2006 05:57 am (UTC)
Now I want to go rock collecting.

Nov. 3rd, 2006 12:26 pm (UTC)
We have rocks in our garden that were part of my husband's family history....from historical sites visited, houses lived in, vacation spots and the like. Those were more rockish in nature.

Then we have stones gathered over the years by our boys, most recently this summer while spending an afternoon on the shore of Lake Ontario. They're nothing spectacular, just ones everyone thought were pretty. I have them in an interesting pot out in the garden and, even though our boys are too cool for their own good (21 and 15) they like seeing that the stones are a focal point.

I think I'll bring them in over the winter so the pot doesn't crack, and so I can look and touch.

Thanks for sharing a family story.
Nov. 4th, 2006 02:57 am (UTC)
I want to see a picture of your rock pot!
(Deleted comment)
Nov. 3rd, 2006 02:14 pm (UTC)
No, that's not a real psychiatric disorder (as far as I know), but it is how apparently some, (namely my Dad's friend) perceive the natural world.

I haven't seen much of the Eel River. I'd like to get to know her better. What parts of the Eel river have you explored? Do people canoe it? Or is it too rough?
Nov. 3rd, 2006 07:29 pm (UTC)
what a beautiful thing to do with the family.
Nov. 4th, 2006 12:48 am (UTC)
Your parents are awesome because they took your boyfriend to do something.
Nov. 4th, 2006 01:31 am (UTC)
That last photo would make a terrific icon. It's not just rocks, either and I like the added sprigs.
Nov. 4th, 2006 02:57 am (UTC)
I hadn't thought of that. Good idea, thanks!
Nov. 6th, 2006 08:13 pm (UTC)
mom's water bottle
I thought that the picture caught water spurting out of the bottle...pretty funny!

Remember Dad's video "Naked Pictures of Your Mother"? I should find that, digitize it and let you post the vagina tree, or was it a cave opening???

Of course the other thing I remember about rocks is Brian's famous quote..."cccccolorful rock" found in Colorado after a long van ride from Omaha to where ever we were when we finally got out into the high altitudes of the mountains.
Nov. 7th, 2006 01:50 am (UTC)
Re: mom's water bottle
I thought of that Brian quote too when I was writing this post.

I had totally forgotten about Dad's "Naked Pictures of Your Mother" video! You totally should digitize it!!!!!!!!!!! I want to see it again!
Nov. 9th, 2006 10:19 am (UTC)
Re: mom's water bottle
You have hit rock bottom; exposing the phallic proclivities of my dear friend the artist. Lately when friends go to other countries I ask them to bring back a small stone, one that they themselves must have picked up from the ground. So far I have stones from,India, England and Mexico. My most cherished and remembered Christmas gift from my parents, back in 57, was a collection of Rocks and Minerals in a partitioned cord board box, each presented in alphabetical order, with the name and hardness of the specimen printed on a paper label. By the way my artist friend, Chuck, just finished a geology course and he knows the difference between igneous and metamorphic rock, They all look like penises to him.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )