I recently went on vacation and for the purposes of this blog… I went to an ‘undisclosed’ location.
It was a magical place where there were countless pebbles, rocks and canyons to admire. I had never seen so many rocks I wanted to take home in my life.
Every morning I’d get up and shower to beat the morning rush of campers trying to get ready for the day. Once clean, I’d return to our campsite and collect rocks. It became the morning ‘ritual.’ It was my quiet time to walk slowly with my head down… scanning the ground for the next amazing rock. I knew even then that those moments would solidify in my mind as my best memories of camping. I love rocks. I’ve been collecting them since kindergarten.
This daily rock collecting ritual had a purpose. I was creating stone walkways that led from the tents to the road. Solar lights were placed all along the walkways to make it safe and convenient to walk at night. I imagined our campsite being selected as an example of how a campsite should be set up. Maybe it would be featured in Better Homes & Gardens.
Yes, that silhouette is me proudly photographing my rock pathways. The photo also shows the ‘sitting room’ had not yet been created.
The photo below was taken with my iPhone. Not the best but you get an idea of what the solar lights looked like at night.
When our camping expedition ended, I had multiple walkways, a ‘sitting room,’ and a triangular ‘closet,’ created with trails of rocks. My friend Tore added the sitting room while I was at the base of the campsite getting some required work done.
I used rocks to spell the word “smile” – just in case we would need a reminder we were having fun while camping. Tore surprised me by adding a smiley face with eyebrows just in case we needed a reminder of what a ‘smile’ looks like.
I even collected rocks one morning when it was sprinkling. The rain added excitement—I could admire the characteristics of the rocks even more when they were glistening in the rain. This made it harder to be discriminating because I liked all the rocks.
My only hope was that the next set of campers would appreciate that our site had already been laid out strategically. All they had to do was follow the end of the paths and pitch their tents.
On the last morning I scanned all my rocks along the pathways, closet and sitting room. Each rock had their moment to ‘shine’ and prove to me they were worthy of being taken home. Of course, they were all worthy. But I would take just a handful of rocks. I didn’t want to burden my friend with an extra heavy load to carry in his SUV. Well, not burden too much anyway…. I really like rocks.
Admittedly, days before we left I had already selected THE rock I must take home. The lesser rocks, smaller pebbles and just lighter weight rocks didn’t count toward my rock limit in my mind. In my mind I was limiting myself to just one large rock. THE rock was a somewhat massive rock, probably the biggest rock I’ve ever attempted to take home. But I could lift it – so it couldn’t have been that big. I knew if I left it behind I’d regret it. Like all my rocks, it had unique features.
After the SUV was packed with all our camping gear, snacks and water… I looked at the rocks that were left on the ground. I eyed THE rock that was patiently waiting for me to pick it up.
I looked at my friend Tore and said, “Can I take that rock with us if I find a place in the SUV?
But what else could he say?
I picked the rock up, with every effort to make it look lightweight and carried it to the passenger’s seat where I’d be sitting. It would become a foot rest for the 1100+ mile journey home.
I brought the rock home and couldn’t bear to leave it outside. Then I wondered what I’d do with it… I didn’t think my plan through. Do people keep rocks in their home? My house seems to be getting smaller as it is with my collection of hats and chairs…
When I saw my parents I told them about my vacation and rocks took up much of the conversation.
Mom: “Did you bring me one?”
I paused. I thought about my ‘lesser’ rocks, pebbles, tree bark, shells and seeds.
I paused again.
Denise: “You can have THE rock. Well, maybe we’ll share it. No, you can have it. It is yours. Yes… it is yours…”
Dad: “We will share the rock. We’ll keep it for now.”
Before I could surrender THE rock I figured it was only appropriate it have its moment to shine in Big Bertha’s Blog.
Here is my prized rock.
I added the penny for scale. I also weighed it – it’s roughly 20 pounds.
It was these two green marks that caught my attention.
I also like the red and tan colors and the unusual shapes. I had to add miniatures to the scene.
There will likely be additional blogs showcasing my other rocks, pebbles, shells, bark and other treasures. But that’s another day!
Special thanks to Joe, Tore and Alicia for a wonderful and memorable vacation.