“On the Rocks”


Another free hobby was rock collecting. Although my brother and I often schemed ways to earn enough money to buy a rock tumbler, we never did. We just enjoyed finding and saving rocks in their natural states.  One of our favorite hunting grounds was at Agate Beach in Oregon. Here the entire beach was covered with thousands of agates and we hunted to our hearts’ content. Many years later, I took my husband back to that beach to show him the plenitude. There were no rocks on the beach at all. Either they had all been collected(doubtful) or they had been covered over by shifting sands.

Another bounty of rocks was our own driveway. Years before my parents had our long driveway paved, they ordered a truck load of dredged river rock dumped on the muddiest section. We couldn’t believe our good fortune, and spent long hours sitting out there, finding rocks, smashing rocks and saving rocks. Sadly, one box of these rocks in my closet was mistaken by my sister’s cat as a litter box and had to be discarded.

Fortunately I married a man who has a passion for rocks. He collects them wherever he goes and uses them in the yard. We always bring stones home from our travels, so it is advantageous to drive rather than fly. Who wants to pay to transport free rocks?

The only disappointment I ever encounter with my rock scavenging comes from when I have gathered them wet. Sadly, many an exquisite wet rock looks quite dull when it dries. I take it out of my pocket and am bewildered by its prosaic appearance.

9 thoughts on ““On the Rocks”

  1. My childhood friends and I used to scour the ground around a small business appropriately named “The Rock Shop”. We browsed, but never bought anything there. Once in a while a small agate or quartz chunk would land outside the chain link fence, which would not last long with us around. We thought we had found gold! Your stories always conjure up so many memories. I’m realizing there are many things that a lot of us kids had in common back then.

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  2. So rocks I collected successfully as a child. I lived close to the beach in an area called Portland in Jamaica when I was 8 to 9 years old. I used to collect rocks that look like particular things, and colour them in. I eventually had to dismantle my collection when I moved, as I inevitably always do. Rocks are heavy to move with!

    I still have a few rocks, but Shadow broke the one I brought with me from Jamaica. Still have the pieces though!

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