Tuesday, November 22, 2005


On Sunday, I visited the Museum of Natural History and had a nice time there. I got to see the dinosaurs which I don't see how anyone could not get excited about. But my favorite thing was the Hall of Minerals and Gems. I got to see all kinds of rocks and it reminded of what I used to do when I was kid.

When I grew up in my first house in Charlottesville, Virginia, we had a dirt hill in between our house and our neighbor's house. Everyday after school, I'd call up my neighbor and we'd go play after school on the hill. We'd take our toy Matchbox cars and roll them on the hill. We'd also bury them and then look for them the next day like buried treasure. The hill was pretty gnarled and had lots of rocks with a few trees and prickly bushes here and there. I was convinced that there was some sort of buried treasure there. One time I took a branch and dowsed for water. I'd walk around with a tree branch and close my eyes hoping to feel tug at my branch. I also "mined" for gold, but found nothing. Another time, I dug a great big hole because I was looking for oil. I had images that black ooze would come shooting up in the air like in the movies.

Obviously, I found nothing, but I did come across a lot of quartz and other rocks. As I got older and learned more in science class, I hunted for the rocks that I had learned about in class. I didn't really find much, but thinking about those times at the museum on Sunday brought a smile to my face. I guess, looking back the hill wasn't so long. I think actually now there's a house on top of the hill. It sure does seem like a long time ago now--back when I was a Virginia boy, and before I became the hard urbanite New Yorker that I am now.


teahouse said...

I remember finding a rock in the parking lot when I was a kid once, and being convinced that it was a valuable fossil that would make me rich and famous!

EM said...

we took my stepson to my parents's house in VA when he was 9, and he went crazy over all the quartz in the horse pasture. you forget how exciting a rock can be.

Anonymous said...

From Jayne: You may be a hard urbanite New Yorker now, but I think there must be some of the Virginia boy in you still. If you would like a Virginia rock, let me know and I can send you one via the USPS. Also, please let me know if you want a driveway rock, a parking lot rock or if I need to find one on a hill or in a riverbed (perhaps an opportunity to visit Sugar Hollow ...)

jenny said...

When I was a kid, my friends and I would make divining rods from sticks and try to find water. Of course, since I lived across the street from a pond, the sticks always magically seemed to pull that way... ;)