Ol’ Dutch comes from a very long line of rock collectors, so it comes as no surprise that I find all kinds of “treasures” scattered on the ground wherever I go. While most people walk around with their head up and eyes front and center to keep from running into things, if you watch me very much you will notice my eyes are always glued to the ground in front of me. This has caused me to walk into no small number of things as I stroll along which is a little embarrassing to say the least.
So, whether it's a malformation of the spine due to childhood abuse of being forced to look for rocks on vacations or just a learned trait, Ol’ Dutch is always looking for the next great find.
This past week Miss Trixie had overcommitted, as usual, to entertaining people and Ol’ Dutch found himself out in a dry creek in Colorado looking for petrified wood which is an ancient tree that now has turned into stone. Exiting the Jeep with my usual good attitude about such things which is easily identified by me saying “I don't want to do this,” we ambled slowly across the rattlesnake infested terrain toward a small wash.
Miss Trixie and said child to whom she had obligated us to entertain, took off like a shot in the dark while Ol’ Dutch assumed the position. Head down, eyes scanning the ground and anticipating a neck ache sure to follow later that night. They say it's better to be lucky rather than good and I think that does play a part in a lot of what Ol’ Dutch experiences all the time including snagging Miss Trixie in her weakest moment.
But also, years of looking for rocks on the ground does help to develop a trained eye for just what you are looking for. And so was the case, as not 100 feet from the dirt road, Ol’ Dutch looked down and saw a beautiful stone arrowhead lying on the ground. Even to me it always seems somewhat miraculous that a person would find a 10,000-year-old hunters tool and when I hold them in my hands, I try and envision just what was going on with them the day they lost it.
Which leads me to the rest of the story as Paul Harvey used to say. Not too long ago, Ol’ Dutch received a phone call from his father, Fast Freddy of Dodge City, Kan., fame, to come to Kansas and get some of my family inheritance. Now for some of you that would include such things as money which is always welcome but Ol’ Dutch is smarter than that as Fast Freddy comes from a long line of Scottish ancestors who are always known for being able to squeeze a dime out of a nickel.
But wanting to see him anyway and curious as to what possible valuable item I might glean from such a visit, I took off for the flatlands and my ancestral digs. Now I am not sure how I became so lucky, but incredibly, my father selected me amongst all my clan to be the next “keeper of the rocks.” As I mentioned before I come from a long line of rockhounds and so generations of digging and picking all over the country has yielded a plethora of beautiful specimens all of which must be kept so the dearly departed do not turn over in their graves. And that is why some 2,000 pounds of rocks now reside in my barn, until I can pass them on. Luckily Granddaughter #2 has caught rock fever so Ol’ Dutch can rest easy knowing the collection is in safe hands for the next two generations.
If you have never looked for rocks, there is no time like the present to get out there and find some of your own. It's good exercise, good for the soul and a great way to entertain kids who already spend too much time playing video games. And if you hustle, you too can have your own family rock collection to leave to your kids for them to have to store. They’ll thank you for it.