It’s spring-cleaning time at our house. Of course, it’s not really spring and most people not my wife cringe at the thought of starting it early; but this one is turning into something special. We keep finding notes from Edie.
Edie came by to see us last November. She is the granddaughter of some old, old friends and the last time I saw Edie’s mother she was about ten and showing off some really smooth ballerina moves and now she has a family of her own. They were driving across the country heading home and spent a couple of days with us.
Edie is four going on forty-five and from the looks of it she and her red cowboy boots are inseparable. The morning after a late arrival she was in the kitchen. I said “Hi, I’m Richard” and she said “Hi, I’m Edie” and shook my hand.
Edie collects rocks so I dug out my collection of the thumb-size shiny ones I’ve collected from every place I have ever been for her to check out. She went through them all looking over each one and then put them back in the gourd I store them in. Ellery, her younger brother, age one, wanted to see them also. He carefully took them out of the gourd, tasted each one, and set them aside. Edie put them back when he was through with his taste test.
Collecting rocks is about as good a hobby as a body can have. Each one carries with it the memory of a place and a time and it is an inexpensive thing to do except when you start hauling them around the country. Problem is that we are at the age where we are thinking about “down-sizing” as well as “spring-cleaning” and the only things I really want to keep are my rocks. My wife prefers her coffee pot thingies so a day of reckoning is fast approaching.
I try to convince myself that collecting rocks is as good as keeping a journal but I secretly know that not keeping a journal is one of my great failings. Of course, a taste test does help with that memory thing but I hope that Edie and Ellery keep a journal and that they start when they get to be, say, about twelve.
Edie also likes to play “hide and seek” but it’s not the game we played when we were kids. Like someone else I know who collects everything from bottle caps to gold, she enjoys hiding things that everyone else has to find. So Edie and her mother wrote out just about everything Edie likes and then made us all close our eyes as she hid them just so we could learn about something called “thrill of the chase.” Each find brought a smile and a giggle to Edie. Now we find the really well hidden ones during spring-cleaning, and we smile, and it makes moving furniture something special.
When they were leaving I gave Edie a rock with a fossil in it. I said, “Bye Edie” and she said “Bye” and then I got a hug. Now that is a treasure worth waiting for.
And so I’ve been thinking. Forrest Fenn, with his habit of collecting things and then hiding them for others to find is in very, very good company – and the world is a better place because of it.
I think he knows that.