Tuesday, October 29, 2013

To Have or Not To Have

Did you ever have an item that you love but you know you shouldn’t keep?  I have a big lump of rock that has belonged to our family for 50 years, but recently I realized that I shouldn’t have it. I was raised in Yuma, Arizona and kicked around the desert with my dad who was a self -described “rock hound.”  My mom disliked certain things about the desert, like snakes and Gila Monsters, so she usually opted to stay home and read a good book. 
On a hot Arizona day daddy and I were hiking around the flatlands beyond the Red Top Mountains.  (The map shows Mesa View where we lived and the road taken to the desert area).  He was doing what I called his “kicking routine.”  Every pair of boots he owned had scraped toes from kicking rocks.  He always said he wanted to know what was under them and what they were like on the other side.  This time he kicked something BIG, so big that we had to dig it out.  Behold The Metate, American Indian 1000 to 1200 A.D.
My dad loved this rock so it remained a part of our family from that day on.  It sat on the patio, beside the front door, inside the front door, and on the hearth.  Long after Mom and Dad had passed DH and I decided it should be in a museum.  The museum said they needed it to be evaluated by an archeologist for insurance purposes before they could take it.  They had an archeologist call me and the first thing she did was tell me that we broke the law and that we should have left it “in situ” and called an expert.  Excuse me Ms. Expert, we were in the desert and there were no cell phones in those days.  She finally told me that there is no value because it is priceless and should be in a museum.  HELLO!!  Do we have a bad connection?  I know why archeologists spend so much time alone.  They don’t know how to talk to ordinary people—people who make mistakes and pick up things they shouldn’t have, but love.  So now it is where it should be but every day I miss it and wish I had gone on being a law breaker and keeping that little big piece of history that reminds me of my dad’s love of the desert.  It is a struggle of “to have or not to have.”
Since Christmas knitting is moving along I started a new project last weekend. I fell in love with the vest pattern here but I did not have enough of anything in stash to complete the vest so I stopped at the yarn section in Wal-Mart on Saturday and looked at three different yarns that would work.  One was a beautiful combination of brown, tan and bright blue called Earth and Sky.  Perfect!!  Except that it was Red Heart--plain old acrylic Red Heart!  First, I don’t knit with acrylic (most of the time) and second, well, it’s R-e-d H-e-a-r-t, the cheapest yarn in the world.  DH dared me to knit the vest with el cheapo yarn and so I bought it ($2 a skein).  I have about ten rows on the needles and I don’t know yet what I think of it except to say that it is rough to the touch.  The color still has my heart even if it is…you know.

Life is good!



Nancy said...

Wow, what a treasure! I'm glad your family enjoyed it and kept it safe for so many years. You were perfect guardians.

Sometimes RH will soften when laundered. If that doesn't work, it can be "killed" to give the garment some drape. Love the color of the yarn.

SissySees said...

Boo on the expert, but thank you for sharing your art with the world and the story with us. Does said archaeologist not realize that if people didn't pick up relics from "sites" without knowing how wrong it is, history would never have been preserved in the first place?!

And I *LOVE* the colors in that yarn. I hope your fingers will let you knit on.

kathy b said...

Silly archeologists! THat was the coolest find!! where did it end up? What museum?

THe vest will be gorgeous. I need to knit with acrylic for my itchy self....so I am so interested in the finish and to see if you are a convert