Garage rock

One of the personal highlights of this Christmas for yours truly was receiving a rock tumbler from my in-laws. Yes, I’m excited about a rock tumbler. I’m excited because it means a new tradition for Maly and me. Elise’s maternal grandfather spent years and years collecting and polishing rocks. And hundreds of these polished rocks live in a large bowl at the Boeckman house. I wish I could have had the opportunity to meet Grandpa Thurston and hear some of the stories of where some of those rocks were found. Maly loves to play with those rocks when we visit Boppa and Gran. She likes to look at all of them and pick out the ones that she finds prettiest. So, over the past year or so, when we find a cool rock, we pick it up and keep it. And we put them in the porcelain turtle that Maly painted for me in Cabo for Father’s Day.

So I finally got a rock tumbler. On Saturday evening, Maly and I went for a walk around the block. We “borrowed” a couple rocks from a neighbor’s xeriscaped yard to add to our collection. I told Maly that once this set is polished, we’d have to return the rocks to the owners. I’m hoping they’ll let us keep a couple because we picked out a couple really cool purple rocks.

I’m hoping this will mean a new tradition for Maly and me, where we can go on deliberate or accidental rock hunts and be able to remember where we found our jewels years later.

Bohemian rock tumbler mufflerLast night we took the rocks we’ve collected, plus half the bag of “sample rocks” that came with the tumbler, and started our first batch of rocks to polish. The whole process takes about a month, the current, first round lasting 4 days with coarse grit and water. The tumbler is working loudly in the garage as I type this. This afternoon we (neighbors included) unanimously decided that the tumbler is a little too loud, so I built an insulated box to muffle the racket.

I’m looking forward to the finished product, plus lots of rocks hunts in the future, and hopefully a huge collection of polished jewels and memories.

One Reply to “Garage rock”

  1. Sweet. We used to have a rock tumbler as a kid, and I’ve been telling Christine I want to get one again for the boys…

    Keep an eye on the heat inside that box. It might be too hot in there…

    And it takes a LONG time to get finished rocks. I’ll never forget that…

    Also, make sure the rocks you put in there are all the same relative hardness… otherwise you’ll lose a few due to the harder ones pulvertizing the shit out of the softer ones…

    Have fun!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.