I should have been an archeologist or geologist. I may have missed my calling.
I took several geology classes at Baylor—as many as I could and still graduate on time with a business degree. Daddy wouldn’t hear of any major other than business even though history and rocks and things buried beneath the earth’s crust always held a special interest for me. Who knows why certain people are drawn to certain things, but as I think back, there is a common thread in many of my memories.
I grew up living on the New Madrid Fault where earthquakes were a way of life. My best summer days were spent exploring the streams and trails in the Ozark Mountains and jumping from the rocky cliffs around Lake Norfork. Our delta fields often presented treasures such as arrowheads and other Indian artifacts.
And there are related snippets too, like buying a jar of rocks in Hot Springs and digging up pearly shells and pieces of rusty tin on the banks of Little River.
Obviously the Earth was filled with mystery. Literally.
Today as we install a sprinkler system and churn up dirt in our new backyard, I’ve been finding shards of creamware and pottery and chunks of heavy glass. Much like the sugary Florida beaches where a fresh batch of seashells wash up each morning, pieces of old stoneware and glass work themselves up from the ground daily. Okay, I’m sure most people prefer seashells to broken glass, but this sort of thing fascinates me.
I found this collection (below) during a five minute stroll through the backyard.
To most, this may only look like trash, and back in the early 1900s, it probably was. Without city trash pickup, garbage was often tossed out the back yard to the pigs or dumped in low spots near streams. Paper and food items disintegrated but glass and pottery waits to be discovered.
To me, these broken pieces are treasures. Bits of history left behind. I enjoy these shards not only because of the unique craftsmanship represented, but I like to imagine the family who used the dinner plates etched with faint blue flowers. What were the people like who lived in these hills at the turn of the century?
This next piece was completely covered in mud. I didn’t realize there was a design until I rinsed it off.
And what a thrill to find a piece with preserved words. A few keystrokes later, I discovered this stamp was the mark of china manufacturer Edwin M. Knowles China Company. The three numbers indicate the date of this piece as 1918.
If you are still reading (thank you), I have one more piece—a heavy piece of glass with scalloped edges. This one reminds me of quartz.
I can’t imagine all the treasures buried beneath the surface of the Earth. Real treasures, never to be discovered.
I wonder what tomorrow will bring?
Grace Grits and Gardening
Farm. Food. Garden. Life.
“You can either be a victim of the world or an adventurer in search of treasure. It all depends on how you view your life.”
― Paulo Coelho
Whole Wide World – Mindy Gledhill