Conversations with Pea, part the rock

Pea likes rocks. Pea has a tendency to pick up rocks from places we have traveled and bring them home. Sometimes this is handy, like when I wanted to do a Gillian Micheals work out series and used two of his rocks as my hand weights*. Some of the rocks are really neat looking. At the end of the day, though, there is a running tension between us as to how many rocks is a reasonable number of rocks to haul home, where one can take rocks from without being a jerk-face tourist, and how much of our baggage weight is ok to partition to rocks. These tensions are very very similar to the tensions we maintain around bowls, as Pea is also very fond of bowls**. I have nothing against rocks or bowls, but have fallen into the role of sane foil to Pea’s mad collector. Having purchased a house that has significantly more space than anywhere we’ve lived before, I’ve relaxed my stance on rocks and bowls, but I haven’t actually said this to Pea.


In Icy Country, at a famous basalt beach.

Pea: None of the pieces of rock that have fallen are hexagonal like the formations on the cliffs.

Me: there are some – that one is sharp edged. Oooh, and that one is a hexagon. points at rock the size of a badger.

Pea: Ooooh, that’s a good one. Picks it up with effort, beams.

Me: Oh no, no – if it doesn’t fit in your jacket pocket, no deal.

Pea: frowns but my jacket pockets are already full….

Me: smiles, shakes head best to not go swimming then, Virginia.


At a volcanic crater lake

Pea: Oh, that’s a really neat chunk of lava! Points at warped and melty rock, approximately the size of a large sourdough loaf.

Me: that IS a really neat chunk of lava.

We walk on.

Pea: wistful That was such a nice rock.

Me: So go get it. 

Pea: Yah?

Me: you’ll have to smuggle it out of this park, and you’re the one carrying the main suitcase all the time, so it is your weight to deal with. But yah, if you want it.

Pea: scurries back up the trail, picks up rock. Beams. Stuffs rock in coat, giving himself a misshapen beer belly. OH! This is cold! This rock is so cold!

Me: it is ten degrees and raining! Why did you stick it in your jacket?

Pea: To hide it! Oh this is so cold! It is dripping down my pants!


At our Airbnb that evening.

Pea: I’m gonna wash the rock! Limit the mud in our bag.

Me: Good plan, Stan.***

Ten minutes later.

Me: to Spud where did Daddy go? Hears blow dryer in bathroom start up. Oh for gods sake, Spud, your father is a lunatic who is blow drying a rock.

Pea: from bathroom I don’t want to carry extra water weight!


Twenty minutes ago, home safe in New City^.

Me: notices front door is unlocked, walks through dark front hall to lock it. 


Me: Ow! Why is the rock in the middle of the floor where it blends in?

Pea: I don’t know where to put it yet! 

Me: It hurt my foot! Points at foot, looks at Pea acccusingly.

Pea: picks up rock, shakes finger. Bad rock! Bad!

* Pea bought me a set of weights for my birthday that year, but I think only because he was worried I would drop and somehow damage the rocks.

** Pea believes with utter conviction that a bowl takes up no space in a suitcase because you can pack into it, so bowls are often harder to defend against.

*** not Pea’s real name. I like rhymes.

^still needs proper permanent nickname, hmmmm.


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