Tuesday, February 7, 2017

A Small Collection of Minerals from the Urals (in a Wooden Box)

I liked the book Doctor Zhivago.  At times, it got a little long, and I must admit - the politics got somewhat tiresome.  But it has to be said that the descriptions in the book are stunning. The way the author described food (especially the food), sunrises, landscapes, etc.  Truly poetic.  One part that caught my imagination early on was a part when one of the characters, Misha, an eleven-year-old boy, was on a train where a tragedy had occurred (a suicide). "Misha was examining a small collection of minerals from the Urals in a wooden box - the dead man's last gift."  This little boy made me think of Tyler, and I set out to find one small wooden box of Russian minerals; this would be part prop for Book Club, part gift to Tyler.  I found a lovely wooden box on Etsy.  Perfect: small, six little compartments, beautifully made.  

Then the real fun began at Dave's Rock Shop in Evanston.  The people there are very helpful, and did not seem to mind my rather odd request: six minerals from Russia, that will fit in this box, very pretty ones if you please.  So, I searched through and found some gorgeous specimens.  The only hang up was the last one.  I wanted to have a bright color, but there were no other colorful Russian minerals that I liked.  I broke protocol, and substituted a nice Orange Calcite from Mexico to liven it up.   

To complete the box, I found an old-fashioned looking map of the Urals, copied it and secured it to the inner lid of the box.  I made a key listing the minerals, may eventually put this in place of the map.  But I wanted the Russian map because I brought the box with me to Book Club, where we discussed Doctor Zhivago, on loan for a day prior to being given to Tyler, who will be the new curator of this tiny collection.  

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