You might ask why my website called  Well, it's a very special story to me.  I still smile when I think of it.  That day has taught me to look for little gems & rocks in everything I do. Look for and focus 
    A while back I was driving to Missouri, with a very special friend & shooting buddy.  We were headed to a photography field trip to meet several other photographers, we stopped for gas in a small town..not even a town really, just a little community.  Next door was a flea market that looked kind of interesting.  We both love old stuff so we decided to go inside & see what they had.  As we neared the building, we noticed a small sign on the side of the building that said... "Gem and Rock Store".  Now, when you see a sign like this, It conjurs up a lot of different images in the mind.  I was imagining all kinds of things like big shiny glasslike rocks, fossils, precious get the idea.  As we walked past the cool entry made of two old wagon wheels & a neat wooden bench. I commented on the sign that I really wanted to see some Gems & Rocks.... and that my niece, Kannah, LOVES rocks and in fact, I love rocks.  Rocks, rock! Maybe I'll find a cool rock on this day.
    So inside, what appeared to be a married couple greeted us as they talked to a young woman who had come in to chat.  There are small rooms & areas that you kind of meander through looking at the flea market wares that were mostly stuff like worn out foot stools and old juice glasses (the kind your grandma saved from jelly jars when you were a kid) .  There was one section that was old office furniture from the 70's.  It was a hodge podge of what appeared to be the remnants from old garage sales.  There weren't really any true collectibles that I saw...although believe me, we looked & looked for some redeaming quality of this store.
    But where were the gems and rocks????  Normally, in a store like this, I would have probably left after just a few minutes, especially given our timeline.  But the lure of the gems & rocks kept us going. We went through every room. Every time we saw something shiny from a distance, or a display case tucked in a corner, we hurried over thinking...."Ahh maybe this is where the gems & rocks are."  ...but we were disappointed each time. We even went through the large store room in the back where they kept the overflow jelly jars & foot stools that weren't quite the higher quality of the ones displayed in the front rooms.  There were no gems & no rocks.  
    We made our way back to the entry, thinking we would ask the proprieters.... "Sir, Ma'am, where do you keep the gems & rocks."  But as we got to the front, we found a small gathering of people drinking coffee and engrossed in what seemed a very important conversation about a happening down the road & why a nearby farmer was wanting to sell off some of his land.  They seemed to hardly notice us. But not because they were rude. It was almost as if they expected us to sit down & join in the conversation. The woman smiled & kind of waved as we left.  
    Back on the road, neither of us said anything for a while....just staring in silence. I think we were both perplexed.  Finally, I said. "What do you think that sign meant?  I mean, there were no gems or rocks anywhere."  My friend said.. "Maybe that was the couple's name...Gem and Rock I mean."  Hmmmmm..... "...maybe." Then laughingly I said, "I wonder what a morning conversation is like as they start their day?"   Then the dialog began. The whole rest of the drive, we jokingly talked as if we were Gem & Rock preparing to open the store each day. 
"Good Morning, Gem. I've got the coffee brewing." Rock said,
"It smells delicious.  Say, Rock, what is that you have there?"
"Well, Gem, it's nother shipment of jelly jars."
"Ooooh, nice ones." Gem replied.
"Where do you think I should put them?" Rock asked.
"Well in the Jelly Jar section, of course.  I cleared off a shelf just yesterday."
"I'll get to it just as soon as we have another cup of coffee & finish this newspaper."

    Since then, we have had a lot of Gem & Rock conversations and I smile every time.  I still wonder at that store out in a rural community. I think the gems & rocks were a metaphor for the retired couple living a little dream & enjoying their  gathering place for locals to have some great coffee. That store probably means a lot more that just the flea market. It was a way for them to stay connected to their community.   I've come to think that we  found some Gems and Rocks there also and we are still picking them up along the way.
    At Christmas this year, Rock gave me a very well thought out gift.  Ingenious really.  He gave this, my very own domain name.  Now, catchy domain names aren't always easy to get.  Most of the good ones are already taken. But the first & only name he tried to get for my gift was the one your viewing now.  The customer service people he talked to in registering it were shocked that it hadn't been snapped up a long time ago.  I'm shocked as well. Especially considering there are Gem and Rock stores all over the world!   That's just proof to me that it was meant to be my site. 
    So, I've spent the last few weeks learning & understanding a little about how websites work & building what you see here today. A big shout out and very special THANK YOU to Rock for this!  You Rock!
    To the rest....I hope you enjoy seeing my little part of the world as I view it through the lens. 

Welcome to!

Leave a Reply.