Thursday, July 19, 2007

So, we got this thing ...

My mother-in-law called recently and asked Chris if he'd travel to west Alabama to pick up a family heirloom--for lack of a better word--that one of her cousins has had custody of for years. The cousin's moving and doesn't have room for it in the new house. And it needs to stay in the family, Chris's mother said.

That's how we became the proud, but concerned, owners of something that may or may not be illegal to own. I don't know.

When Chris was very young (back in the late 1960s) his family traveled from Alabama to the Petrified Forest in Arizona. And brought back a 600-pound souvenir in the form of a petrified log. Said log is probably a couple of feet long and a foot or so in diameter. As I was trying to find room for the dog--a Pomeranian, for heaven's sake, not a Great Dane or anything--in the back of the Exploder (I mean Explorer) I thought I'd just slide the log over a couple of inches to make room for Princess Prissy Pants. But I couldn't budge the thing.

Now, the story they tell is that in the late '60s it was perfectly legal to bring home a petrified log. Not so much, now, according to the website, which talks about stiff penalties--I'm imagining floggings or tar and feathers--for so much as touching the petrified wood, much less picking it up and taking it home.

So, what's a basically law-abiding girl supposed to do? It's not like we can ship the thing back (600 pounds, remember?).

For now, it looks good in the living room. Maybe one day we'll make our own pilgrimmage to the Petrified Forest and return the heirloom back to its homeland under cover of darkness. But, please, don't tell my mother-in-law.

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