Have you ever wanted something so bad that every waking moment was consumed by it? You even dreamed about it? That happened to me when I was nine-years-old. I fell in love with a beaded belt. This was no ordinary beaded belt. It was the be-all, end-all of beaded belts. I simply could not go on living without this fabulous, groovy belt.
You see, every summer my Grandparents would load up their Winnebago and take me camping with them in the Colorado mountains. They would find a nice secluded campground and we would stay there nestled in the mountains for three months.
I took ice cold baths in the creek, picked gooseberries, dug for night crawlers, hiked in the mountains and read lots of books. Even as a child I was an introvert and I spent my days pretending I was the last soul on earth and lived off the land in what was formerly the state of Colorado.
But I’m getting off track. I was supposed to tell you about the beaded belt. Every week we would travel ten miles to the nearest trading post to stock up on supplies. It was at this trading post that I first saw the beaded belt.
It was love at first sight.
The belt was leather with tiny, colored beads across the back that spelled out “Colorado.” It was beautiful to behold.
It cost five dollars.
I didn’t have five dollars. I didn’t have a penny. I sucked up all my courage and asked Grandma if I could have it. “No,” she said without even looking at it. “It’s a waste of money.”
Dejected, I walked outside the store to wait on her to finish shopping. There was a lady sitting in a lawn chair at the edge of the parking lot. She was selling rocks off her truck’s tailgate. They were pretty rocks, all right, crystals and such. She was charging five to ten dollars for each specimen. Now if you asked me that was a waste of money.
It was on the way home that I came up with my idea. Surely, Grandma could not object to me buying the beaded belt if I bought it with my own money.
That day I scoured the campground for rocks. I hauled them to the side of the road and laid them out in a nice pattern on the right-of-way. Then I made a cardboard sign that proclaimed: Rocks for Sale. 25 cents!
You would be amazed how many cars will stop if they see a little fat girl standing beside the road with a sign like that. You would be even more amazed to know that I could actually sell the rocks. By the time Grandma found me down by the road I had my pockets stuffed full of quarters and was almost out of inventory.
I dreamed about that belt every day until we went to the trading post. I proudly bought that beautful beaded belt with the money I had earned. I wore it for about three days until the beads began to fall off. After that it lost its magic for me and I stopped wearing it. The next time we went to the trading post, I used the rest of my quarters to buy a box of Mexican jumping beans.
There is a moral to this story. Sometimes dreams are better than reality.
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