Sapphires & Thunderstorms


I just returned from vacation  – one of the best I’ve had in a long time.  My husband journeyed back to Montana.  We spent a few days visiting my Aunt, did a tour of Yellowstone Park (always a good thing) and then off to Butte for a wedding.

We had a day to kill, so we decided to do something we had never done before, and went sapphire panning.  Not sure if that is the technical term.

We bought seven heavy bags of dirt.  We had a whole day to kill.  It is addicting!  You carefully clean the gravel that you pour onto a screen, by washing it in water.  Shaking and flipping the rocks for several minutes.  Then dump them onto a table, and with a pair of tweezers begin the search.

It was like experiencing multiple Bingo’s!  Every time we found a stone – even a small one – we acted as if we had just hit the mother lode!   Imagine my surprise as I washed my grave, and saw my Pink Beauty (pictured above) resting on the top of the rocks in my screen.  I could not believe it.  I called Randy over to confirm that I was truly seeing such a stone of prodigious proportions!

It is 4.95 carets!  A little smaller than a penny in diameter.  It has some flaws, but so do I so I am happy with my treasure.  I was delighted that the appraiser declared it “cut worthy” and have sent it off to be faceted.  I forgot to ask the value – it doesn’t really matter.  I am delighted in my little flawed stone.  I think God delights in me in spite of my flaws too.  🙂


My title indicated thunderstorms.  Though it did rain off and on (and hailed a bit too) while we were panning for sapphires, the thunderstorm we ran into was on our way back to Portland.

We had decided to take a different route home, so we could see the Craters of the Moon park in Idaho.  It was raining and 43 degrees, so we didn’t get out of the car to see much of it.

As we turned down the road, we saw an angry storm ahead.  I was sure we were in for a bad one.  There was also another storm on our left – so I figured either way, we were going to get hit.  But amazingly we didn’t.  Our road turned just before we got to the worst of it and we ended up passing between both.  We could see the lightening strikes, and the quarter size hail as we zipped down the road.  In some ways I was a bit disappointed.

I love storms.  I love watching thunder.  I love the sound of thunder crashing above.  I watch tornado chasers on TV because it fascinates me so much.  So though part of me was relieved we didn’t have to go through that horrible storm, part of me wanted to turn the car around and go after it.  Silly me.

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