28 Aug 2009

WishingRock — The Name

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Do you ever wonder how people name companies? Sometimes, names are the founder’s initials like HEB (Henry E. Butts) grocery. It could be part of the founder’s name like Wal-Mart (Sam Walton). A name may tell location or function like 3M (MN Mining and Manufacturing) or Ebay. And sometimes it sounds catchy like Nike, but in the case of WishingRock, it was destiny and this is the inspiration behind the name.

What’s in a name? Whether generic or unusual, a name gives us identity. This axiom holds true for entertainers – George & Gracie, Madonna and Jacko – and desserts as anyone who’s devoured a squidgy chocolate can attest. But it is especially true for home estates. For purely selfish reasons the architect in me wanted to christen our home site with a unique identity that embodied the estate’s soul and our dream. I’m sure that sounds arrogant or melodramatic to you. Ok, I wanted the same thing other architects have – a home estate with identity. James Stagberg has Wind Whistle, John Milnes Baker has Rivendell, and the Kaufman’s have Frank Lloyd Wright’s Falling Water. We have Wishing Rock. While finding the perfect site was a biorhythmic chore, naming this piece of heaven on earth was completely natural.

After we bought the land, the prodigy and I explored often and we still do. During most of our explorations we reenacted our favorite computer games battling our nemesis and defusing innocent cacti disguised as unsuspecting obstacles. On the day we named the dream plot, we yielded powerful sabers or laser cannons (depending on which way you held it) crafted from a bare cedar limb. Our task was to rid the world of the mugu-booty beast that ate the teacher and we only had two hours before full digestion. For those unfamiliar with the mugu-booty beast, it is possible to resurrect an expelled victim but a regurgitated victim wreaks an eternal odor (similar to liver and onions). We adore the teacher, but not enough to endure liver and onion stench; therefore, we had to be efficient tracking the monster and rescuing our beloved.

The prodigy was busy questing and I was busily throwing rocks. The prodigy exclaimed, “Look, a rock under the smack tree!” pointing to a large, sprawling cedar. The prodigy nicknamed cedar trees smack trees because they “smack” you when you try to pass them. This is especially true when the person forging the path is larger than you are. Eager to return to my diligent and productive rock throwing, I glanced in the general direction and succinctly retorted, “No, its trash”. My inattentive inspection perceived a rotted piece of polyurethane foam. As if my rock throwing wasn’t profound enough, I momentarily contemplated the trash’s origin. I daydreamed about hunters who leased this ranch poaching rabbits while waiting for their chosen victim (deer and turkey). I scowled as I imagined disposing of their discarded remnants and I thought I’d start with that boding piece of foam. Looking more closely, I noticed the prodigy was right, it was a rock. Obediently, I braved the smack tree forest to retrieve that rotted-foam-turned-rock.

Intrigued by its unusual “steam engine” shape, I announced, “This is a special rock.” Overhearing my excitement the prodigy chimed, “It’s not just any rock, it’s a wishing rock!” The heavens opened, the angels sang and the booming movie announcer voice proclaimed “This too shall be called Wishing Rock!” Ok, that didn’t happen, but humor me.

Now where was I? I remember now…I stated, “Let’s put this in a special place so we can use it to make wishes.” And we did, we placed it at the entrance to the fire pit where it remained until we relocated it to the foyer of our completed home.

Wishing Rock… it’s not famous, nor will it satisfy an insatiable sweet tooth, but it’s our homestead, our family mantra and our little piece of heaven right here on earth.

About the Author

Your Architect is Eric Faulkner -- an architect licensed in Texas & Oklahoma with 29 years experience in design, construction observation and life.