India: Bringing Home the Flint Hills

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November 19th 2019
Published: November 20th 2019
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It’s no secret I have a special guy in India. I visit him every time I go to India and drop by day after day while I am there. He is always happy to see me and takes great care of me whenever I arrive. I tell everyone who will listen how wonderful he is. He knows exactly what I like, makes all my wishes come true and he never disappoints me. I always leave his place draped in jewels with a smile on my face. And this year was no different.

I am, of course, talking about my jeweler.

Each trip to India, I go visit “my ring guy” and walk away with a bit of jewelry. What can I say? He gets me. He makes the biggest, badest rings you have ever seen and just when I think I have finished my shopping marathon in his shop, he says something like, “I have a few designs you might like that we have not put out for the public.” Spoiler alert: I always like the secret stash he reveals.

This year at Pushkar was the same old story, but wish a
twist. This year I decided to get clever. This year I decided to make it personal. This year I commissioned him to make me some one-of-a-kind pieces that had some special meaning.

My father has this parcel of land affectionately called the Mule Pasture. He named it that because the parcel is 40 acres and he is referencing the historic law that granted freed slaves in Kansas 40 acres and a mule in order to help them transition into freedom. It is a gorgeous piece of land overlooking the valley with unprecedented panoramic views. We love going to this place and so do the deer and turkey and...well, you get the point.

I don’t know how long ago the practice began, but each time we go up to walk fence, burn pasture, cut thistle or any other routine maintenance, I grab a few of these orange and white lumpy rocks that are sparsely scattered about this pasture. The rocks are calcite and this is the only piece of Shamrock Farms where I have ever seen them. For some reason, they just make me smile.

Before I left for India, we were
working in the Mule Pasture and I decided to look for some very tiny calcite rocks in hopes that I could somehow incorporate them into a jewelry design.

So when I arrived in India, I took my little baggie of orange and white rocks and visited my ring guy. I was worried I was asking too much or that he would think I was a little nuts, but he wasn’t phased by the request. We spent the next week going back and forth with design options and approving progress until we ended up with two rings and a pendant.

On one of my last days in Pushkar, we discussed the final pieces and how excited I was to show my family back at Shamrock Farms. My ring guy told me that when the rings were sitting on his design table, some tourists noticed them, admired them and multiple people attempted to purchase my little pieces of home.

I guess even half way around the world, people appreciate the Kansas Flint Hills and the unique beauty they have to offer.

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