Sunday, October 3, 2010

Rocks on the Porch

 In the late eighties, my husband and I decided to build a house on acreage we owned. First, we sold the house we’d live in for about fifteen years. Then we moved into a small house in a crowded neighborhood so we could build our house with no pressure concerning our previous residence.
The acreage we owned contained pockets of big rocks—some huge flat slabs of limestone, and many odd rocks we called cannon balls. These round rocks ranged in size from a tennis ball to a big bowling ball. All were made of red sandstone, and we thought perhaps they were geodes, but after cracking several open with a sledgehammer and finding no pretty quartz crystals, we concluded they were red sandstone through and through.

I saved three that were the most round and had little angular protrusions making them vaguely look like Sputnik. Our rental had a tiny covered front porch. Since we had the house crammed and the patio, too, I lined the three rocks along the wall of the house on the front porch. Big one, medium-sized one, and smaller one.

One day when I arrived home after a long day of teaching, the doorbell rang. There stood two young men, all cool and cocky, selling some kinds of books. I said no, I don’t believe I need any books. Oh, please, they said, you’ve got to let us give our pitch—we get points for that. How long is the pitch? I asked. About ten minutes. No, I said, I just don’t have the time, and besides I’d be wasting your time, because I’m not going to buy any books.

They became a little angry, and one said I should at least support them by listening, because here they were working like crazy, and I sat in my air-conditioned house. By then I had become slightly mad, so I excused myself. Have a good day, I said, and closed the door. One of them kicked the door. I let it go and went back to my work.

In an hour, my husband came home through the front door because the garage was stacked wall-to-wall and to the ceiling with appliances and boxes.

Honey, he said, your big rock is missing. What?? Oh, I was so mad, and explained it had to be those boys who took it. Probably they smashed it somewhere. I was really angry at those rude young men.

About that time, the phone rang. A young mother I knew lived three doors down, and she said, Celia, I need your help. Will you walk down here? Since you’re a science teacher, you will know what to do. Hurry, she said, I’m a little scared.

What is it? I asked. She said, I think it’s a bomb that dropped from the sky, maybe from space. It has things protruding from it and it’s making a hissing sound, like gas or something escaping. And it must have fallen from a long distance because it made a depression in my yard. Come quick and tell me what to do.

My husband walked with me, and both of us were a little unnerved. Since I am skeptical about almost everything, I wondered, what is it really? At the edge of her yard, she called from the porch to walk around that area by the sidewalk. I looked down, saw the depression, and in it was my biggest round rock. And yes, let me tell you, I heard a hissing sound.

I wanted to laugh, but the hissing sound bothered me. My husband squatted and rolled the rock to the side a little. Under there was the round metal cover over the water main. And yes, it was making a little noise like s-s-s-s-s-s-s.

I called to her. It’s safe to come over here. There’s no danger at all. When she stood beside us, I said, that’s just a rock. In fact, it’s my rock.

She frowned and said, I don’t believe you. You’re just saying it’s your rock. It is, I declared, and I proceeded to tell her my story about the young men. Soon the three of us were laughing our heads off, and she said oh, please don’t tell anyone about this. I told her, Honey, I have to. It’s too good to keep secret.

She said you’re going to tell my mother, aren’t you? (Her mother and I are good friends.) You know I will! I can’t keep it to myself! She laughed some more, and we went home with my rock.

When I see this young woman at her work place, she starts laughing. We both remember the funny story, and she always says, you were so sweet not to call me stupid.

Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas

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  1. Celia, I loved this story. I think you were lucky those rude young men didn't hurl the rock through your window. The nerve of them. And do you think those rocks might be part of a comet that crashed into your neck of the woods some years before you and I existed? Well, you anyway. I'm probably as old as rocks. Linda

  2. I enjoyed the rock story, Celia. You're lucky that those young men finally remembered their manners and left. They weren't very nice to pressure you like that. I'm glad it all worked out for you and the young mom down the street.

  3. Wow, how unbelievably rude of those boys! I'm also glad they didn't do damage with the rock.

    Your friend must have seen Jurassic Part too often. ;-) Cool rocks, though. I would have kept them, also.

  4. Celia that was a nice story. Rocks are always fasinating. I miss my gravel driveway because I always picked up a small rock that looked interesting and enjoyed the crystalline dots in them. I believe those were embedded with stibnite, antimony sufide, nonetheless attractive. I even brought home a round rock, small and gray, from Alaska during my one business trip up there. Larry

  5. Hi Celia,
    I too enjoyed the story of your round rocks. LOL I have a big silly grin on my face as I can just picture you and hubby creeping up on that round rock in the neighbor's yard to see what it was.
    Thanks for sharing. And it was a very nice change from promo blogging. LOL

  6. LINDA-- Oh, those boys were not nice. The rocks can be found all over the US, wherever there was once a lot of water. They are small boulders in rivers which get rolled around for no telling how long, and eventually turn round. We live in the hills of Texas. To think this area was once covered in moving water if astounding. The rounds were found from front to back, a distance of three acres in a meandering manner, like a river or creek. Amazing. Celia

  7. MAGGIE-I don't think they remembered their manners--the rock was very big and heavy. They just got tired carrying it and dropped it in my neighbor's yard. Celia

  8. Loraine--that's the funny part of the story--this young mother thinking a bomb had dropped from space into her yard! Celia

  9. LARRY--yes, I do love rocks. And my little grandsons do, too. I've bought a rock polisher for them for Christmas. Celia

  10. REBECCA--YES, well, we did feel a little stupid! The young mother was mortified! Celia

  11. I love the story, Celia, and I would've kept the rocks, too. LOL! I collect rocks (I know...most of us outgrow that habit) but I haven't found a round one yet. I'll look for one next time I'm in Texas.

  12. Celia,
    Cool rock story. I'm surprised they took the big one. Sounds like it was pretty heavy to have broken the water line. That's so funny about the hissing too. Thanks for sharing.

  13. Celia, I love this story! It sounds just like something I might do. Can't blame the young woman for being a little skittish.

    You need to have these rocks checked out to find their origin. Who knows what you might find out? Could have been dropped by space aliens. LOL

  14. That's a precious story, and good for you, not giving in to those "salesmen." You didn't owe them your time, and they shouldn't have tried to guilt you into listening. I'm glad you got your rock back!

  15. Celia, I despise that kind of selling pressure. I used to throw them out of where I worked. I even had to threaten to call the police on them. I finally got fed up and armed with the knowledge I'd heard on the news, that they were simply being used by their unscrupulous company, I told them that.

    Oh, your rocks are great! I wish I had some. I used to build rock gardens because I had so many wonderful rocks. Where I am now, I haven't found that many. I always thought a rock wall would be cool, too.

  16. KEENA--in some parts of the state, you can find many rocks! Thank you for reading--Celia

  17. KATHY--IT was a big one, bigger than a bowling ball. I imagine they got tired carrying it. Celia

  18. LAUREN--well, that's what this woman thought, I guess! I never could figure out exactly what she thought. Celia

  19. LIANA-me, too. I'm attached to everything I own. I don't want anyone stealing even one rock! Celia

  20. SAVANNA--what is it with these people? So much theft going on--don't understadn it at all.
    I'd love to see your rock gardens. Maybe you can make more. Celia