Rock on!

Are you ready to ROCK???

Har.This is the rock that I mentioned in this post. And I promised to write about in this post. And the story that people and other people asked for is now about to be answered.

Isn't it cool? It's so ovoid. In fact, it's nearly perfect in its oval spherocity. It is no wonder that I had to take it to college with me, and on every locational shift I've undergone since then.

The Story of the Rock
AH, summer vacations in Cali! How Jenni and I looked forward to our weeks in Yuba City/Biggs (and on a couple of occasions, San Diego--many thanks to my aunt and uncle for taking a couple of lost little girls with them to give them some happy memories during a difficult time. Fear and sadness did not exist in California. I will never forget "Grease" "Hot Feet, Cold Deet"--shout out to a very excited and young cousin Andrea-- the beach and making tuna sandwiches, Uncle Bud losing his ring in the surf, Neil Diamond's Forever in Blue Jeans, Yosemite, and Jenni's shirt being cut up by whichever cousin it was...Good times! I think I developed my intense love of seashells from ogling your nautilus shell). Grandma and Grandpa were wonderful hosts. Sheesh, I'm tearing up just remembering the ice cream in the special ice cream cups (peaches were served in those dishes as well), swimming in Peltons' pool, eating KFC and pizza and drinking POP (all three were things we NEVER got at home), camping in the Sierras, riding in the bed of Grandpa's pickup truck, watching "The Price is Right" and movie after movie, gathering eggs from the coop, the beautiful smell of Grandma's perfume and, strangely, her laundry detergent and fabric softener, exploring the walnut orchard, Grandma giving us gum, going to church in Gridley in a building with an outside inner courtyard, dressing up in the dance costumes (oh that was when we were much younger and we lived in Cali). Anyway, I never felt anything but loved and cared for during our Cali summer visits. I know that there were things going on outside of a preteen/young teenager's limited vision and understanding, but to me, those were near perfect vacations.

Anyway, back to the rock. I just had to set the stage. While visiting the grandparents/aunts and uncles/cousins in California one summer (must have been about 10 or 11) the adults decided to take us waterskiing. I'd never been waterskiing (and haven't been since). I think the place we went to was the Oroville Reservoir. Since only one kid could waterski at a time, the rest of us had to entertain ourselves while waiting our turn to waterski. We ran around and explored the immediate area around the beach . I believe it was a little creek-like tributary where I found the rock. It was so perfect in shape that I felt I HAD to keep it. Luckily, my grandparents were indulgent and let me keep it. As a parent, I probably would have told my kid to put the rock back because it weighed too much to take home, or some such nonsense. (Sidenote regarding the actual waterskiing: I did very well on my only time out. I got up on the skis immediately and went all the way around the lake and stayed up. And I let go to drift into the beach for the end of my turn. Grandma was so amazed at my skill. I should have taken up waterskiing professionally.)

Allowing me to keep the rock meant also that the rock would have to make the flight from Cali to MN with me. Because we flew light (flying standby--which we always did--meant that it was not practical to check luggage) I had to put the rock in with my clothes in my carry-on bag. Jen and I usually traveled by ourselves (we were seasoned fliers by age 12) and when we got on the plane, the flight attendant helped us put our bags in the overhead compartment. The attendant (or stewardess, back in the day) commented on the heaviness of my bag. I was shy about the rock; I didn't think it was prudent to tell someone who was in charge that I had a large and heavy potential threat in my possession. Even back then in the late 70s/early 80s, before 9/11 and the omnipresent suspicion that abounds in today's airline industry, I knew you had to be careful about what you tell the flight attendant regarding what you've packed. But my little sister had no such shyness about my luggage. She loudly announced, "She has a ROCK in her bag. But don't worry, she isn't going to hit the pilot in the head with it." Jen, I wanted to crawl under the seat cushion that doubles as a flotation device when you said that. Thank goodness that was during a more innocent age, and the flight attendant smiled and said, "I know she won't." I was on my BEST behavior during that flight (didn't want to cause any more alarm), which was lucky for Jen because it meant that she didn't get pinched or verbally smacked for suggesting that people with rocks tend to assault pilots, even though she did say that I was not one of those crazies.

And the rock still resides with me. In college, it sat on a shelf. One of my friends on my floor at the dorms used to massage sore muscles with it. In apartments, it sat on top of the dresser. Occasionally, it would roll off if I jiggled the dresser too much. In the townhouse, it sat on a curio shelf. But when we moved to our house, I got the feeling that the rock missed the outdoors, so I let it outside. I know it won't run away--we have too much history together. Sometimes it sits among the hostas where it welcomes visitors to the house, sometimes it sits under the arborvitae guarding our vehicles. Sometimes it plays with the kids (see below) and sometimes it just sits around and lets spiders build webs around it. It's a very versatile rock.
But the rock isn't very talkative. I ask it how it got so smooth and rounded and evenly ovoid; I've even asked it if it's a geode. But it never answered. It wants to remain a mystery, I guess. But to answer people's question, "Why would you take a rock to college?", the answer is: because it's a cool rock. That's why. The end.


Dennis said…
The next time I come to your house I'll try to remember to take notice of your rock. You seem to have a very special attachment to it. Is it male or female (it makes a difference)
The rock is an IT. Some rocks reproduce asexually and this is one of them, so it has no gender. And its name, as far as I've been able to discover, is Rock.
mastubz said…
AW - tear up time. What a sweet post. I too have joyful memories of your visits, and I cringe to think we took you to see Grease. Fond memories of packing you all up for beach days with Jared in a playpen. You were both fun and funny houseguests. I am thinking it was Lake Oroville - but you were close. Member the time we packed 17 of us in a loaner jalopy to go to the Biggs Pool - long before seatbelt laws.
Don't cringe too much. I was too young or innocent or naive to understand a lot of what was going on. I just remember liking the music. It wasn't until several years later that I understood the innuendo.

You're right, it was Oroville. I couldn't for the life of me remember the name of that body of water. Must edit my post.

YES I remember the 17-in-one-car event! Jen and I mentioned that the other day.
Dennis said…
It seems that there were several "car" events out there. Like Dad going 100mph in his truck with the boys in the back. I remember harvesting walnuts and black hands from them.
Grandma and Grandpa were FUN. They did lots of things that no one else would do because of safety concerns. Except Grandma wouldn't let us lick batter off of spoons or out of the bowl, or something like that. But she made up for that in many many other ways. Like by having a really deep tub to bathe in. Or by letting us watch "General Hospital" or by showing us how extremely bouyant she was in the water. And she never yelled. And Grandpa didn't either, that I remember. Although I did hear tell of one time when Dave let a profanity slip out and Grandpa went after him for that.
And Grandma let me peroxide a chunk of her hair once. What parental adult would let a teenager do THAT?