Not the Rock. That’s his story to tell. (Though the fact that his given name is Dwayne Johnson delights me to no end….) No, today I’m here to tell you about this rock:
For the record, this is a photo of my sister’s new front yard. Please don’t stalk her. She’s busy enough as it is.
But that big rock? It just got moved there, today, by some dear friends of ours, because it was in Jess’s old front yard, and before that, it was in Myra’s front yard for about 35 years. And before that, it was out on the farm where my grandparents raised most of their family and into which my father spent all his working years pouring his sweat.
Of course, rocks don’t move to town all on their own, unlike people (I’m looking at you Minnie and Ernie, circa 1942….). To be fair, Myra very much wanted to move back to the farm in the mid 1970s, but there was no running water and no electricity. But I digress…
One day in the early 1970s, Marlene Hetland, who lived about three blocks down the street, had been reading Better Homes and Gardens or something, and they suggested that decorating with big rocks was a good idea. Her husband was a mechanic, one of my dad’s best friends, so naturally she approached Dewey and said “Hey, Dewey, can you get me a big old rock from out on that farm of yours?” Those of you who are not familiar with farming may not know that rocks are kind of the bane of the plow: they can damage equipment before you can say “Monsanto.” So my dad was more than happy to oblige, and delivered a sizeable rock to Marlene’s yard within the week.
Myra, of course, was not one to be upstaged. She told me once, “I figured if Marlene could have a rock, I could too!” Within a month of delivering Marlene’s rock, Dewey found himself delivering an even bigger rock to his own front yard.
I’m not sure of the exact year, but I know we bought that house in 1974, and I know it’s one of my earliest memories, using that rock as a slide, when I was about three. So it must’ve arrived sometime between ’74 and ’76. When Myra moved out of her house, we moved everything we cared about except the rock, because it is a mighty heavy rock. Luckily, the folks who bought it on contract for deed moved it to Jess and Brad’s out of the kindness of their hearts. And today, as Jess and Brad and their babies settle in to a new house, a block and a half away, our friends Matt and Angie (and Connor) moved the rock, one more time.
I don’t know why we both love the rock so, exactly, but it came from our dear farmland, and our mother wanted it very much. Maybe it’s because it represents how much our dad loved our mom, or how much our mom wanted to keep up with the Hetlands. Regardless, we are very fond of that rock, and so glad it’s staying in our family.