18th: Read no letters, books or papers in company; but when there is a necessity for the doing of it, you must ask leave. Come not near the books or writings of another so as to read them or give your opinion of them unasked; also look not nigh when another is writing a letter.
10 September 2004
Anybody who is at all familiar with San Francisco probably knows that "The Rock" is another name for Alcatraz, the former federal penetentiary which sits in the middle of San Francisco Bay, now a favorite tourist attraction.
However, around our house, "the rock" doesnt mean Alcatraz at all.
"The Rock" is a huge styrofoam rock that Walt put together for a production of The Pirates of Penzance many, many, many years ago. It was used to stand on and dance over and all the things that one does on rocks on the rocky cliffs of Cornwall, when one is singing Gilbert & Sullivan ditties.
When the show ended, the rock moved here to our house. One never knows when one might need a huge styrofoam rock, you know.
It stayed in front of our garage for many, many years. I think that Lawsuit might have borrowed it a time or two--or maybe that was the platform that the rock was sitting on, also part of a set, whether Pirates of Penzance or something else.
At some point in the distant past, the rock, now chipped and weather worn, so that its styrofoam self showed through the rocky paint which covered it, was moved into the back yard, to join the abandoned bicycles and furniture skeletons and other detritis that have been moved out of the house at some point in the past many years.
The latest additions to the growing pile of stuff in the back yard (we are so trailer trash!), are the couch and chair that Sheila ate, joining the frame of Gilberts old couch, which was moved outside 3 years ago and other pieces of things that have long since lost the shape that gave me the ability to identify them.
But today was the day.
Walts mother has sold her apartment at the Eskaton retirement community and will be moving--next week--down to another retirement community in Santa Barbara, to be closer to Walts sister. The new place also seems to give the residents a bit more supervision, and, as she is now 91 and her macular degeneration has rendered her just about blind, the additional supervision was a plus. Its also a plus to be 5 minutes away from one of your offspring, rather than 40 minutes, as is the case now.
The problem with the unit is that its less than half the size that she now has and so, as I have mentioned in a couple of other journal entries, we have been working with her to downsize, to get rid of a lifetime of mementos, to keep things just to the "cant part with that one" determination. A lot of furniture has to go.
The furniture that she cant sell or give to family members will stay at Eskaton as her contribution. It goes into a gigantic garage sale sort of thing and the proceeds will go to Eskaton, sooner or later.
But it was our chance to replace some of our old furniture with old-but-newer-than-we-have-now furniture. We decided to take the hide-a-bed, which is in great shape, a chair, to replace the one Sheila gutted, and a shelf unit that Ive always loved, which I have no room for, but which I hate to see just get tossed out.
Walt rented a truck to pick up the furniture and made arrangements to meet Ned so they could load everything in the truck. But while he had the truck, he decided that it would be a good chance to cart all of this stuff out to the dump.
So this morning, before the temps got into the triple digits, we hauled all of the old broken down furniture....and the rock...to the truck and Walt took it all out and dumped it.
There is a bit of an empty spot in my heart--and in the back yard. The Rock is gone. It seems like such an integral part of our lives in this house for so long.
The empty spot was filled quickly with a big smile and a happy dance as I realized that finally the rock is gone!!!!!
I just hope the Davis Comic Opera Company doesnt decide to do Pirates of Penzance any time soon and come looking for their rock!
Website of the Day
Check how much the war is costing us (thanks to Sue for the link)