My wife and I have endured a rocky relationship ever since we moved out to the country.
First, we had to clear rocks around our dwelling and in the House Grove, a patch of trees that our grandchildren have nicknamed the Cemetery.
That’s because we have several statues, a miniature windmill and other decorations that look really nice whenever the brush is not too high.
Then we tackled the different pastures at The Place, trying to remove as many rocks as possible.
Partly to allow more grass to grow for our livestock, of course, but also to avoid a rocky ricochet every time I shredded.
Then my wife wanted some rock paths because she believes in recycling everything except passed-down furniture.
So we hauled back-breaking rocks from the Dry Holler, even blowing out the air-filled wheel on the wheelbarrow, to put in paths in front of the house.
We also layered several rocks on the caliche between the side steps and the carport because the ground turned to mush whenever we received one of those infrequent rains.
It was only natural, then, that my mind turned to rocks when our anniversary was approaching.
When we first started out on the road to marriage, we bought a set of rings that didn’t tax our budget.
Even though her engagement ring diamond is small enough to warrant the use of a microscope, my wife will still sit and daydream while trying to catch sun rays on her stone.
But I didn’t want to get her a big rock to replace the pint-sized symbol of our love.
Instead, I wanted to give her a collection of smaller rocks, even some gravel, to commemorate our anniversary. Because, you see, she had wanted for several months to get some filler for the gaps among the rocks on the pathway between the side steps and carport.
I had put her off, of course, because the list of honey-do chores she has thought up would baffle the best and brightest of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
It was time to suck it up, though, so I finally got hold of a friend of ours who had several piles of river rocks that were ours for the taking.
Preparation is always the key, thus we spent several hours debating how to collect, transport and deposit the rocks.
It would be too much trouble and work to simply shovel the rocks into the bed of my pickup and then rake them out.
We finally settled on collecting our usual excess supply of buckets and then filling them at the rock quarry because I could actually lift and drop them without breaking my back.
Bucket by bucket, we spread the river rocks and gravel on, yes, the actual date of our anniversary.
The pathway has so far held up against the heat, dry weather and occasional rain while my wife is thrilled that I actually completed one of the myriad of honey-do tasks assigned to me.