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MORE ABOUT ROCKS                                               SEPTEMBER 3, 2012

 

More screeching on the mountain in Morenci — the natives thought for sure that this time it was the warning horn at the open-pit copper mine announcing a terrible calamity.  The piercing screams were coming from Alba’s mother, Lupe, who in no uncertain terms was telling her Princess just what she could do with all those rocks which were stuffing up  her neatly kept shoe boxes, while her darling shoes were strewn around helter-skelter on the floor.  “Get those ROCKS out of this house,”  Lupe shrieked,  Rocks are not to be in the house.  Rocks are for the outside.  GET THEM outta here.  NOW.”

So Li’l Alba gathered up her treasure trove of all her beautiful and unusual rocks — in the eyes of the beholder — then dragged them out of the house, and quickly found a hiding place under the house, where this cache of rocks probably still resides.  It’s a good thing she didn’t spend time searching, searching for the right spot, or she might have been late for the grinding of the corn.

It could have happened that the next family to reside in the Xóchihua home had a kid with a penchant for  rocks and while scouting around found the hoard, dragged them out and hauled them into the house for safekeeping, found a very sensitive hiding place;  only to run into a glitch.  The rocks are right back out under the house.

Well, you know what Lupe ALWAYS said: “Rocks do not belong in the house!”  Period.   And the next Mom was of the same opinion.

So things went back  to normal, more of less, up on the mountain in Morenci — grinding the corn, grinding the corn, on the grinder turned by hand. Everyone in the house had very muscular, strong arms.

That grinder took a lot of manpower to produce all this masa that was needed to sell to the customers, and the family made a lot of corn tortillas while they were at it.  In the meantime, dear little Mom, Lupe, was squirreling away whatever the traffic would bear in the way of nickels, dimes, quarters, even dollar bills, and finally she had saved up enough to invest in an electric grinder — the whole family oohed and aahed.  Beto (oldest bro,) the Li’l Princess, and Reuben (younger bro) now had a much easier job grinding that corn.  (I only have to say it once since the job is now just turning on the switch.)  Had I been Lupe, I might have worried about a few limbs or digits somehow getting into the grinder.

We now leave the mountain in Morenci. This all took place during the 1940’s.

Move on to the early 2000’s, and the scene isDandelion   Drivein LaQuinta,California.  I didn’t realize that the desert landscaping we have here is a natural for the Aztec Princess. The street-side part of the lot has 2 dry river beds defined with river rocks.  Same in the rear yard, but one river bed.  When she was first volunteering as usher for the tennis tournament every March, she brought home a pretty good sized rock that someone had painted a big scorpion on. She was very happy with this purchase, and I don’t think it was cheap.  Some guy had all this  kind of stuff for sale in one of the merchant stalls.

Today is September 2, 2012,  and when she discovered the story was about her long- ago rock collection, she went out to our dry river bed and brought in several of these treasures she had purchased at the tennis tournament.  So now I screamed (pretending I was Lupe) at her: “Get  those damn rocks out of the house. Remember how your Mom told you they belong outside.”  A little later I will have her take a picture of her treasures while I do some research.  Somehow I don’t think I am going to find a rehab for rock addicts.

 

MELITAS FORSTER                                                                                                                                                                                          

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