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Saturday, July 23, 2016




Mrs. Got-Rocks 


But where shall wisdom be found? 

And where is the place of understanding? 

. . . 

It cannot be gotten for gold, 

neither shall silver be weighed for the price thereof. 

It cannot be valued with the gold of Ophir, 

with the precious onyx, or the sapphire. 

The gold and the crystal cannot equal it: 

and the exchange of it shall not be for jewels of fine gold.  

No mention shall be made of coral, or of pearls: 

for the price of wisdom is above rubies. 


-- Job 28:12,15-18 




My dad was fond of an old nickname for rich women. He would call them "Mrs. Got-Rocks." I always pictured Mrs. DuPont and Mrs. Astor with a 10-carat diamond ring on their fingers, other jewelry and bangles up both arms, dripping from both ears, and hanging from their necks to the floor. 


Mrs. Got-Rocks, I ain't. Because I have managed to lose not one, but TWO diamonds from my engagement ring, I have a very plain Jane wedding ring now with no big stone sticking out. (How did I lose my diamond TWICE? Once was planting tulips and once was picking blueberries, both times with kids. I may be the klutziest volunteer alive.) 


Anyway, right now, my hands are scuffed and calloused from another season of Extreme Spring Gardening. There is an ugly pea-size black bruise under the fingernail of my third finger, left hand, from knocking it on something many weeks ago. There is a large band-aid around my middle finger where I sliced it and diced it, using a super-sharp mandoline, slicing potatoes for the Gratin Dauphinois for the French dinner we put on for the retiring French teacher last week. Luckily, I saw it happen and no blood got anywhere near the gratin. Sacre bleu! 


Since it's gardening season, there is garden dirt under all of my fingernails. The dirt won't come out even with a good scrubbing in sink and shower. It kind of looks like I have 10 mini-eyebrows on the tips of my fingers, this time of year. 


Therefore, even if I had fabulous jewels and could claim the title of Mrs. Got-Rocks, it would be a puzzling nonsequitur to see those sparkling rocks adorning hands that looked like they just dug the Panama Canal. 


So I was feeling anything but rich on Friday, and nothing like Mrs. Got-Rocks, when I got up early, loaded up the garden gear, and started repairing the damage to the plants in our neighborhood park caused by that dreadful four-inch rain and hailstorm last week.  


We have a lovely stone dry creekbed from the street to a rain garden pit and all the way down to our neighborhood pond. I am responsible for maintaining this wonderland. Usually, it's as dry as a bone. But the storm last week caused a tsunami of last year's mulch and sticks and lots and lots of little stones to all get displaced. 


The water jumped out of its rockbed boundaries and whooshed down both sides of the rain garden slope, causing a mini-mudslide. The water pushed a number of the chrysanthemums I planted years ago, and have divided over and over again 'til there are probably close to 100. Many of the mums slid down to the bottom like green blobs skiing down a mud hill. 


Even though I had on my intrepid muck boots, it was pretty miserable to step into the super-soft and sticky mud to try to transplant the dozens of mums back where they belonged. I was slipping and fuming and mentally beating myself up, because this had happened numerous times over the years. I should have solved the problem years ago, but just hadn't. Instead, almost every year, it would rain big, the mums would slide down, I would plant them back in place, and then next big rain, they would slide down again! AARRGGHH!!! 


I knew the answer was to purchase several huge landscaping rocks to lay on either side of the creekbed, so that next time there was a torrential downpour and a flood down the creek, the water would splash against those rocks and land harmlessly in the nearby grass, instead of doing a Mt. St. Helen's number on my mums. 


But I didn't have an extra couple of hundred dollars to spend on such a project. And as a certified jelly belly with very little arm strength, it would be very hard for me to try to move rocks that big. 


So I was perturbed and worried, going home that evening, with plans to return in the morning to complete the job. 


I drove around the corner, when what to my wondering eyes should appear but my neighbor, Matt, on his tractor, with huge chains around two huge boulders, helping another neighbor re-hab a big traffic island at the foot of our street. 


Turns out that Matt had lucked in to not one, not two, but TWENTY landscaping boulders . . . for free! His mother works for a garden store, and a guy who was getting out of the rock business offered them to her if she could haul them away. She called Matt, he got out there with his trailer, got them, and promised to deliver several of them to various friends and family members. 


But voila: 


He still had several big ones left. And he offered them to me! 


Not only that, but he enthusiastically offered to deliver them and put them in place, because he loves to run his tractor. Boys and their toys! 


By noon today, they were there - big, beautiful and, quite frankly, heaven-sent. 


Come on, now. What are the odds that your neighbor would wind up with several hundred dollars' worth of free landscaping boulders right when you NEEDED them?!? Of course they were heaven-sent. 


I felt like the Big Gardener in the Sky was looking down on me with pity as I toiled in the mud and the mums, and in His majestic and incomprehensible way, He worked out a solution for my good, His glory . . . and an end to the repetitive sliding terror for those long-suffering mums. 


Peace on earth! Peace on dirt, too! 


I may not look like Mrs. Got-Rocks. My hands sure don't. But my heart feels that way. I feel like a million bucks. I feel cared for, blessed, noticed, helped, encouraged, fulfilled and satisfied. 


Ain't no diamonds or jewels in the whole wide world who can make you feel as rich as our wise and loving God. His favorite thing is to come through for you with one of His wonderful solutions . . . when you're between a rock and a hard place.   


By Susan Darst Williams www.RadiantBeams.org Girls Will Be Girls 2016 


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