I have a rock in my house that is painted gold. It’s about the size of a hen’s egg and in its shiny goldenness it sits on the counter in my bathroom so I can see it every day. It has been a treasure of mine for more than a few years now. Before I tell you the story of my golden rock let me share this with you. I know that it is just a rock. Or as a geologist friend of mine taught me, it is a “leebitrite.” (Say it fast; lee-bi-trite.) Oh you don’t know what a leebitrite is? Well a leebitrite is a rock that you might find when you are out and about and you think it is a wonderful find, maybe worth tons of money, a rich strike, the find of the century. But in reality it is just a rock. When you find it you just leave it right where you found it because it is just a rock, nothing special. You leebitright where you found it! Okay moving on.
My golden rock tale starts with gold fever. I get gold fever at the drop of a nugget, uh, hat. Whenever we go to Northern California or up into central Idaho, where there is running water and where placer gold, gold that you can actually see without a microscope, has been found, out comes my gold pan and waders and I can be found huddled over until I am burnt to a crisp by the sun reflecting off the water onto my hopeful face. I haven’t found so much as a nugget, but I have a grand time just looking. It’s like gambling. That next pan full of gravel, the next poker hand, the next pull on the one armed bandit could be what takes you to easy street. Even though I am a native Nevadan I don’t gamble much. So free panning for gold is my gamble of choice. You gotta dream!
I mentioned to my husband that I have this reoccurring thought, not a dream really just a hopeful thought I get when we are out in the hills exploring. I know one day I will be walking down a dry wash and I will stumble across a gold nugget. A big ole shiny one. It could happen right? He just smiles and nods his head as husbands will do. We wives know that nod all too well. So well so that we just nod back. Someday we will all look like a bunch of bobble heads. If there is life on other planets observing one of these husband and wife discussion that involves the nodding of heads I’d bet they would just nod their long green faced heads at us then fly off never to return to this crazy Earth. The nod is universal.
Unbeknownst to me he filed way my innermost thought that I had shared with him until one day he did one of the kindest things… I love to take walks in the mornings. We live in a rural area. I can walk with my dogs down a graveled road by our house for miles and never see a car. Well I could walk miles, but I actually only walk a mile or two. I am not all that enthralled about over doing the exercise thing. Mostly I just walk to justify that extra piece of bacon with breakfast! Back to the story.
One day while I was at work and he was at home he gathered up some rocks and spray painted them gold. Starting by our gate he went down the road and put them in a few strategic places so I would “happen across” them on my walk the next morning. I know I know, sweet right?
I came home that evening and stopped to close the gate. Low and behold there was this golden rock. Yes my heart jumped. I thought I had won the lottery. I spied it as I was getting back into my car and did a double maybe triple take. I have walked across our yard a zillion times always picking up a little leebitrite green piece of gravel or a piece of quarts to examine. I NEVER would have over looked a golden nugget the size of a hen’s egg! So I trip over my feet getting to my golden desire and that’s when I discovered it was painted. I gathered it up, brought it into the house and we laughed about me finding it in the yard. I put it on a mirrored tray in the bathroom so I could see it every day. There is a bit more to the story but I am out of space. Let me know if you want the rest of the story…
Trina Machacek lives in Eurek. Her book ITY BITS can be found on Kindle. Share your thoughts and opinions with her at firstname.lastname@example.org