The doorbell rang on Sunday afternoon. In many households, the sound of a ringing doorbell is a cause for joy or hope; perhaps a friend has dropped by unexpectedly or a neighbor wants to chat. In our household, the sound is an ominous death knell. The two "adults" of the house come up with any excuse to make the other adult answer the door: "Could you get it? I'm in the middle of changing the kitty litter." "Oh, I can't get it right now; I'm juggling a chainsaw, three eggs, a butcher knife, and a neutron bomb." "I'm changing a diaper" (this excuse has the added benefit of having a high probability of being true). "I can't come to the door; I'm deep frying a hot dog." This door answering reluctance most likely originates in the first few months after we purchased our "Handyman's Special" home when we were forced to conclude that our house had lived its previous life as a crack house. We came to this conclusion based upon the steady stream of seedy visitors to our front door, apparently unaware that CrackMart had relocated. That and the bag of tiny Ziploc baggies that I found in the attic over the garage, but that is a story for another day.
The doorbell rang on Sunday afternoon, and I, being slow in coming up with an excuse, was forced to greet the unexpected guest. Fulling expected to be handed a copy of the Watchtower, I took a deep breath and opened the door. Two of the neighborhood girls, with expectant and hopeful faces, held out a tray of wares for sale. It was clear they had rehearsed as one of them began, "Could we interest in you in the purchase of some rocks? They are good for display or collecting." I looked down at the tray of rocks. I was pretty sure I recognized some of the rocks that one of them had collected in my own back yard during my garden work. Most of the rocks appeared to be common quartz crusted with Georgia red clay. I stammered a bit before I finally got out, "Well, I don't think we can use any rocks right now, but I wish you the best of luck in your sale." Yes, I know...I am cold-hearted Scrooge and that kind of entrepreneurial pluck should be rewarded, but there would have been something not quite right about buying my own rocks.
Some quotes from my seniors:
Yesterday: "I don't see cheating as wrong; it is just a way to get ahead."
Today: "College is just about having fun."
From a junior US history test concerning Truman:
"He didn't get a lot done in civil rights, but he did demilitarize the army."