I was sitting at the dining room table in a farmhouse along the banks of the Kanaranzi Creek the other day, listening to a fascinating couple talk about the heritage in their family’s century farm.
The farm, as it turns out, has been in their family for 140 years. Until this year, no one bothered to apply for the Century Farm plaque.
I listened as they shared family legends of the James gang passing through and American Indians sharpening their tomahawks on the farm’s whetstone.
Then, they told me about their wonderful adventures along the Kanaranzi Creek, and the searches their grandkids make for rocks with holes in them. The rocks, they said, were believed to bring good luck by George Shurr’s grandma Hattie.
After I’d taken pictures of their farmstead, they brought out a canister filled with rocks with holes in them and handed me one before sending me on my way.
I don’t know that I’ve ever been so excited to be given a rock. Maybe it’s because it has a perfectly round hole through it, or maybe it’s the legend that it will bring me good luck, but that rock now has a prominent place on my desk at the office.
It reminds me not only of that quaint farm in the far southeast corner of Rock County, but of the morning I endured before that lucky rock was placed in my hand.
Monday mornings and pleasant never really seem to end up in the same sentence, and that was the case for me this week.
I awoke for an early morning interview to hear water spraying in my adjacent bathroom.
Oh, I didn’t know it was water at first, but it didn’t take long. A rush downstairs revealed a steadily growing pool of water, and a rush to reach the lever to shut the water off brought with it a rush of not-so-nice words from this normally-reserved woman!
Great — it’s Monday morning, I have an 8:30 a.m. interview and I have no running water.
On the other hand, I have parents, albeit about seven miles out of town, with a perfectly functioning shower.
Never before have I driven those seven miles still wearing my pajamas, but I did so on Monday. I quickly wished I hadn’t when I met a horde of cars coming into work. Ah yes, people not following the signed detour have made the usually-quiet County Road 57 seem like a highway.
I hoped no one noticed my tousled hair and general messy appearance, and when I thought about driving faster so they wouldn’t see me but for a split-second, visions of being pulled over flashed before my eyes. That right there was enough to make me keep the speedometer within the limits.
My loveable mutt Molly was excited to see me, the shower at the farm has much softer water than the one at my house in town, and Mom even offered to fix me a breakfast of sausage and eggs. She better watch out, I might start to make up stories about faulty plumbing just to have such a welcome!
As it turned out, I was only a few minutes late for my morning interview, a plumber graciously came to fix the problem before noon, and I had a lovely trip to the Kanaranzi Creek later that day.
Now, I have a holy (as in, it has a hole in it) limestone rock to bring me good luck.
Do you suppose I’m asking too much if I rub my fingers across it each day with a kindly wish for no more plumbing problems?
By the way, if you’re wondering when you can read about the Shurr’s Century Farm, the story will be included in the Daily Globe’s special Century Farm edition on Sept. 28.