This is a work of fiction. All names, characters, and places are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
To my cousins, Rochelle Lemke and Rose Smith. Thank you for growing up with me. Let’s agree to never grow old, only wise together.
Copyright © 2010
Bright sun burned Larissa’s eyes as she helped her father and two older sisters with rock picking. It seemed as if her dad always picked the hottest day of the spring for the odious task, and every year she wondered where all the rocks came from. Acres of uneven, dirty countryside lay before them, and they had to remove all the rocks laying in the field so the spring planting could begin.
Both of her sisters had left home to go away to college, but they returned at her father’s insistence for the wretched rock removal tradition. She would be leaving in the fall for college herself. Taking time off to decide what she wanted to do for the rest of her life had only prolonged the inevitable. She would have to leave the peace and tranquility of her family’s home and move into the dorms as her sisters had. They had scrambled away quickly, but not Larissa.