Diane Mooney was out walking with friend Jennifer Robinson along the Edmonds waterfront Friday morning when the call came. The newly adopted addition to the Mooney household was on the way to her Seaview residence. Cutting the walk short, Mooney rushed home, arriving just as the flatbed truck and excavator were parking across the street.
After a short journey by truck from 220th Street Southwest, her 30,000-lb. addition — Granite — had finally arrived.
Mooney and her husband Kevin were selected from among nearly 50 applicants for the 6-by-7-by-4.5-foot glacial erractic, which was discovered during City of Edmonds’ construction of a sidewalk ramp at the corner of 80th and 220th. The rock couldn’t remain, so City Capital Projects Manager Ed Sibrel posted a lighthearted “Free to Good Home” listing on the City of Edmonds Facebook page. The posting went viral, getting many likes and shares, and was also covered extensively by media outlets.
Among Sibrel’s requirements: that the crew moving the rock would have easy access to the property to deliver it; that the owner would be responsible “for your own landscaping’s feng shui — once the rock is on the ground, the City is not gonna nudge it ‘a little more this way'” and that the applicant for rock ownership “darn well better have the permission of your significant other.”
After seeing the Facebook post, Diane Mooney replied almost immediately via email with her application, explaining that the Mooney family yard — located on a corner lot — would be the perfect location for the rock, now known affectionately as “Granite.”
“It is so easy to get to, you will want to choose us,” Mooney wrote convincingly. “And because our yard is on the corner, we have never fenced it, for feng shui reasons, of course.”
“Can I tell you how much I love large rocks?” Mooney continued. “I look admiringly at the one up the street by Seaview and wonder how they got so lucky. This would be a dream come true!”
Mooney also assured Sibrel that she had her husband’s permission, for good measure forwarding Kevin Mooney’s email response: “YES YES YES.”
On Friday morning just before 10 a.m., crews hired by the 220th Street project contractor used an excavator to lift Granite from its temporary resting place on the south side of 220th Street and 80th, placing it on a 50,000-lb.-capacity flatbed truck for delivery to the Mooneys. (While the rock’s location Friday morning was in the unincorporated area of Esperance, city officials were quick to note that it was indeed unearthed within the Edmonds city limits, thus giving the city ownership).
Granite was then transported via a caravan traveling from 220th Street along 76th Avenue West to Seaview, where Diane Mooney was joined by friend Jennifer Robinson and father-in-law David Mooney as the delivery was made. The Mooneys’ chosen location — on top of a thicket of blackberry bushes that had overgrown the stump of a dying maple tree recently removed — was intentional in hopes that the rock will both choke off the blackberry vines and give them a centerpiece around which to do future landscaping improvements.
When asked if it was appropriate to compare the Granite giveaway to the “pet rock” craze of years past, Sibrel said he was confident that he had made the right choice in gifting the rock to the enthusiastic Mooneys, noting: “This is a pet that cannot be easily readopted.”
— Story and photos by Teresa Wippel