Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Holiday Cheer

Lane got up at four in the morning and already had the horses fed and the barn cleaned by the time Starr Ann and I were awake. Naturally, we figured something was up. It was. Lane had another announcement for us.

After breakfast, she started clearing the table, and said, real smooth, "I'm going to spend the night over at Amanda's."

Starr Ann said, "Your buddy Amanda, who rides the paint mare?"

"No, a different Amanda."

I said, "Not the one you said you'd like to kick her butt because of the stupid guys she dates?"

"Hell no! I met this one at the recruiter's the other day. We're going to try to leave for Basic the same day."

Starr Ann held onto her plate so Lane couldn't scoop it up. "Hang on, will you? I'm not finished." Starr Ann jellied another piece of toast. "How many Amandas do you know, anyway?"

Lane shrugged. "A few. Roughly one in three girls born around the time I was are named Amanda."

Starr Ann said she believed that, then asked, "So, spending the night, eh? Thought you didn't like sleeping in houses with parental types around."

Lane's eyes got a real tantalized look in them. "Who said anything about parents? Amanda's twenty. Has her own place."

Starr Ann stopped eating and looked over at me so we could exchange an exaggerated look of clear understanding. Lane took her cue. She wiggled her eyebrows and shook her butt. Nuff said. Lane has herself a girlfriend.

After Lane left for Amanda's, Starr Ann said, "Remember when we were seventeen, Margo? You were crawlin' around after Janie Thomas and I was totally gone over Desiree."

"Actually, you were crawlin' around after Desiree, and I was totally gone over Janie Thomas."


I said, "Goddess, remember how Sister Mary Toadius was always trying to sniff out whether anybody was having any fun? How about that time she caught you and Christine Adams in the laundry room?"

"Yeah, and Sister Mary Blissie Marie came to our rescue by making up that story about how she had told us to get down on our knees and scrub the floor."

I could see the idea cut its way through Starr Ann's mind. She put down the dish towel and said, "Think I'll mosey over to Jodie's."

So there I was, sitting on the porch, watching the rain and wishing for someone to share some carnal celebration of my own with, when I saw a horse approaching from the South. As it drew closer, I could make out Sugar's white blaze against her deep chestnut coat. Dang. Seems I had conjured Celia Susan out of thin air.

Celia Susan brought Sugar right up to the porch rail, and without dismounting, she asked, "Got an extra place at the table for Thanksgiving dinner?"

"Always, Celia." I think I actually had tears in my eyes.

Astonished, she said, "Why, Margo, that's the first time you've ever called me Celia instead of Celia Susan, you know that?"

Celia Susan had peeled back the hood of her rain jacket and her hair was real messed up, like in the morning sometime. I just nodded, and I guess my mood all of a sudden got through to her. She said, kinda snappy, "I'm gonna get Sugar put up snug. Why don't you fix me a hot bath, and after, you and I'll see what all we can give each other to feel thankful about tomorrow?"

When I went back outside to meet Celia Susan on her way in from the barn, the rain had stopped and the air was full of rainbows. Nature sure was putting on a beautiful show out there, but Celia and I went inside anyway.