Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Feelings, FEMA, and Frogs

So, I was cutting our grass yesterday, right? I know. I know. Lawn is bad for the environment. Believe me, we're planting trees like crazy at the Happy Hands Ranch, looking forward to the day when the area around our house is lawn-free. But for now, we still have to mow, and because the horses tend to founder on sugary weeds in late summer, we keep the pastures cut so they're grassy instead of weedy. At least we never use herbicides or pesticides. Ever.

Anyway, I was riding along and I saw movement near this muddy spot out by the tall cottonwood. Yep. It was that frog up there. I took that picture of him and on the way inside to show it to Starr Ann, I named him Rickles.

As I reached Starr Ann, I teared up and blurted out, "Look at this baby I almost ran over with the tractor. I almost killed this adorable thing."

Starr Ann looked at me real hard before glancing at the photo. "Yeah, he's something, all right. Looks a little like Bates, doesn't he?"

It was true. That dark, judgmental expression looked a whole lot like our weird little puppy does right before he bites somebody. My heart just melted. I really did start crying then.

Starr Ann's words got real swirly, as if she were talking to a little kid. "Hey, Margo, you know how I always let you and Jodie send me off to one of my bunkers when I'm PMSing?"

Starr Ann could really get off subject. "Yes."

"Well, how would you like to spend a few days in one of the shelters?"

"No, thanks."

"Now, Margo, don't be hasty. It'd be good practice for when the Feds start rounding people up in the FEMA camps."

I laughed. "Who needs practice? We go underground. We eat freeze-dried food. We sneak out at night to care for the horses. We get real pale." Seemed pretty straightforward to me. "Don't see a need to practice."

"What about if I call Celia Susan and you two hole up in a bunker together for a few days? That sound fun?"

"Starr Ann, what makes you think I'd want to go off to one of your bunkers and play FEMA camp emergency sex slave with Celia Susan?"

"Give it up, Margo. Your room isn't that far from mine. Does the phrase 'Put this somewhere, the guards are coming' mean anything to you?"

I guess I started crying again. "Awwwww, now I'm missing Celia real bad."

Starr Ann put her arm around me as she walked me to my room. "I know you do. Now just pack up enough clothes for three days, okay? I'll be back in a few minutes."

"But what about the grass? And you know how directionally challenged I get during PMS. Prolly couldn't even find a bunker."

Starr Ann said she'd take care of all that, so I packed some stuff up and went outside. Starr Ann's so thoughtful sometime it just makes me cry. I broke down again when I saw these signs marking my way.

Dang, but Starr Ann loves me. Doesn't she?