Look up the phrase true friend in the dictionary, and one of the many definitions listed will be this:
Someone who stops by the pet store to buy fresh crickets for your frogs when you’re too sick to do so.
This past Saturday, that was my friend Kathy Stadtfeld, who, on her way to my house to clean out my fridge, do some laundry, and generally morph the place into something that could be a candidate for House Beautiful, swung by the pet store for a couple dozen fresh crickets.
To say that there’s a lot going on over here is an understatement. But the frogs gotta eat. And the toad, too.
Kathy arrived, all smiles and hugs, carrying a large, inflated plastic bag with the little critters running around the bottom. Inflated because after all, crickets gotta breathe. At least until I get them to my toad and frogs’ mouths.
Kathy is the kind of person who can not only take life’s lemons and make them lemonade, but serve it up in a huge glass pitcher with freshly-sliced lemons floating on top, lots of ice, and a sprinkling of curlycue lemon zest for good measure.
But that’s not all. Then, she’ll see the potential in the situation… and pounce on it.
Crickets made her think of summer, which made her think of picnics, which caused her to ask me this question when she came in the front door: “Do you have picnic stuff — you know, the basket, the plates, yada yada. I want to have an indoor picnic today.”
Not with me. With her honey. How sweet is that?
And yes, I not only have a picnic basket and all matching accessories (of course they match) — I have two.
So, she got to pick!
Back to the lemonade. Here’s how Kathy made the lemon of stopping by the pet store to pick up creepy crickets into a refreshing beverage on a warm summer’s day.
She bought a bag for herself. Large ones. Because she wanted them to chirp in the background while she and her significant other were on their indoor picnic later that day. And the guy at the pet store promised they would — but only if she bought the biggest ones.
She was rearranging some flowers for me when she noted, “I don’t hear any chirping.”
I said, “Give it time. They’ve probably got some performance anxiety going on.”
That’s my friend Kathy.
Go ahead. Look it up. True Friend. And I bet there’s a picture of her, to boot.
Copyright 2011, Amy Rauch Neilson
Photo Credit: Theodore D. Neilson