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Thank God the cows are fenced in.

Getting out of the car tonight felt like I was stepping into a pre-heated oven. It’s so hot here! We had a big family garage sale at my son and daughter-in-law’s house today. It started early. We had advertised the sale to start at eight A.M. but shoppers were outside waiting when my son opened the garage door at 6:30 in the morning.

Although we had fans blowing in the garage the heat was unbearable. My face stayed red all day and I had to change my clothes later because (I hesitate to mention it being a lady) I was dripping with sweat. My daughter-in-law looked as cool as a cucumber although she is in the early months of her second pregnancy. (Yay!)

I mentioned to her that she was so cool compared to me and she replied, that it takes a lot to make her sweat. I told her that she apparently had something in common with Barack Obama. According to this report he doesn’t sweat. My daughter-in-law grimaced and said, “Yuck.” She was not amused.

Later my sister and I went out to her house in the country to feed her pets. On the way out to Sugar Loaf, Lucy warned me to watch out for deer. Not five minutes later as I drove down the country road a deer appeared in the brush beside it. I slowed down and watched as the deer turned away from the road and went back into the woods.

Out in the country it had been raining but it hadn’t rained in town. Stars were shining but there was lightning around the perimeter of the sky. I drove slowly for the rest of the trip. The closer we got to my sister’s house in the country the more spooked I became. I knew it would be dark. In the country there are no street lights. My sister owns ten acres of wooded land and it is difficult to see the stars unless one is in the clearing where the house sits.

My sister has cats and a few dogs. The leader dog, a beautiful brown lab is appropriately named Arrow. When she unlocked her door the pets ran into the house. She fed them and gave them water. Arrow ran into her bathroom for some quiet time. Outside under the back steps she had a big pot of water for the dogs and cats. Lucy refilled it and put the dogs’ dry food on her front porch. Because the dogs will eat the cats’ food if it is left on the porch, Lucy has come up with an ingenious way to feed the cats.

She has an old Cutless Ciera that has belonged at one point to all of the kids in our family parked on her land. I was driving the Cutless in New York State near West Point one night in October, 1997 when a deer ran out in front of me and I hit it. We were uninjured but the Cutless stayed in New York to be repaired while my daughter and I flew home.

After the Cutless was repaired it safely carried two more of my children and two children of my sister safely throughout the country. The Cutless is now in retirement. Up on the roof of the car, under a sturdy square-like umbrella which is snugly connected to the car, is a large bowl of dry cat food. Even if it rains the food remains dry, the dogs can’t get to it, so the cats don’t go hungry.

We left Sugar Loaf and started back down the country road towards home. It was really dark outside although stars were out. On the way we saw two more deer and I slowed down in order to avoid a collision. The deer stayed out of the road. I am always cautious with deer because of my experience in New York state in 1997.

During the drive home my sister and I were having a conversation about things sisters talk about and somehow managed to spook ourselves even more. (we did that a lot when we were kids) As we were about five minutes from home from out of nowhere appeared an armadillo in the middle of the road. I never swerve to avoid animals, it’s too dangerous but I slowed down and centered the car so the wheels wouldn’t run over the armadillo.

It was still a tragic night for the little creature.

I was feeling very sorry when my sister said, “Why did the chicken cross the road? To prove to armadillos that it can be done.”

As we came around the curve a black and white cat bounded across the road right in front of the car. It made it safely across and I drove very slowly the rest of the way home. We expected something else around every corner but three deer, one armadillo and a cat were our ration of the unexpected tonight.