I must have missed the memo about the burn along Day Lake Road, but when I saw Susie, I knew to ask her.
"Hi!" I called across her wide yard when I saw her electric cart turn into the driveway.
"Well hello, honey! How have you been?"
"Great! Mind if I walk over?"
"Come on! Any time!"
And with that, I set out. Her little blonde dog, a squashed sausage of Chihauhua, knows me so he didn't bark, but Johnny -- her small black foster whom she adopted -- doesn't, so there was a lot of circling and barking, all harmless.
I asked about the burned field beyond her property, and her reply was, "Oh they did that a while back. Didn't tell us a thing. Never do."
"They" means the University.
Maybe, we thought together, it's to renew the land, or to burn off invasive plants, or to prepare the field for the farm.
Finally, we chatted about her missing old blind horse, happily living now on a big farm about an hour from here, and her brother who might lose a foot, and her health, which has improved since last summer (her color is back), and her neighbor who is my cat sitter.
This is what I love most about frequenting places where the true locals live. Invariably, they have been friendly and welcoming.
"See you soon, honey!" called as I turned toward the car, and then "Johnny, stop that!"