There was a war going on at the senior complex.
I visited the place to see how my Granny was doing, but she'd left a note on her door that said:
AT REC ROOM - COME SEE ME
That got me worried right there. Granny wasn't your ordinary person. I could think of a million reasons why she'd be evicted, and not one that would make her cheerfully go that close to the office. She had sort of a love/hate relationship with where she lived. As long as things went her way, she was happy. If they didn't, well, she was a force to be reckoned with.
I walked along the cement path between greenery and sent up a little prayer.
"No eviction, please," was all I asked.
I hated the sign beside the office because it said "Welcome Home," and it just didn't have a homey feeling anywhere. Except inside my Granny's apartment and garden. I walked through a mysteriously empty office to the rec room, where I heard shouting.
My Granny was in the front row of folding chairs, holding a sign that said DROUGHT! TURN OFF THE SPRINKLERS!
She saw me the moment I saw her, and waved to the empty chair beside her.
She gave me a sign like hers and said, "Listen to those fools! I never!"
"I been waitin' for ya," she added. "Feel okay, Sonny?"
"I'm fine, but what's going on here?"
The folding chairs were set up to face each other, with a podium in between.
Just then, half the seniors yelled "Keep our lawns green!" while the other half yelled, "Turn off the sprinklers!"
An elderly man stood at the podium and signaled for silence. He got it, too.
He leaned on the podium and pointed, it seemed, directly at Granny and me.
"There is no such thing as climate change," he said. "We have a drought every other year about this time and we never had to turn off sprinklers then. In fact, the sprinklers save us from worrying about grass fires. Would you live here with dead grass in your front yard? I wouldn't. I'm sure the management feels the same way."
Granny started to get up. I put my hand on her elbow to hold her back, but it seemed to push her on.
There she was, at the podium.
She smiled at the old man and sweetly said, "It's my turn now, ain't it? Y'know it is."
Apparently he did, because he suddenly said "Oof!" and limped to a chair on the other side of the room.
"Hullo, friends an' neighbors," Granny said. "I ain't exactly a rocket scientist, but I see the weather an' believe in global warmin'. I live here like rest of ya do. Y'all know me. That whippersnapper there is my grandson, Sonny. He's the reason it's important we do this right. I see we're about equal on each side of this room. But to say there's no drought that'll hurt us is plain foolish! We all know the sprinklers go on automatic-like every night, twice a night, rain or shine."
Someone yelled "Boooo!" on the other side of the room, so I decided to join Granny at the podium.
"Humph," Granny said. "Boo me all you want, I ain't gonna shut up yet! The management"... and she somehow curtsied ..."just turned off that fountain that was runnin' all the time. How about if the management also told the landscapers to stop all that foolish waste of water every night? If there ain't no middle to this, turn off the sprinklers all the time. We gotta' think of our children an' their children. They don't care what color the grass is, so long as we leave 'em enough water to splash in."
The old man I first heard speaking said, "It's my turn again now."
Granny said, "Oh, Harold. Sit down an' have a cookie." Almost everyone laughed at that, except Harold.
I thought he might be a casualty, but he recovered.
"I've lived here a long time now," Granny said. "An' the drought is worse. This time the drought's lasted TEN YEARS! That's too long! Our mountains get hardly any snow an' we get hardly any rain, not the way we used to get. An' part of it's 'cause they use sprinklers when they don't need to! Turn off the sprinklers!" A few of people echoed her.
Granny whispered to me, "Think that'll hold 'em?"
"Yeah, I do. If it doesn't, I know you'll be back on it until it will."
Granny's side of the room erupted in applause when she went back to her seat. It was a sweet sound. Three women already came from the opposing side to ask Granny questions about the sprinklers. As long as the office didn't evict her, Granny was a rock star. Well, they'd have to give her three warnings first and I thought we could make it through those. Humph. With Granny, I thought we'd make it through many more than three.