When friends learn Sherry and I spend both time and dollars tending to a frog, they snicker behind our backs. But maybe life’s little, unexpected pleasures are worth this kind of investment.

A little frog hopped into our lives about six months ago. I believe he is taking advantage of our hospitality. He entered our spare garage and found his way on top of the cabinet where we accumulate tools, bolts, soiled towels and other “handy” dross we never use but cannot throw away for some inexplicable reason.

Once we determined he was a long-term tenant, Sherry named him Apples. I like to think he goes to work somewhere on the garage floor during odd hours of the day, and then returns to reside atop his cabinet. After a few months, we discovered he had a few favorite spots, like behind the plastic box of unidentified nails, washers and wing nuts or snuggled into the crease of a faded green rag.

We extended our hospitality by filling up a little tray with dirty pond water for him. Apples climbed in immediately and stared back at us in appreciation. Next came a box of loose black soil. Apples jumped into that as well.

When it started getting colder in the evenings, we bought Apples a warm rock that plugged into an outlet. He sat next to it, but we thought the temperature was still a little chilly, so we purchased a space heater to put on the floor just below his cabinet. Next, we moved over one of our many dying houseplants so that its leaves hung over the cabinet top. Apples now has great warmth and great cover. He spends less time working on the floor and more time in his cozy residence.

Each morning before work, we check on Apples to see if he is at home. When he is, we smile, and when he’s not, we’re concerned. Each evening after work, we look in on him. He’s always in his pond, on his field of black dirt or hiding back among the screwdrivers and nails. We even created an Apples song in his honor. We’re pretty sure he likes it.

All this may seem insignificant and a waste of time and money. But Apples brings us joy, and joy is a commodity that makes each day a little richer.

Update, July 20, 2016:

Years have passed since our last Apples spotting. Yet, each Spring when I get around to cleaning our old garage, I keep a little area on top of the cabinet cluttered with a faded green rag and a clump of dirt. Visitors think I’m just messy. Maybe I am. Apples knows better.