ANDERSON, Ind. — Her obsession began about 6 years ago when she pulled a cute, fuzzy frog with long arms and legs out of a crane game at Mounds Mall and wrapped it around herself in an un-froggily warm hug.

Now, the fuzzy little hopper sits among a knot of sixty or so croakers clinging tirelessly to the hood, doors, dash and rails of Dar Metz’s bright yellow SUV.

It’s funny, the Anderson woman says, that she would come to collect hundreds of stuffed plush frogs and strap, magnet or glue them all over what she happily calls her frog mobile. She’s not a huge fan of the slimy and slippery real-life versions.

“I mean, they’re all right, but I wouldn’t ever have a real one, not at all,” Metz said with her easy laugh.

You could call her a little froggy for collecting hundreds of little plush recreations of critters she’s not really all that fond of.

“My husband won’t even ride with me anymore,” she said. “I am kind of obsessive when I get into things. . The way I see it, if I’m not having fun, how can you be having fun?”

But for Metz, the amphibians are more than decorative driving companions; each and every grown-up polliwog is a little stuffed conversation starter.

“I’m not trying to be strange for the sake of being strange,” the sexagenarian noted.

Instead, Metz uses the frogs, and the countless conversations they inevitably spark, to broach a topic she’s worried people might not want to talk about otherwise.

“In this political environment where I’m not supposed to talk to people about my faith . instead when people come up to me or stop me when I’m in my car and say: ‘You must really love frogs.’ I say they are OK, but what I do love is God,” Metz said.

Then, she just points to a sign on the side of her frog-mobile that reads: “F.R.O.G. – Faithfully Rely on God.”

“It gives me a chance to witness without getting in your face,” she said. “There’s nothing I enjoy doing more than sharing my faith.”

Metz hasn’t always been the type of person to share her faith.

But about a decade ago, when she was going through some personal troubles, Metz started attending the Full Gospel Church in Chesterfield. Now, she’s goes to church services at two churches a week.

As for her frog-covered ride, it’s an easy and daily reminder about the meaning of life.

“I can’t take that car with me when I go, that’s not my legacy. I want my legacy to be that I was loving, that I was fun and nice, that I exemplified Christ,” she said.

Her first-ever frog still clings to the railing of her frog-mobile, along with the three-foot tall mascot that covers her hood. The seven plastic cartoonish frogs that represent her family are forever attached to her dash. Dozens of others of varying colors and sizes are scattered across the vehicle.

And they’ll remain stuck there until the day she dies, Metz said.

“Don’t go to my funeral, because you won’t leave without taking a few of these (frogs) home,” she said. “Like I said, I can’t take them with me.”


Source: The (Anderson) Herald Bulletin, http://bit.ly/2EqpCQu


Information from: The Herald Bulletin, http://www.theheraldbulletin.com

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CHRISTOPHER STEPHENS
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