We grew up with hamsters. They were only a little bit uglier than chipmunks at camp, but they were sure more cuddly than the field mice who have invaded my current space in suburbia. I know. I’ve only seen that one so far, but like flies, you kill one and a thousand come to the funeral.
Don’t tell me they were here first. I know. My house was built on the edge of a dairy farm. I met them before we moved in, thinking I’d lay out my white satin fabric on the brand new builder’s carpet. When the view was similar to something with Bibbity Bobbity Boo in the foreground, they ran me off. Ultimately, the wedding gown ended up in an upstairs closet, above the only clean carpet left in the house after 32 years.
The secret to keeping mice to a minimum in a neighborhood where corn grows a hundred feet from your front door is to thank your neighbors on both sides for their cat. I get to skip those gifts of dead birds also. Pity the lady next door who finds a dead mouse still attached to the trap, because I am one of those women who think any living thing within my four walls is unwelcome, ugly, and creepy. No spiders. No bees. No stinkbugs. No bats. No woodpeckers. And especially NO RODENTS. Even houseplants don’t survive here.
I’ve seen those Hoarders shows where Matt Paxton can’t get the scientist to understand that her possessions are contaminated because of the mice. I’ve seen Cory Chalmers provide a nebulizer treatment to an asthmatic hoarder because of the mice. I’ve seen a hoarder cry when he had to get rid of his pet mice because they were eating his walls. And now I see me, holding the best excuse for a complete clean-out of the house, wanting to see every piece of evidence that each of my treasures is truly ruined.
I forgive myself for the glitch in my brain, but I don’t think I’ll ever forgive myself for giving up before my children get the job by default. Flylady tells a story about a woman who left behind only what could fit in the trunk of a car, but she had the biggest funeral in town.
I hoard the names of my teachers, as you can see. Add Dorothy the Organizer to the list. And Zach Giffin too.