Sunday, November 25, 2018

Not even a mouse

Emma ran ahead of me. I yelled just before she put her foot down. There beneath her foot was a newly departed mouse. A large one at that. "Gross. That was just gross, Meme. That was really gross." Well, yes, it was gross, and for a woman who hates rodents, I did well in not grabbing the child and running for cover.

I am reminded that on the farm at this time of year mice sought refuge in our basement. My sisters had seen them in the upstairs where we slept, but I had not. Had I seen them, I would have moved in with Brenda. Mice. My sworn enemies.

We are caught in a dilemma at present. Several hummingbird feeders hang on our deck and our trio of tinies come and visit regularly, eating when they are not chasing one another. Our house is surrounded by trees, so feeding the other birds would be a delight. We believe in equality. However, with birdseed comes those critters with long, creepy tails. Thus continue to seek a way to draw birds, yet repel rodents.

There are so many rhymes about mice running up clocks, three that were blind, movies about rats that cook and mice who reside in Disneyland. Seems to me that there is a fascination (that I do not share) with these sneaky, wicked little creatures. I know, love the creatures great and small. Well, not this girl. I say where's the trap and the cheese?!

I was visiting my niece's preschool class when one of the little darlings came over with the class rat. Now I find it hard to put class and rat in the same sentence; however, being a grandma, I knew the rule that you suck it up and do not scare the children. I smiled. Would I like to pet it? Well, not really. Would I like to hold it!!!! Well, there is a point where a grandma must just stand up and say, "Oh, honey, I think someone is calling me." Yes, lying is permissible when it comes to protecting children, er, grandmas.

Truly I must admit that I do occasionally scream when I see a mouse. Can't help it. The shout just pours out like a siren going to a fire. My toes curl, my body tenses, and I am absolutely sure that the little mouse will run up my leg and bite my face off. I blame it on my sister Peg. I remember when I was little and she often stood up on a chair screaming. I used to think she was practicing singing then once I saw a mouse. So, I, too, took on her persona as to the meeting of a little nasty piece of work. However, I do believe that if a mouse can climb up on shelves and up stairs, it surely can climb up on the chair with the screaming girl.

I bet you thought this was going to be a Christmas story. Sorry. I'm still struggling with the mouse Emma about stepped on.  Gross.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Let grateful days be endless

Forever on Thanksgiving Day. The heart will find the pathway home. - Wilbur D. Nesbit

How many times did we sit around the table, focusing on food instead of understanding the preciousness of those moments? No longer can I sit with my parents, my aunts and uncles, my grandparents. Little is the family that remains, yet I am not saddened. I am blessed to have had those times, those people. Each Thanksgiving those faces once more come into view. The dialogue we shared. The laughter and memories that made my family so wonderful. The love that I always knew was there. Even as a child, I was thankful. Now as an older adult, I am truly blessed.

This Thanksgiving I hope you look into the eyes of those surrounding you and understand the gifts of giving. Tuck those moments in your heart for you will take them out and look at them time and time again. Even in the darkest of times, in those of loss and sorrow, the heart that laughed and loved will find warm memories to ease the pain.

Many are not as fortunate as most of us. Perhaps we are their thanksgiving by what we can do to make their lives easier. Perhaps that smile you share with a stranger or the hand given to someone in need will be the giving and the thanks. For in giving we truly receive and are thankful to be tools of hope and joy.

My column is small this week because I want to add this Thanksgiving Song. I am thankful for each of you. Please reach out this week and give others something for which they can be truly thankful. Thanksgiving Song by Mary Chapin Carpenter:

Grateful for each hand we hold gathered round this table. From far and near we travel home, blessed that we are able. Grateful for this sheltered place with light in every window, saying "Welcome, welcome, share this feast. Come in away from sorrow." Father, mother, daughter, son, neighbor, friend and friendless; all together everyone in the gift of loving kindness. Grateful for what's understood, and all that is forgiven; we try hard to be good to lead a life worth living. Father, mother, daughter, son, neighbor, friend and friendless; all together everyone let grateful days be endless. Grateful for each hand we hold gathered round this table.

Many blessings, my friends. Happy Thanksgiving.