Monday, September 20, 2010
We have caught a total of eight mice so far in our pantry/kitchen area. Yep, you read that right. Eight!! Six of those were dead ... two were just hurt, so we let them go by throwing them over the fence to run with the horses in the pastures. Yes, we realize that's probably something stupid to do, because those very mice are probably the ones who have recruited all of the other mice in the world to come live in the house with the nice people who feed them unlimited peanut butter and whatever else is available. But neither Wes nor I are particularly great at hunting. We don't want to actually do the killing ourselves. That's why we bought the ridiculous traps (which aren't dishwasher safe -- see past post, please -- and which don't work 100% of the time).
Anyway, on Sunday morning, we actually spotted Mouse #9. Wes had heard a noise in the pantry and went investigating by removing things off the shelf, and interrupting the mouse in the middle of its explorations. The mouse dropped off of the pantry shelf onto my husband's shoe (ewwww!). Wes said the poor little thing was scared to death and was trying to get away, but I'm still thinking it was an aggressive, killer mouse that was bent on revenge for his eight friends who had been murdered or maimed. Wes is an extremely brave man ... but he even jumped and drop kicked the nasty little thing across the room when it landed on his shoe. #9 (as the mouse is now known) did a graceful somersault in the air and then stuck a landing on our dog Gracie, who promptly yelped and ran away (Gracie is a female dog. Enough said.). Then the unspeakable happened. The mouse ran in to our living room! Yes, it learned that our house is bigger than just the pantry. Oh boy, new territory to explore! I'm convinced #9 was mapping out the rest of the house for all of its relatives who are even now on their way here.
I just happened to be in the living room at the time with my sweet little granddaughter. We were gathering up our things getting ready to go to church. I saw the mouse, shrieked, scooped her up, and we both flew on to the couch. I'm an incredible Nammy because I saved her life. That's just what we Nammys do. Of course, with all of my screaming, she chimed right in, having no idea what she was screaming about, but it was quite fun to be hysterical with Nammy for a bit. So, the two of us females were screaming on the couch (with our feet on the furniture -- a definite no-no, but in this instance when our lives were in danger, that rule was waived) while my son chased #9 around, trying to catch it with a plastic bag, and my husband chased it from the other direction (with his brave bare hands). Our son's fiance heard the ruckus from the back part of the house, came to see what was happening, saw the mouse heading in her direction, made a beeline for the opposite couch -- and performed an incredible dive without ever touching the floor. Quite impressive! She's going to make a lovely addition to our family, by the way. In the meantime, our three dogs were lying peacefully on the floor (Gracie had settled down by this time), enjoying the show. Sadly, to say, the little varmint escaped and we wound up heading out to church with sore throats from screaming, leaving our food and all of our belongings to the mercy of the deadly mouse.
Today is Monday. We haven't spotted #9 anymore, but we have seen his icky little calling cards (i.e. mouse poopies) in the pantry. He's laughing at us, mocking us for putting out peanut butter baited traps, throwing a huge mousie party for all of his gazillion relatives, spreading ooky cooties, and biding his time to do whatever little mice do. I literally tiptoe around my kitchen, scared to death that a mouse is going to run across the floor and attack my feet like it did Wes's. I cringe when I enter the pantry, and make as much noise as possible so that the mice will hide or abandon their quest for food. And, I'm thinking it's a good idea to eat out every single night so I don't have to fight with mice for our food. They win. We lose. It's as good as that.
As I sit here on the couch with my feet on the furniture (#9 is still on the loose, so the rule has been waived until he's apprehended), I can't help but wonder about all of the little mice in my life. No, they're not all furry. No, they don't all leave poopies. But they DO generally disrupt and cause me to fear or fret. It might be a relationship that I have no control over, a procedure at work that I can't figure out in a simple way, or a hospital bill that just continues to grow out of control. The Song of Solomon refers to it as a fox in the vineyard -- same idea as a mouse in a pantry, but not quite as pretty of a word picture. You get the idea though. It's something that I allow to steal the joy God has given me, something that causes me to fret or fear. Something that causes me to remove my focus from Christ and put all of my thinking on to my circumstances. God allows these types of things in to my life and the choice is mine as to how I'll respond -- with grace, with confidence that He's ultimately in control, with faith that He is Who He says He is ... or kicking and screaming and raising as much of a ruckus as I can. God's desire is that I'll learn to be joyful in all things, because let's face it -- we live in a fallen, fearful world. There are ALWAYS going to be things that are warring with me for a victory, for joy, for peace. God assures me that He's already won the victory -- I just need to live with that in mind. Whether those things come disguised as a cootie-spreading mouse or a disruption to my life, all are opportunities for me to experience God's grace, learn from His love, and bring glory to Him. We all need to continue our fight with the mice in the pantry, the foxes in the vineyards, and the thieves of our joy. Remember! Our side wins!! :o)