I deal in hope : Carolyn R Scheidies

Blog Bio Home, mice, snakes and perspective

I loved cowboys and horses. So, when my minister got a church in Wyoming when I was in elementary, I was thrilled. I didn’t much care about the house. Mom did. Especially when she began hearing persistent scratching behind their closet wall. My mom freaked when a rodent emerged. Turned out to be one huge rat. Dad quickly dispatched the unwanted visitor and made certain that would not happen again. Except for that exception, mice stayed away from our house well-guarded by several cats that considered our place home.

When Keith and I married we first lived in an apartment house. One day I found evidence of an unwanted visitor in the kitchen. We bought traps and I put food in plastic containers. I was in the kitchen when our visitor dashed across the floor. I screamed for Keith who rushed in and stomped on the mouse–in his socks. Grossed me out. Mice became a problem.

I was relieved when we moved to another, larger apartment on the other end from the mouse-infested one. Then we moved to an older house that had any number of insects and rodents, Traps became a way of life. Mice made me cringe.

Thanks to a government program, my brother Paul was able to build a house geared toward my limitations. Nice, clean and accessible. Yet, in the fall, mice seemed to find a way into the house, probably from the attached garage. Again, traps were a way of life. At least only one or two got in each year. After our kids were in elementary, Chris got a dog and Cassie got a cat named Cutie. With Cutie in the house, mice had no chance and they disappeared from our lives.

Unfortunately, our mice problem turned into a snake problem. In fact, for many years I wrote at least one article each year about my adventures with snakes that found a way into the house. Eventually, the snakes also disappeared–at least inside the house. Last year we had some siding work done. About that time, we discovered a mouse in the house. This time we got traps that held poison. The traps took care of that mouse. So much for the mouse problem.

Recently, my sister called early in the morning as I walked into the kitchen from the bedroom. In the semidarkness, I noticed movement on the ground. At first I thought it was a cricket, Then I scared my sister when I started screaming for Keith. That movement was a mouse crawling along almost flat against the floor. Gross. Gross. Keith rushed in, took a look and slammed his cane down. I had to explain to my sister as Keith got rid of that dying mouse. I was thankful, we’d never picked up the poison traps we’d put down last year.

Thankfully, that seems to be the only mouse that managed to get inside. Over the years we have had either mice or snakes. As much as I dislike both these creatures, when I see what is going on in our world I realize how small my problem with mice or snakes really is. Those bigger problems put things in perspective. I guess I can deal with snakes and mice—especially if Keith is near.

© 2021 Carolyn R Scheidies

Published in my Kearney Hub column 10/25/2021
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