It all started with a Mouse. – Walt Disney
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Central Pennsylvania’s Lorie Sheffer returns for her regular Sunday Guest Blog Post. Are we lucky or what? Take it away Lorie:
The Things We Do For Love. 10cc sang that one back in 1977. We’ve all done some pretty crazy things in the name of love.
I have cared for a few loved ones suffering from a serious illness, doing the really gross, not-so-pleasant tasks that entails. I’ve raised two kids and have been the primary caregiver for my grandson when his parents have to work. I’ve done my share of things for love. I’m not squeamish.
There is one thing, however, that turns me into a screaming, hyperventilating girly girl. Rodents. I cannot even walk past them in the pet store. Which, by the way, is one of life’s biggest oxymorons; pet mouse. So wouldn’t you know…
One Saturday afternoon, I was digging through the pantry when I saw them: mouse droppings. I ran screaming from my kitchen and into Gary’s arms. I was so hysterical that he couldn’t understand what I was saying, save for “kill it, kill it, KILL IT!” Strong words for a vegetarian who carries insects from the house in a paper cup and releases them back into the wild.
I was horrified to think that one of those disease-ridden little harbingers of death was attempting to reside in my house! I proceeded to throw away anything the mouse could have looked at. Sure you can sterilize glass jars and cans and whatnot, but that mouse had touched them. EUW! I blasted through at least a gallon of bleach in an attempt to disinfect my shelves. I also had Gary set a trap. And then I waited.
The next day, the trap was gone. The mouse had been caught but not killed. In what was surely an attempt to win the war, it had dragged the trap between the cupboard and the wall, where it died. I called in a professional exterminator, who thought that A: it was hysterical that I had called him in for one mouse, and B: the mouse would “dry up in a few days.”
The next few days were a nightmare. The smell in the house was something out of a Stephen King novel. I couldn’t take it. I was ready to get a circular saw and buzz my way through the kitchen cabinet. I would have agreed to put the house up for sale and live in a hotel rather than stay in my house. Gary came home to find me sitting on the bench in front of the house, sobbing, refusing to set foot inside. I asked him to please go pack some things for me, as I was going to go live with my parents.
Then something wonderful happened. He steeled his spine, puffed out his chest, and took long, deliberate strides toward the house. He came back out dressed for battle. He had on a long sleeved shirt, rubber gloves rubber-banded at the wrists, a mask and goggles. He was carrying a small mirror duct-taped to an old broom handle and a black trash bag. He was headed for the Shop Vac. “I’m going to get that mouse out of there for you.”
The theme song from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly began playing in my mind. About a half hour later, he emerged from the hot zone, gagging, bag in hand. He plopped it into the dumpster, then looked at me and said, “Got it. I’ll open some windows, spray some Oust and take a shower. Then I’ll come back out for you.”
I can honestly say he has never looked hotter in all the years I have known him. George Clooney would play Gary in the movie version. My heart pounded and I felt like I did the first time I laid eyes on him over twenty years before. My GOD, man! “You may want to hurry up with that shower!” I said to him in a throaty voice.
Let’s just not tell him that you can buy mice at the pet store! He may try to stock my pantry with a few of them.