Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Thanksgiving Damage Report 2008

So, I was sitting here Tuesday morning enjoying a cheese omelet and the Newsweek magazine, listening to some music and looking forward to a real quiet day. Beaven had gone to Dallas for his weekly lunch with his old friends from work. I heard the cat door swing open and in walks Murphy with a mouse. He looked around for a good place and dropped the mouse on the floor in the middle of the room and started playing with it.

We didn’t anticipate this risk when we put in a cat door. We’ve had mice in the house before but today was the first time I nailed Murphy with the evidence in his mouth. And contrary to popular myth he wasn’t bringing it to me as a present. I could tell philanthropy was the last thing on his mind. He just wanted a nice warm spot to enjoy his toy. Thank God it was just a small field mouse, not a big old rat. This made the situation totally different to me for some reason. And this mouse was quiet unlike the one two days ago that squeaked until it’s dying breath. I just hate it when they do that because then I feel obligated to save them from the cat and I just really don’t want to get involved.

I got a broom to shoo it out of corners once it escaped as I knew it would. I knew if it made it to the area behind the TV there is such a jungle of wires we’d never find it. The idea of dead mice littering my house was not a peaceful thought and I was trying to keep my morning peaceful.

I tried to close doors so I could limit the part of the house the mouse could hide. Murphy kept pretty close tabs on it and when he chased it into the guest room I shut the door with both of them inside. I’m not sure what my next move should be but I certainly don’t intend to crawl around my house looking for it or picking it up to take outside. I may be a sturdy chick but even I have my limits. Maybe Beaven will find the carcass under a bed and get it out of the house. In the meantime, I went back to my omelet and found our sneakiest dog, Friday, guarding the now empty plate with a well-rehearsed angelic look on his face.

I really deserve a better Tuesday morning. The entire family- all seven of us--gathered at our house for a very long weekend. That’s three days and three nights. On the positive side, we didn’t kill anyone and nobody got hurt. That’s got to be one for the “win” column. There have been some iffy times in the past what with the sugar highs and all.

I guess Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. There are no presents to buy and all that food to eat. Who could not love Thanksgiving? The weather is usually pretty good. A parade to watch on TV. And ever since we moved out here permanently we’ve got that whole “Over the river and through the woods” thing going for us.

If we have any Thanksgiving traditions besides food it would be cutting down trees. One year it was trees around the pond that an over-achieving beaver killed. Another year, Beaven and Steve cut a huge tree down that immediately fell on our roof. The tree had interfered with our satellite reception. Beaven wanted a “clear view of the southern sky” and we got it. But there were a few a heart-stopping seconds when I thought the view might be through my laundry room ceiling.

Thankfully, the tree didn’t score a direct hit. At the last instant it veered off to the side and only bent the edge of our metal roof. We ended up spending most of Thanksgiving cutting up the tree and hauling it off. When we were cutting it up we realized it had veered off course because there was a huge vine growing up its side that served as an anchor to pull it off course. Steve declared this “De Vine Intervention” and we all went inside to eat some more pie.

So this year when the guys got out the chain saws, oiling them and filling them with gas, I went and got my camera. I always do this so I can have a recent photograph of Beaven for his obituary.

I hate to disappoint, but they cut only the one tree down. It fell right where it was supposed to. We cut it up and had a great fire. End of story. Maybe next year.

But you might be interested to hear the story of Nancy2, my friend who asked me to research any volunteer work she and her family could do on the Texas Gulf coast over the Thanksgiving holiday. This was a challenging assignment. Nancy’s family are observant Jews and not only do they eat only kosher but I’ll bet her husband didn’t want to drive on Saturday. I sent her a couple of websites to contact but all my sources are Christian-based. And I never noticed the fine print like “How do you plan to make this trip a ministry in the name of Jesus Christ?” Questions like that blow right past me but you can bet it made Nancy uneasy. I remember the first time she saw my church sanctuary she told me she was glad we didn’t have “a bloody Jesus” hanging up on the wall. I explained that Presbyterians don’t do that; it’s a Catholic thing. But it reminded me how uncomfortable they are about the whole Jesus thing, especially when some Christians hang up statues of a dead guy on a cross in their sanctuary. About the only decorations the Jews have at the front of their worship area is a scroll of the Torah behind a tastefully appointed cabinet.

Nancy and her family eventually found a non-denominational group to work through and ended up serving meals all day at a homeless shelter in Houston. She emailed me a nice thank you card and I can’t wait to hear more.

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