Company that Won’t Leave.

When we moved into our house in 1973, it was in ill repair, but we didn’t worry. We were newlyweds and we thought our love could surmount any problem presented to us.  Young love is so naive, isn’t it?

The first problem came along within a few days of our arrival and remained on and off for many years. Even now, nearly forty years later it occasionally returns. The problem has four tiny feet, a long tail, two beady eyes and a penchant for making me scream. Yes, it is a mouse and every time one scurries across the floor or pops its head out from behind a cupboard, I am ready to divorce the love of my life for bringing me here.

Certainly, I’ve heard all the trite axioms: it’s just one little mouse; or it can’t hurt you; or (the one most bandied about) it’s more afraid of you than you are of it.

First of all, it is not just one little mouse. That’s as ridiculous as saying it’s just one little ant.  There is never just one little ant. There are a million little ants, uncles and other various relatives waiting on the sidelines. And there is never just one little mouse. They come in hordes, which incidently is the technical term for a group of mice. They can also be called a mischief of mice. I prefer a tyrant of mice, myself. So don’t tell me it’s just a little mouse, because you are wrong.

It can’t hurt you, you say. Oh, really? Have you ever climbed up on a chair only to have it slip out from under you and you crack your head on hardwood floor? Well, me neither. But it could happen. And I’m pretty certain it would hurt!

Now for the most preposterous statement of all: it’s more afraid of you than you are of it. Give me a break. Has any one actually found a way to test a mouse’s fear? Did they have it sit in a chair viewing pictures of cats and humans? I am positive no one has ever strapped me to a chair, stuck electrodes into my brain and dangled a mouse in front of me to record my fear level.  I know I would remember that. Therefore there is insufficient data to conclude who is more afraid. But I remember quite clearly the evening I sat innocently watching TV when, quick as a mouse, a mouse ran along the crease of the couch directly at me. When I screamed, it stood on its hind feet, looking like a little furry ninja, and jumped at me. I left screaming. Don’t tell me who was more afraid.

Actually, I’ve always been afraid of mice. One of my earliest recollections of a mouse encounter was when I was around five. My brothers and I were playing in a snow-covered field. My one brother fell and was laughing gleefully. Seconds later he was jumping around and hollering like a banshee. A mouse had ran up his pantleg. EEK! If my brave brother was afraid of a mouse, then surely I should be hysterical.

A second incident cemented my fear of mice. I was about fourteen. It was one of those years when mice were at the peak of their seven year breeding cycle. There were hordes of them. Tyrants of them. When I walked to school, I could hear them rustling in the hedges. I realize now they were organizing a ninja gang attack. Fortunately, I foiled their plan by walking down the middle of the street, preferring to take my chances with vehicles. Once I got to school, there was a different problem: a group of disgusting boys waiting near the school doors with mice.

If necessity is the mother of invention, then fear is the daddy of ingenuity. I quickly developed a strategy. I joined a group of popular girls as they walked by, knowing the boys would rather drop a mouse down their shirt than mine. It worked.

As I sit and write this blog, I can hear mice in the walls. They can’t get into the house, but they have set up a race track along the studs. Yes, I know studs are vertical, but in our quaint home the studs have been restrapped horizontally for some reason. Regardless, the mice hold drag races in the evenings and well into the night. Apparently there is a lunch counter by the amount of chewing that’s going on. It is very annoying!

So now you understand why I hate mice. But mice are only one of the many challenges our old house has presented us.  I remember once there was a different noise in the wall. It was extremely quiet, but I could hear it …

I think I’ll tell you about it next time.


Wecome to Our House

My husband and I live in a house built by his ancestors in central Alberta. The year was 1908. I know some of you are thinking how wonderful it would be to live in a home filled with history and charm. I say you should go buy an old house before you make that assumption. You might change your mind.

Honestly, living in an old house has many challenges. We’ve had roof leaks, invading mammals, insects and birds. We had falling ceilings  …  I could go on and on about all the misadventures that have happened due to our house being so old.  Actually, maybe I’ll blog about it for a while.

Hopefully you’ll get a laugh or two. At the time these incidents happened, they didn’t seem funy, but I can laugh now.