Okay, I know this is a little gross to look at, but this story doesn’t mean near as much without the picture! I was organizing my email inbox and came across a memory I have to share!

One night in January when it was very, very cold, Olivia and I decided to thoroughly clean her bedroom….

Now, we are a clean family in most every respect. However, we live at the base of a very large tree-covered hill and often times in the winter we discover that a mouse has made its way into our home to keep warm. We must have a tiny little sign hanging somewhere near a tiny little hole that simply reads, “Vacancy.”

Unfortunately, when a mouse decides to get a room at the Nischan’s Do Drop Inn, he doesn’t call first and make reservations. He doesn’t even knock on the door and enter with a little suitcase. So, it never fails. I begin a task that normally should be quite mundane and the next thing I know I am experiencing emotions that should be saved for an amusement park’s most extreme roller coaster. Here’s this year’s story and as one of the little girls in my mom’s Sunday school would say after one of her big stories, “and this really happened!”

Olivia was busy organizing her dresser drawers. I moved into Olivia’s little corner area where she keeps her school and craft supplies. As I sat on the floor in the not-so-well-lit corner, I began sorting out notebooks, scissors, beads, pipe cleaners, and THEN IT HAPPENED! I reached for the little brown pom pom! Oh yes, that’s exactly what I thought it was! But as I squeezed it to pick it up and toss it in the craft box, IT BEGAN RUNNING AWAY! The fuzzy little “pom pom” had a tail, eyes, and legs!

Have you ever wondered what you would do if you actually picked up a live mouse? Well, to be honest, I had never asked myself that question before. But on that cozy winter evening, I sure found out!

I screamed at the top of my lungs and ran as fast as I could out of Olivia’s room and into Todd’s room where he was not only playing a video game but also entertaining a friend! Yes, the secret was out to more than just my family……I had a mouse in my house!

I jumped in a chair still screaming and realized my hand was throbbing. I had whacked it on Olivia’s bed so hard that it had already developed a large knot! Then I realized that I had left Olivia in the room! I hollered, “Olivia, get out of there.” In reply, I heard a little, scared voice say, “I can’t” Olivia was standing precariously on the edge of her footboard. I managed to get her out of the room and then ran down the stairs to call someone….anyone…I don’t know why….I just couldn’t contain myself. My husband was conveniently sitting at the church around a conference table at an elder’s meeting, so he was unreachable! So I called my oldest son at college across the street and said, “I have been violated by a mouse!” He laughed but didn’t seem interested in leaving the dorm to become a mouse exterminator. I washed my hands over and over again trying to let go of the feeling of a furry thing moving in my grasp! I can still feel it tonight if I think about it long enough!

My second oldest son was home from Morehead State, but he just mumbled, “This house is crazy,” and managed to stay clear of the festivities.

Todd and Caleb somehow were able to actually catch our uninvited visitor in the lid of a hair spray can! This was both good and bad. Good because the mouse was now out of Olivia’s room. Bad because now two teenage boys had a live mouse in a white, plastic lid; and they had me: an easy target for a night of terror! I threatened them within an inch of their lives to not come near me and to please take the mouse to the soccer field across the street. After about 15 minutes of taunting me through the glass front door, they finally released the mouse into freedom. Olivia watched all of this commotion and then actually became upset with me, because she was sure I had injured the mouse when I squeezed it! She wanted to keep it as a pet! I don’t think so!

Nick came into the picture after an hour or so had passed. He had been in his room playing a different game and made the comment that he thought I was just being silly when he saw me run from Olivia’s room to Todd’s. As I think back on his perspective, I have to wonder if I am normally so emotionally unstable that Nick would not be worried about me screaming at the top of my lungs and running from one bedroom to another. Hmmmm…maybe Evan’s right…..our house may be crazier than I thought!

One of my dear friends, Roxy, thought it would be great to make me laugh! Later on that same evening she sent me an email in which she said that on their way to Dairy Queen they had spotted our poor injured mouse on the side of the road! She attached the picture above! I cracked up!

By the time Tim got home from his meeting, the house was back under control and appeared as if our evening had been quiet and peaceful!

Looking back on that night, I am reminded of so many things!

First, I don’t like mice!

Second, I am thankful for my children and all of their different personalities and senses of humor!

Third, I can survive a crisis even while Tim is away!

Fourth, I have funny friends!

Fifth, I am checking every nook and cranny of our house this fall for tiny signs that say, “Vacancy” and I’m replacing them with “No Vacancy” signs!!