Posted by: kathryngraves | January 5, 2016

Our Mousey Christmas

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house not a creature was stirring, except for the mouse.

Wait, that’s not how the line goes! But that’s how it went in the house where we spent  Christmas week. Our son and his wife informed us upon our arrival that they would be sleeping in the downstairs bedroom instead of us, and that we’d be in their bed upstairs. (Before I continue, I must pause to define the phrase “downstairs bedroom”. It is actually the boiler room with leftover space occupied by a king-sized Tempurpedic bed. The house is a 1924 bungalow still heated by boiler-generated steam radiators.) The reason for the change in plans was the discovery of mouse droppings in the basement.

Somewhat sad to lose “our” bed, but not sad to be away from the mice, we slept upstairs. In the middle of the night we awoke to a shrill scream. A mouse-sighting had terrified Glen, our daughter-in-law. The next day, she and Bo, my husband, headed out to the hardware store where they purchased DeCon bombs, poison traps and standard-issue mouse traps. Our son, Jeremy, dispersed the DeCon into the crawl-space, and the other traps were set in strategic spots.

Glen read on the internet that mice don’t like cayenne pepper or peppermint, so she sprinkled a barrier of cayenne all around the bed and wall perimeters and she fluffed the sheets in the dryer with peppermint essential oil.

One peaceful night ensued.

The next day, a few mice met their demise in traps and a cleaning expedition began. Another trip to the store produced masks, gloves, Lysol spray and bleach. That night, we awoke to a growl and two successive thumps. Jeremy and Glen heard the squeaks of mice and when they turned on the light, a mouse sat staring at them in a stupor. Jeremy threw the first item he laid hands on, a ski boot, at the mouse after a stare-down. The war was on, but the kids gave up sleeping in the basement and moved to an air mattress on the living room floor–the better to protect the Christmas tree on Christmas morning from our six-year-old grandson!

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At last the mouse sightings ended, and after the droppings were all cleaned away and the bed moved and disinfected, no more traces appeared. But neither Jeremy nor Glen could stand the idea of sleeping in the downstairs “bedroom” again. They slept on the air mattress in the living room for a week!

A few mice managed to turn an otherwise normal Christmas into an adventure we all might rather have skipped. But rather than let it ruin our celebration, we adopted a playful attitude. It helped us deal with the situation, but make no mistake, Glen was on a mission to destroy and eradicate and there was no stopping her. She did, however, join the hilarity when she opened a present from “The Elves” and found a huge rat trap with a stuffed toy mouse caught in it.

Nothing says “Merry Christmas” like mouse murder.

But seriously, nothing says “Merry Christmas” like eradicating anything that might get in the way of living daily with Jesus at the center. Our lives are like houses because they can become cluttered and dirty and we can even allow critters to invade that have the potential to make us sick. We have to stay on guard and even do battle against our foes. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 tells us we are not in a battle against flesh and blood (or mice) but against spiritual forces.

So get rid of the “mice” and allow God to fill even the corners of your life, and under the bed, and in the crawl-space with His presence and power. You’ll never be the same again.

 

Photo by Kathryn Graves

 

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