My mother doesn't know about this blog, and if you know my mother, I would greatly appreciate you not telling her. Heather Armstrong from Dooce says that the one person whom you are sure will never read your blog will someday read your blog, and until that day arrives I am counting on my mother's lack of internet savvy to keep her far from this small corner of my world. But I had to post this email message that I received from her overnight. I think it'll shed some light on how I got this way.
Remember? I was writing you an e-mail yesterday when I caught sight, out of
the corner of my eye, of a chipmunk marching boldly down the hall, like lord of
But, of course, since no one else was here to hear me, I then had to deal
with it. I brought in and set the chipmunk trap, to no avail. Later in the day,
I had occasion to visit the furnace room WHERE I discovered a dead mouse in a
trap and a dead chipmunk next to a sprung trap.
I considered calling Tom at the Red Cross Michigan Training Institute in
Grand Rapids, where he is spending the week, and demanding that he return
instantly to deal with the crisis. I then sucked it up, donned plastic
gloves and scooped the dead bodies into a plastic bag and heaved them into the
garbage can. I then investigated the mess of shreds of insulation and seeds and
nut shells in the area where the bodies were found and investigated the sleezy,
semi-falling down status of the insulation and concluded that something was
rotten in the foundations of our house. Yup.
I went outside and looked beyond my beloved flowers and plants and
discovered that the boards along the ground and the boards soaring to the top of
the chimney were - lower down - thoroughly rotten, disintegrating, mushy,
full of holes and open spaces and, interestingly, littered with shreds of
insulation. Higher up, full of LARGE holes pecked by woodpeckers but big enough
to allow entry of an alarming variety of wild creatures. Even flying pigs,
I was dumbfounded. My fortress. My impregnable castle. My refuge from
the raging outside world, was rotting away, crumbling, leaving me vulnerable to
invasion from insideous outside forces and ranks of evil, coniving chipmunks. I
had a vision of the legions of chipmunks Tom has transported to the Kal-Haven
Trail gathering, perhaps at the Trailside Cafe in Gobles, and plotting this
assault on our home, the nirvana from which they had been so cruelly
The story is not over. Our beloved handyman, Elliot, came today, looked at
the damage, and started tearing away the rotted wood. New and sturdy boards are on the way tomorrow. Holes will be closed. The potential cost I will worry about tomorrow. Tom remains safe in Grand Rapids, far from the tumult. But I had a quick glimpse today of a chipmunk scurrying across the sunroom. And about an hour later, a fireplace tool in the living mysteriously tipped over.
I have this uneasy sense that I am not alone. At any moment, tiny scurrying
feet and striped bodies may come dashing out from who knows where to do who
knows what. Who has time to read a newspaper, when faced with an insurrection of this sort?
It is late and I am overwrought.
While keeping the fears of a chipmunk invasion in the back of my head, I
had Lonnie, Don, Kathy and Monica for dinner tonight and it was very, very
pleasant. I am looking forward so much to you all being here and wish you
could have been here tonight - not just to fend off the hoards of invading
What's new with you?