Tuesday, December 3, 2013


As a teenager, my mother trusted me to decorate with her at the holidays.  In fact, as she sprayed fake snow on our Florida, picture windows- she invited me to take tempera paint to finish the scenes.  Some of the stories were painted on plywood boards.  The pictures were things such as: a Nativity, reindeer, Santa, Frosty, or whatever came to mind with a seasonal backdrop. One year, before leaving out of state to find snow, I painted a candle stick with a mouse sleeping in its Victorian holder.  Near the handle, I wrote the phrase, “Not even a mouse!”
We lived in the Sunshine State of Florida on what I thought was the edge of the Everglades. It was swampy behind us.  One time, a huge poodle ambled out of the sparse but piney forest into our yard.  Before he got in range, my eyes swore they saw a black bear.  Many times, we met up with black runners and other snakes.  Lizards were plentiful as well as field mice.  We, also, had domestic animals in our lives including bunnies and a dog.
While we were out of town hunting snow, which we found- our pets had a person coming in to feed and water them.  Upon arriving home, we entered our foyer to something scurrying past.  Turning on more lights, the confusion made the rodent race in circles long enough to be identified.
Jumping on a kitchen chair, I wailed, “Mouse!”
I’m guessing that he was stirring because it was New Year’s Eve, or we were gone too long so he needed to come out of hiding to eat.  Either way, my mother recommended I choose my window illustrations more carefully in the future, “I wouldn’t mind coming home to Santa but this mouse has got to go!”
Dad obliged. I’d like to tell you he did it nicely but mouse traps were involved!
The moral of my story is:  “Be careful how you depict or imagine your holidays or any days because you might find yourself up on a chair screaming for help!”

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