Sunday, January 4, 2009

Of Mice and Ice

A family of mice came into my life. They were created by Jo Ann Kintz who with her husband spends much of their summers at Petticoat Junction Campground in Cedar Run. They are made from dried tops of thistle plants she found along the old Railroad now a Bike Path.

Sometimes it is simple things like this that remind me of the way in which people create their own joy with very little. The materials for the most part other than the pins for eyes and some glue were supplied free by Mother Nature. The children of Leetonia certainly had toys so similar to spark their imagination.

As you look at them you wonder what kind of journeys these thistle top mice are having. Are the father and mother mice happy? What does the baby mouse do for fun? Is there danger out their lurking around every corner? Yes, I see them as a child would see them playing in the dirt and tall weeds; the baby mouse trying to get a drink from the stream and perhaps falling in and being swept away in a great adventure saved in some miraculous way. Jo Ann told me to put them in my Christmas tree as decorations, but they seem too alive to rest merely on a branch. Instead they spawn stories to tell children and give me time to put life into perspective.

Perspective is needed in the winter when everything seems to take more effort. I turned the faucet on today and it slowed to a stop indicating frozen pipes.To fix this requires a trip to the cellar with the hair dryer and extension cord to thaw out a line. Our cellar is my least favorite place because to get to it you must take things out of the closet and open a trap door and climb into the belly of the house. There are always dead mice and in the summer, live snakes, to greet you. It is dark and damp and today frozen. After several minutes blowing warm air around the pipe the problem the ice broke up and the reason for it soon discovered. I noticed that one of the heat tapes did not get plugged in that go to the well. With our line a mere two foot below ground it doesn’t take long to freeze the water line. .

I forgot to mention the faucet I turned on was the shower faucet and of course I didn’t turn it on until I was ready for a shower, which meant getting dressed to fix the problem. Now you see why Thistle Mice bring my thoughts back into perspective. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.

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