When X, Favorite Young Man, The Hurricane, and I moved from Washington state to Maryland, we lived in Laurel for three years. Laurel would have been small townish if it hadn't been halfway between Baltimore and D.C., and, thus, had very heavy traffic. Laurel itself also grew because more people were moving farther away from the cities.
We moved into a beautiful and very expensive (the real estate market was almost at its height) townhouse in Laurel. It was part of a new development that had a large wooded area behind its first street, the street on which we lived.
When we'd been there less than a year, I began to suspect that mice visited us. I saw a few of what might have been droppings, but I never saw a mouse or any other evidence of a mouse.
Then one evening when X was out of town, Favorite Young Man, who was about eight years old, left the family room on the first floor for the kitchen on the second floor. Within minutes I heard him squeal as if he'd been attacked. I ran upstairs to see what was wrong.
A mouse! he said. A mouse ran out from the right side of the kitchen and went all the way to the left and underneath the washing machine!
He didn't look like this:
He looked more like this:
What to do?
I picked up the phone to call my dad in Topeka, Kansas. He told me how to set a mouse trap.
I don't think I can do that, I quavered. Why don't you get on a plane and take care of it?
I really wanted Daddy to get on a plane, fly to Maryland, and get rid of the mouse—even though I knew he couldn't.
Daddy told me that he knew I could set the mouse trap. He was sure I could. He was positive.
He always had more faith in me than I had in myself.
I miss him.
Infinities of love,
Note: We were plagued by mice the entire three years that we lived in Laurel. Our brand new housing development had displaced the home of mice and other small animals. Raccoons were especially good at opening the garbage cans in the back of the house to help themselves to a meal.