Exactly how many little hearts are beating in our home during the night???

I often lie awake while everyone else is sleeping. I pray for the kiddos and family and friends. I start to think of all of the beating hearts and begin to count. Let’s see, Ruth, Daniel, Al, me, Otto, Keely, Mr. Knits all with blood rushing through our bodies making our hearts pump. How blessed we are with all of these warm bodies.

I feel all cozy and happy – THEN – I hear the pitter-patter of little feet. Not kiddo feet. Not imaginary yet-to-be born feet (this isn’t an announcement – we are only expecting Ezra!). Squirrel feet! Mouse feet! Snake feet!-(just go with me here) Mole feet! All of these feet pitter-patter through our walls during the night while everyone sleeps or prays.

The squirrels are flying squirrels. They glide from the maple tree next to the house and get in somewhere then run with wild abandon between the floors and walls. Walls that I helped Al sheetrock (I did help, a little bit). There were no walls, we built the walls-sans squirrels. Now there are walls and the squirrels are defying gravity and racing up and down inside the walls, scratching, biting, making themselves a nice little winter home. Having flying squirrel babies – in my walls!!! Last year we trapped over 15 of these squirrels. It became a family event to check the trap – all of us pitching in to bait, trap, and dispose of these squatters. The new generation doesn’t care, they’ve begun their scratching, biting, procreating with indifference to those who went before. Our house isn’t the west with homesteads here for the taking. They can’t stay! So, I don’t count their heartbeats – but I’m beginning to feel less warm and fuzzy.

The mice. Well the mice. All of New York and probably other places have had problems with mice this year. It’s almost plague-like. I was wondering if there was a mouse war and before all the little male mice left to fight for freedom they left a little mouse bun in the oven, because we were overrun! We have caught literally 10’s of mice this year. Probably over 100. We’ve caught two at a time in one snap a couple of times. We’ve caught just the mouse heads. I don’t know what happened to the bodies! They’ve run through our bedroom, kitchen, living room and basement. We have a bucket trap (bucket, peanut butter, water and a ramp) and the kids ask if they can go see how many we got the night before. We get a few at a time. Additionally, in 1993 Hantavirus was linked to season of increased mice. Here’s some info about hantavirus…

Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS) Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) is a deadly disease from rodents. Humans can contract the disease when they come into contact with infected rodents or their urine and droppings. HPS was first recognized in 1993 and has since been identified throughout the United States. Although rare, HPS is potentially deadly. Rodent control in and around the home remains the primary strategy for preventing hantavirus infection.

Yuck! That’s all I’m going to say about the mice.

Moles – well, we did have one run through our living room. Al is lightning fast and caught it with his bare hands while the kids looked on in awe and confusion. But if there is one, there must be more. And I think moles smell!

Pitter patter of snake feet?? You’ve heard of snakes on a plane…we had snakes in our TV cabinet. Again, thanks to the lightning reflexes of Al, they are now toast! One night, after heavy rains, I had to fix the TV receiver. When I opened the glass cabinet door and got down to look in and reset the receiver, I noticed an odor. So, I peered in so that I was nose to receiver. And then my eyes focused on the top of the receiver where my brain caught up to the fact that I was seeing a big snake and my feet caught up with my brain! An hour after that snake was disposed of, another came to take it’s place, which was dealt with by my hero.

So, at night, when I am praying and counting in my real home (not shanty or lean-to, honest!) I pray for just the human hearts. They are the ones that God created for my domain. The other hearts are just beating until the swat team gets here.

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