page 1: creatures stir, and that’s just the start

so, yes, we bid our farewells, we wiped away tears, and we slid out of bed that first monday morn. it was a whole new page, a whole new chapter, and we made the mistake of yanking open the old soap drawer.

all we’d intended to do was tuck away a brand new bar that had arrived over the weekend.

but then, what to our wondering eyes should appear, but the sight of deeply nibbled soap bars. bars of lavender. bars of rosemary. bars upon bars, nibbled and GONE!

why, there was nothing left behind but some newfangled confetti, the sort one scatters at a parade. or perhaps, when one exits a newsroom only to face an anxious typewriter.

as often happens when these sorts of mysteries plop down onto the paths of our lives, it took a minute or two to catch onto the drift.

ah, but we scanned the scene before us. we noticed the telltale deliverance of a mouse on the run. or, make that some sort of rodent — we were placing no bets on the particular species.

in fact, once we noticed the chewed-through metal tube of rear-end-repair ointment, we started to wonder if maybe a long-tailed sewer-slithering r-a-t had moved into this leafy old town where lawns are mowed, manicured and tied up in ribbons.

sniffing the hot trail of trouble, we opened drawers no. 2, 3 and — for good measure — 4.

and what to our wondering eyes appeared there, there, and there?

you got it: a bumper harvest of some-sort-of-rodent droppings.

yippee! this valiant new chapter opened not with a whimper, and not with a bang, but with the sound of drawers being swiftly and certainly dumped of their half-eaten goods.

egad.

it took the better part of two hours to clear the decks, haul out the vacuum and make like a madwoman charging the enemy.

all those lovely soaps carefully tucked into suitcases over the years, hauled-home memories of some faraway place’s luxury bathrooms? gone.

all those well-intended gifts, from folks who figured a bar of herby soap was just the thing to soothe my oft-jangled self? KAPUT!

more than likely, the better part of two decades of toiletries, tossed into the monday-morning garbage pickup, flung from the house with emphatic abandon.

and then it was onto the rest of the week, the rest of the all-new adventures in sentence making, as one of my brothers so perfectly put it.

but then, something happened. lights started to flicker near the computer. then lights went out. blank. zero. zippo. for three days and three nights, our new best friends were the gaggle of folks who stand by to help in mumbai and hyderabad, and even one fellow in san francisco whose english i could make out without repeating every other syllable.

by the time i fired up the new router, that fine black box that sends signals (or maybe it’s morse code) to this here keyboard and far into the vapors, it was time for the seeds of a high-raging fever to plant themselves deep in the chest of my littlest angel, the one who hasn’t slept now for two long nights, which means, neither have i.

and so goes the prologue to whatever comes next.

and herein are the lessons:

1.) don’t think mice stick to the cheese drawer.

2.) don’t be afraid to unplug and re-plug 1,000 cables, whatever it takes on the long tangled road to internet connection.

and, finally, 3.) never underestimate the power of a cool wet washcloth applied to the head of a burning-up child. you might hear a sizzle when 103-degree skin meets squeezed-out rag, but press on anyway.

eventually, the mice will move on, the computer will glow, and the fever will crumble into last week’s news.
so much for adventures in big-league journalism.

and how was your week, dear friends? and by the way, late but insistently, happy day of ever-pumping hearts. xoxo