Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Love is an empty mouse trap

(all times are approximate)

5:30p The sun sets, the temperature drops
6:30 Barley vegetable soup for dinner, too cold for dishes tonight
8:45 Wrapped in blankets, we finish reading aloud ch. 12 of The Westing Game
9:00 Long sleeve shirts tucked into pants tucked into socks. Wearing hats, tucked in sleeping bag liners, tucked in sleeping bags, topped with every blanket and towel available. Tissues nearby as we all have colds.
2:15a Flashlight on, Ukiah up to use the bathroom
2:35 Ukiah, "Guys, did you hear that?"
2:45 Flashlight again. Ukiah, "I hear something, scratching... There it is! It's one of those little Pica things! By the front seat."
2:50 I'm up, van doors open, using empty water bottle to bat into darkness
3:10 No luck, back to bed
3:15 Sounds from inside dashboard
3:30 More sounds, Brad up and moving all food to tent
3:45 Ukaih, "Ahhhh, something ran by my face!"
3:46 Lights on, all up. Gather jackets, sweaters build nest-bed for kids in tent.
4:00 Tuck kids in again
4:10 Small sounds at back window
4:30 I think I feel something on my head. What if it tries to burrow into my sleeping bag?
5:00 Coyotes howl, I'm already awake
5:15 Kids talking, laughing in tent. A sign they're not frozen.
5:20 Coyotes, much closer/louder
6:00 I don't want to pull my head from the sleeping bag, so I can't tell if it's light yet.
6:30 Up making coffee
7:30 Almost getting warm
8:00 Find frost on backpack left out overnight
8:30 Pulling everything out of van, sorting and shaking as we go
9:00 Second cup of tea, ch. 13 of Westing Game
10:00 Monty Python inspired re-enactment of hilarious events of last night
10:30 Discovery of critter hiding in heater compartment under back seat
10:31 STRESS
10:33 It's not a ground squirrel, a mouse
10:35 Find sticks to push it out
10:45 Mouse moves to pocket between seat and van wall and returns to hiding under heater
11:00 Duct tape over all visible holes
11:10 Start car, turn on rear heater, hope mouse will not be hurt
11:12 Consider taking heater apart
11:15 Repeat above steps for a half-hour
11:45 Try peanut butter bribe
11:55 Face to face with trembling mouse, I realize it's more scared than me, talk to it, encougare it to find a new home, still try to prod it out with a stick
12:05p Mouse runs up seatbelt, trough crack in seat, out? No one saw the exit.
12:15 Semi-confident mouse has vacated
12:20 Heavy clouds overhead, rush to take tent down, pack
12:21 Aslin, "Is that snow?! Oh wait, it's just hail..."
12:40 Van packed in record time
3:30 Check into tiny, stinky, overpriced hotel in Blythe, CA. Empty van, check under heater
6:00 Go to store for mouse traps, discover oreo yogurt, worry about fate of humanity and planet
7:00 Set two peanutbutter mouse traps in empty van
9:00 Sleep, cough, sneeze...
7:30a Continental breakfast- frozen waffles and raisin bran
8:30 Find courage to check traps.
8:31 Rejoice in untouched traps, feel 95% sure we left the little critter back at Joshua Tree

Happy Valentine's Day!

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