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Wednesday, October 14, 2015


word of the day: musings \ˈmyüz-ing\ thoughtfully abstracted.

I read this story once about a woman who was at the beach with her son. She sat reading a magazine while her son chased after hermit crabs. He was perfectly blissful until one of the crabs neared his mother who screamed. Her fear inadvertently taught him to fear, and that was that with their fun afternoon.

So, there was a mouse in my house last week. 

I saw it first on Thursday night. It darted into the finished side of our basement and back before anyone else could see it. It reappeared a little more slowly Friday morning while I was in the basement with the girls. It shimmied underneath the baby gate toward Lily and me before turning back around, and of course I was all, "Look, Lily! A mouse just like we read about in your books. Cool!"


Reality would show me yelping and jumping off the floor to my feet (at which point I was immediately reminded of the hermit crab story). My inner monologue did its best to talk me down. It's not going to come at you, Molly. It's just a smaller version of a chipmunk, and those don't freak you out. It's kind of cute, really. 

So, I took a deep breath and looked at Lily. She looked at the place where the mouse had been, looked back at me and said, "It's not scary, mom." 

So, there's that at least.

I've seen the mouse once since then but given that it was at the bottom of the washing machine and a load of "clean" clothes, our short relationship has ended. (until, I'm sure, we find the rest of his family members.)

The forecast is showing frost for this weekend, and the clouds seem to be hanging around for longer periods of time, so I keep looking at these pictures to remind myself that we'll make it through the sun-less winter here in Ohio (at least that's what they tell me to expect).

It really is beautiful here, and I will never tire of watching trees change into their fall hues. 

I read this quote the other day and have been churning it ever since:
The trees are about to show us how lovely it is to let the dead things go.

I suppose it fits well with my recent desire to unsubscribe to all the junk I don't need. To focus rather on the sustaining things that bring life. But, I was reminded in reading that quote of a post I wrote a few years ago about abscission, which basically, is the act of cutting off. So, in terms of fall, abscission means that when it's time for a tree to lose its leaves, cells appear and, like scissors, cut the leaf from the branch.

So, to quote myself, (a tacky habit I've adopted lately), the leaves don't fall off. They are cut [from the branch itself].

A good reminder in a season of change--while warm weather turns to frost and sandals turn to that pair of brown ankle boots you forgot you had--that you can't let the dead things go without letting go. Change and personal growth don't just happen on their own accord. I've got to open my hands to both letting the dead things go and grabbing on to the lovely. Action verbs seem to be the going theme in my life lately. 

So, we'll hunker down and prepare for winter ahead. Thankfully, Jeremy and  Kelly taught us how to play Settlers of Catan. And even more thankfully, Jake and I were ambitious (and cheap) enough to make our own game board and set, so we can play even in their absence. 
We really feel like this is the key to making new friends here. 

Or at least a better way to spend some quality time together that doesn't involve watching Netflix (Bartlet for America!). 

Mice and all.

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