Tuesday, December 13, 2016

When a Mouse Is a Rat

Asalamu Alaykom,

When I first came to Egypt, I rented an apartment, even though there were no screens on the windows.

"Don't the animals come inside?"


"No cats?"  I asked to be sure.  "No mice?"

My landlady laughed off my silly American misgivings.

The windows stayed open and nothing crawled inside.

Seven years later, and a couple of apartments later, I finally had my worry come true.

Sure, there had been noises in that discarded carton---a family of little mice.  They were dealt with.

There had been a couple of big guys crawling up the wall outside the bathroom---that REALLY freaked me out and I'd slammed the window shut with a scream.  They were chased out.

Yet, it took until I flipped on the kitchen light before all hell really broke lose.


standing on top

of my water supply





How can Egypt call that thing a mouse?  It was the rattiest looking mouse I've ever seen.  It was there on top of my seven bottles of drinking water (the ones that I laboriously boil water for and then let the chlorine evaporate from).


I wanted for that that horrible intruder to get OFF my water!

As soon as the thought crossed my mind, my wish came true!

It jumped off my water bottles and on to the floor.

Quickly, I realized that I might not have really wanted my wish coming true.  I ran out!  I warned my son that we had a mouse---a rat---in our house.  I shut his bedroom door, I yelled downstairs for my husband.  I shut our bedroom door.  I ran back to the salon and jumped on the chair.  Yes, I was very good at fulfilling every stereotype of women vs. vermin.

My husband ran up the stairs and took the counter-part stereotype of protective male searching the house with a stick while yelling that I probably didn't really see what I thought I saw.  He couldn't find anything.

Was it in our bedroom?  I hadn't shut that door first.  Why hadn't I shut that door first?  I was sorry to be so scatterbrained.  As a mom, I simply thought of my son's safety above everything else.

The hunt ended.  The house was declared mouse/rat free.  I wasn't convinced.  I wasn't feeling good about our windows because what I always feared would happen, had indeed happened.  The windows stayed shut day and night with no air circulating in the rear of our home.

For days, I lived in a place that felt dirty and backwards.  I cleaned all the bottles in boiling water.  I used bleach on them and on the counter.  I still couldn't feel good about our home.  Whenever I'd come home, I'd brace myself for potential news that the mouse/rat had come back.

Then, one day, about a week later, I came home to find screens on the windows.  My husband had said it was impossible, but he actually had listened to what I had said.  He had put screens up exactly the way I had described.  He had sandwiched the screens between the wooden window frames and the wooden slates that he nailed up.

It had taken seven years, but I finally had the screens I had wanted.

When I think back to all the worry and upset I lived with all those years, it doesn't make sense that I put up with it for that long.  It really made me wonder how many other problems in my life I suffer through that could be fixed in a day.

Yes, there's an analogy in this.

It is a good reminder that we all live with stupidity that we don't have to.  We deal with what we hate because we don't face up to just how much we hate it.  If we truly faced up to the truth, then we could deal with and possibly eliminate the source of the frustration.  Like a good person of faith or patience or easy-going ways, we persevere daily when we don't have to.  Yes, we could free up our little corner of the world from the irksome issues if we decided that we deserve to have more peace.

Wanting more peace for ourselves isn't selfish; it's self-preserving.  No one can realize their full potential when self-perpetuating craziness takes over.  When we take care of ourselves and our needs, we are able to be more available for helping those who love and need us.

Make your home feel more peaceful.  Make yourself feel the peace.  Make your world less crazy.


Thankful Slave said...

:) use insect killer next time, I've heard they would die if you spray long enough on them :)
Keep safe,


Anonymous said...


Make my home more peaceful... I only pray for running water. This new move is proving too be very tough.

Prayers from Tanzania,

Mostly Anonymous Halimah