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Sunday, November 23, 2014

September 26, 2013
Fall cleaning. There's something comforting about pulling down the summer-weight curtains, banishing the dust and grime, polishing windows till they shine, then putting up the lined winter drapes. It feels anyway, like the house is cozier and for sure it has a warmer look. Now mind you, I love looking out at the fully-leaved woods in the spring and summer, even while the leaves are turning in the fall--the palette changing daily! But when the landscape turns grey and barren-brown, I yearn for coziness, warmth, and yup... you guessed, soft candlelight. So like Fivelina, I'm busy these days, preparing the nest for winter.

Trina reminded me yesterday that we need to vacuum out our heat registers before we turn on the furnace. She's finished hers already, but, alas, I still need to... today. Why today, you ask? Well, this morning's MouseHouse adventure is testament to their dustiness.

Thursday morning is plant watering time, you see... and since mine have just come in from the back porch, they are still moist from their bathing routine before being settled in their winter spots. But I'm still used to checking them, and today was no exception.

So vacuum cleaner at-the-ready, I thought I'd check the plants near the back door, and then vacuum out behind the small round table where they sit perched near the sunny atrium doors. Plants are fine. Table is moved. I am hands-and-knees crouched, unfastening the flap at the end of the heater for better access, when I hear a hearty mouse-sized achooooo... followed by several more... miniature clouds of dust wafting from the left-corner. No trouble to tell where he was--that mischievous Bic! Achoooo again.

"Bic!..." I exclaim. "What are you doing out-and-about this chilly morning when you were sick-a-bed just yesterday!?"

"Achoooo... " he replies. And then another resounding sneezle from where... the other end of the heater!

"What on earth...?" I crawl over to investigate. "Oh Ben... not you too!" Well, they are brothers after all, and dare I suspect Ben might be a little envious of all Bic's adventures of late?

"Come on, you two... it's time to go home now. You should be getting ready for school, not hanging around in here! You better hope Sir Mattie is sleeping right now..." I held out my hand. First one, then the other, hopped on, dust-covered, overall straps drooping, whiskers dirty. I carried them out to MouseHouse and Fivelina met me at the door. She shook her head in chagrin as she gathered the two of them to her, shooing them in to get cleaned up for school. We smiled at each other knowingly. Boys will be boys.

Now for that dusty heat register.

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