Of Mice and (Wo)Men

Our pantry is empty. This isn’t because of supply chain problems and it’s not because of rampaging inflation. It is because of mice. To put it more poetically than the rodents deserve, while we were away, the mice did play.

My husband and I spent a lovely few weeks visiting some of our children in another state. The blessings of the internet allowed us to continue working while enjoying sunshine, wonderful food, and loving company. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, a long-delayed neighborhood construction project just outside our front door started in earnest while we were gone. The local mice who had long enjoyed undisturbed accommodations, were disturbed by the mess and mayhem and decided to move indoors. One (or more) found an opening in our kitchen and we arrived home to gnawed food packages. I was not amused. (Did you know that mice really like chocolate?)

Those depleted food supplies that resisted the rodent raid now burden our dining and craft room/library tables. We eagerly await the maintenance crew that will block the holes in the pantry and allow us to restore order. In the meantime, I have purchased more storage containers with tight locking lids.

I have heard people say that in a moment of crisis their entire life flashed before their eyes. While my ordeal is not on that level, it is interesting to see one’s food supplies, usually hidden, now lined up in full view. What was I thinking when I bought a container of tahina—a food my husband doesn’t like? Are there warnings of an imminent beet shortage (a vegetable that none of our children eat) that made me stock up on a dozen cans? Exactly how many types of tea bags does one family really need?

Recently, for the first time in my memory, I am seeing empty shelves at my local grocery. Yet, for most of the world and during much of history scarcity of food, except for the wealthy and privileged, was the norm. In many places around the world, the downgraded shelves that are causing me to shake my head, would still cause many to gaze in wonderment at the abundance.

Our mice attack was a source of inconvenience and disruption. Yet, more than anything it had me counting my blessings. How fortunate to be able to banish the intruders and restock and replenish. The real threats to us living safe, stable, and prosperous lives come not from animal pests but from misguided people, often acting with good intentions. If only that menace could be dealt with as easily.

What do you think? I’d love to hear your comments on this Susan’s Musing article.
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