We live in the country. Ah, the country: trees, fields, peace, quiet, tranquility. “Green acres is the place for me.” Currently we are in the early stages of a delayed fall. After a long summer of drought and a fall of record heat and more drought the temperatures have begun to drop and the Cleveland winter rain has returned. In my first year in Cleveland it rained every day for over sixty days.
There is nothing more beautiful than rain soaked, brilliantly colored trees and there is nothing more cozy than listening to the patter of rain while resting in the glow of the fireplace. Yes, it is times like these that our country friends gather into the warmth of our modest home. Grass spiders the size of saucers squeeze their way into the basement. Lady bugs form communes on the basement ceiling like day workers gathered at the local 7-Eleven, celebrating our economic recovery by competing for less than minimum wage construction jobs.
And then, there are the furry country cousins. After a long summer of enjoying nature’s bounty they sneak in through the cracks looking for a little comfort from the coming freeze. We haven’t seen any in years, but we know they are there. They scurry up and down and all around inside our walls and ceilings. And then the pitter patter of their little feet slows to a halt. The question is answered; last year’s rat poison is still potent. Silence settles in and the sweet aroma of their slow decay wafts through the house.
There is nothing quite like that smell. It penetrates your clothes, robs you appetite, and motivates you to work a little longer at the office. Believe me, I would give the poor creatures a Christian burial if I could find their remains, but I can’t. Whoever said “out of sight, out of mind” clearly had lost their sense of smell.
That’s the news from near Polk County.
November 15, 2010