Monday, October 29, 2012

Tale of a Mouse's Foot Continued

In June I posted the follwoing:
"Last month, after I heard a mouse escaping from a trap we had set, I posted a Facebook comment about it.  Beginning below is the resulting story.  It is a rough draft, not finished yet. But for those who helped me write the story by commenting on my post, I present this as is.  Please let me know what you think.  How can I make it better?  If you who commented before do not see your piece of the story, it is coming next time."
This is next time!
A Tale of a Mouse’s Foot (Part 2)

          Above their heads, the Cats, Comet and Shadow were planning a party to which they texted a message to their friend Quandary who lived far away: “Dinner Party – Informal Dress – Menu: Mouse Pate” Quandary texted back: “Mouse Pate? Drool… I’ll be there even if I have to drag L along!”
Part 2
Shadow and Comet
           But before the Cats, Comet and Shadow, could even finish looking for Mouse Pate recipes in the cookbooks scattered across the floor there was a snap in the drawer!             “Another one!” purred Shadow.
          “Murow,” replied Comet flicking his tongue across his lips.  “Start texting again.”
          The collection of mice had grown fairly large.  The Cats were keeping them on ice so as not to stink up the house.  They did not want to live outside and knew when they had it made.  Finally they located a recipe in an obscure little cookbook that was shaped like a mouse.
          “After boiling for 10 minutes, skin, debone and mash 12 mice,” the recipe stated.  The Cats started banging pots and pans about in order to find just the right one.  “Do we have enough mice?” Comet asked.
          “Let me check,” Shadow said as she climbed into the freezer and started counting. “One, two, three, four, five, six… NO.”
          “Maybe we could supplement with fish.  There are fish in there too, aren’t there?”
          “Or we could serve two dishes.  First Course: Mouse Pate; Second Course: Fried Fish; with ice cream for dessert!  Yummmmmm!”
          “Let’s set a date and see if Quandary can make it,” suggested Comet.  “Maybe by that time we’ll have gotten some more mice.”
          Looking at the calendar hanging on the side of the fridge, the Cats chose two possible dates in mid fall and texted Q.  To which he replied, “The earlier the better, drool : b”
          But as the late summer leaves began to change color and the evenings had a decided chill in the air, no more mice ventured into the drawer.  “Where’d they all go?” the Cats asked one another.
          One evening while perched on the chair reading over the Two-legged’s shoulder, Shadow discovered where all the mice had gotten themselves off to.  That night she explained to Comet, “Those fool mice hitched-hiked all the way to New York state!”
          “How do you know?”
          “They found their way to Bear’s house.  And were caught sleeping in her bed!  I saw it on Facebook.”
          “Then of course it’s true,” stated Comet matter-of-factly.  “We’ll have to make do with the six we already have.  Too bad because both Q and I love to eat.”
          Quandary and L finally made the pilgrimage south and the three Cats had a fine dinner of Mouse Pate, Fried Fish and Ice Cream for dessert while the Two-leggeds went off to enjoy stories at the TaosStorytelling Festival.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

            Thinking about my friend Mary Motz and the annual walk in memory of her daughter, Stephanie L. Miner, who lost her life to breast cancer made me think: most of us have a story about how breast cancer has affected our lives in one way or another.  Because this is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, here’s mine. 

Elsie Mae Andress
            Many years ago Rebecca Haifleigh Moss became afflicted with breast cancer.  As the disease progressed she needed special care.  Elise Mae Andress was hired to be her private duty nurse.  Elsie had wanted to be a nurse from the time she had to care for her whole family and the threshers when she was young.  But her family frowned upon nursing as a profession for “proper young women.”  Elsie became a teacher, saved her money, moved to Chicago and put herself through nursing school.
            While she was caring for Mrs. Moss, Elsie met her son, Will.  Will was smitten and started spending a lot of time with his mother just so he could see Elsie.  Finally he asked Elsie to marry him.  Elsie, who had chosen career over marriage years ago, told him, “I will marry you on two conditions.  One, I will not be a nursemaid to your mother.  Two, I will have a career.”  He gave her this beautiful coral necklace. 

            Will agreed to her conditions and so at age 30 Elsie Mae Andress became Elsie Mae Andress Moss.  She had three children in the next five years each born in a different place, while Will tried to decide where they should live and what he wanted to do with his life.  Norman, the youngest, was born in Gates Mills, Ohio, not far from the community of Chester.  Soon after his birth, Will bought an old barn and started a creamery.  The new business was named Moss Farm Dairy and the family moved into the old farmhouse.
Dora and Norman Moss
            Nancy, the middle child, followed her mother’s footsteps and went to nursing school.  There she met Dora Fischer.  She introduced Dora and her best friend to her younger brother, Norman, when Ciglinda needed a date.  But Norman (or Fritz) was more interested in Dora than his date.  He called the next week and they started seeing each other.  A few years later they were married on July 11.  (That’s 7-11; Norman chose the date.)

            Rebecca Haifliegh Moss was my great-grandmother.  Elsie Mae Andress and William Oscar Moss were my grandparents.  And Dora Fischer and Norman Moss were my parents.  So I am here because of breast cancer.
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