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Guest Column: Reflections Just Before Winter

Published on

By Bob Boulton, Special to The Journal

Bob Boulton

This year there was no dead mouse behind the freezer.

The upright freezer in our garage holds the items we buy on sale but don’t want to use right away. This doesn’t include the food we think we should eat – good for us, you know — but never actually do eat. And there are an inordinate number of packages of ground beef with various percentages of fat content. Some, I am informed, for meat loaf, some for hamburger patties, some for chili. I always have to ask, “Which one for what?”

A few years ago we purchased a second freezer, to be housed “out there” in the garage. We didn’t purchase a self-defrosting model, too expensive for such a “frivolous” feature. After all, it would need to be emptied and wiped clean of breadcrumbs and stale-dated frozen cauliflower and whatever-that-is every six months or so. More sensible, I was advised, to keep the door open an extra few hours and defrost it ourselves. So twice a year I waltz the freezer out a bit from the wall, get at the outlet behind it, and unplug it for defrosting.

If I do say so myself, I have become rather good at this. For instance, I learned to make decisions about the giant bowling ball of a frozen turkey before actively embracing it to move it. And, I have stopped complaining loudly about the top of the freezer being used as an expensive shelf for seasonal goods. I just move them and grumble to myself. All I all, rather civilized. Except last year. On the floor between the back of the freezer and the wall, there was a dead mouse.

My reaction fluctuated between “Yuck” and “Poor little guy.” How does one go about picking up a dead mouse? To the best of my understanding, disposing of dead mice is not a life skill officially encouraged by either the St. Clair Catholic or Lambton Kent District School Boards. Even though, as leaves drift down red and orange and yellow, our abundant area mice spend their time searching for a cozy home against our winter winds.

There are several gaps in my knowledge that I’ve noticed in 2022.

For instance, I don’t know the names of the bureaucrats who thought ArriveCAN was a swell idea.

And I’m not entirely sure why it’s The Grove and The Point and not The Moore or The Reeces.

And I sort of comprehend how sump pumps were supposed to have rescued those poor flooded houses in Sarnia last August 4th, but what on earth is a ‘sump’?

So many mysteries. All I really know for certain this year is there was no dead mouse behind our freezer.

Bob contributes regularly to our Opinion Column. His verse, short stories, and articles have been published in a variety of small magazines. His blog, Bob’s Write from the Start, is aimed at others who are also renewing writers. 

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