Yes, Barry, this is all familiar to me too. My LR has a corner library
that's mostly medical/biosci books; a wall of skulls; a tray of dead/found
insects as the centerpiece at the DR table. My daughter wrote her college
application on the theme of being afraid to open the downstairs freezer in
fear of what small-mammal bodies she would find. I still have the skeletal
remains of a whole deer (and one of my cats) that I buried, then dug up and
cleaned. It goes on and on. Outsiders just don't understand. To almost
everyone in my daily life, it seems that "nature' is something you only see
on TV and that the real thing is, well, icky and mostly too much trouble to

At this stage in my life I have more complications. It's a small apartment,
so I keep getting rid of furniture to accommodate the 7 bicycles Steve and
I park in the living room. Outsiders just don't seem to understand that
one, either.

So, be of good cheer! Your "bros" are here in your online community, and
delighted to hear your stories. And maybe this is an opportunity to show
this family how delightful it is to be truly connected to the biological
environment that we, really, cannot live without. They have no idea what a
marvelous tourguide they have at their fingertips.

"Home isn't where our house is, but wherever we are understood." -
Christian Morgenstern (1871-1914)


ps: Once hosted a field mouse mom who made her nest in the closet by
chewing small holes out of the middle of every one of the pieces of sewing
fabric I had stored there. Aargh. Yes, Linda, I agree. It seems to me that
we think of them as pests because it makes us feel better about ourselves
when they outwit us.

Judith A. Stoffer
Baltimore, MD, USA

The great thing about getting older is that you don't lose all the other
ages you've been. -Madeleine L'Engle, writer (1918-2007)

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