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 understand.

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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