Friday, November 9, 2018

Mice in the Pantry

The mice behaved as if they owned the joint, and they took over our cool pantry in our cottage at the beach.  They even had the nerve to chomp a hole in a whole watermelon and eat their way to the center, just the center, and leave the rest.  

Mother was always setting traps hoping to catch the little buggers and all they did was to leave their “calling cards” scattered on the floor or counter tops where they would be seen.  Our beach cottage, by today’s standards would not meet code, as it was built on post and beam, with no insulation, and lots of places for the beach mice to take refuge in a storm.

Sometimes during the night we would hear the WHAP of a mousetrap and cheer into the darkness. Mother had the mortician’s duty and dispatched the trap and unlucky mouse to the garbage container outside in the morning.

On our daily walks to the beach we would carry a gunnysack and gather beach bark which we would use in our fireplace and wood stove in the kitchen.  It was easier to carry bark as they came in chunks and we filled the sack and dragged it back to the cottage to put in the wood box next to the fireplace.  A beach bark fire was the best one to roast marshmallows on and would burn slowly but give off good heat in the living room.

We did not have a refrigerator but an icebox and the iceman would come twice a week and deliver blocks to our front door.  Ham, the meat operato, had a refrigerated truck and would sell all kinds of meat. He was a butcher and a skilled one at that.  My sister and I knew that one shelf in Ham's truck he kept candy bars so we would walk out to Ham’s truck with our mother to make her purchases and then we would each get a chilled Mounds or Almond Joy.  

Once a week Tony the Italian vegetable vender would drive into the oyster shell lane and ring his bell. The women of the beach compound would come running out of their houses to buy fresh fruit and vegetables.

Things were simple in those days, but we kids loved the life at the beach and looked forward to it each summer- mice and all.

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