I feel another story comin’ on

Last weekend, I found myself standing in pretty much the same place on the same day as I was in 2004, when my husband predicted what I’d be writing about in my column.
I was standing in the rafters again, in the only work space on Earth shorter than me, and staring at the vast, unfolding concourse of uninsulated attic.
The last time I was in this position, I learned that vapour barrier is not about closing the door to the bathroom after your husband has been in there (though that kind of protection does work well sometimes).
Yet, there I was face to face with the simple structure of the old farmhouse.
Suddenly it felt like a “Groundhog Day” moment—albeit without the rodent, as that little critter had joined the golf club a couple of weeks ago.
And the attic scene from two years ago began to repeat itself.
Then, just like that, everything went dark.
Here’s what I learned this time when standing in the rafters.
Whatever you do, don’t start new projects in high places after 5 p.m. in December without a flashlight. And if the lights go out, don’t crawl around in the dark on your hands and knees if you’re not sure where you are.
These invaluable life lessons made an even bigger impression on me because for weeks now I’ve been wanting to go up and muck around the proverbial old attic, expecting to uncover all manner of old trinkets and treasures.
Suffice to say, I did. But not before making other discoveries that looked like they belonged to the “King Tut” exhibit in Cairo, Egypt.
I may be all that when it comes to bravery in the face of live snakes, but it’s a different story when the universe decides to be a joker and test me in a dark attic.
I’d gone to all fours when the lights went out up there and I didn’t have a flashlight. When the electricity came back on, I was nearly cheek to cheek with the dusty trap tombs of five mice who’d bitten their last piece of cheese some time between 1967 and 2005.
It was a classic scene from ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ and ‘Poltergeist” combined as I made a mad upright dash to the ladder.
In the days that have followed the discovery of the attic’s skeleton crew, I’ve bumped up against other such “meeces” who’ve met their maker in the most unlikely places.
I’m beginning to believe that either the ghost of the ground hog is in payback mode, or the full moon is casting a peculiar shadow on my neck of the woods.
Among the suspicious encounters: a mouse who once lived found lying cold and prone in a bag that held a blanket on its way to the mender (and thank heaven I found it first).
Another live model, being chased by the cat, being chase by the dog, managed to get under the screen door in the porch just seconds before the cat jumped through the screen, followed closely by the dog.
Suffice it to say, repairs are in order. However, the game of cat and mouse ended well—at least from my point of view.
But perhaps the next most unexpected encounter with a “cold” mouse, whose presence rivaled even the “death row” found in the attic, was when Daughter #3 slipped on a pair of winter boots that had just arrived indoors from summer storage in the grainery.
When great toe came in contact with the motionless furry little insert tucked way down inside the boot . . . well, I now know just how many expletives my teenager can articulate.

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