Saturday Morning Catch-Up Blogging

Those Hav-a-Hart animal traps?  Not half as clever as the vermin they’re meant to imprison.  Our score to date:

  • Animals trapped: 1
  • Trap set, bait missing, no animal inside: 3
  • Trap tripped, bait missing, no animal inside: 6
  • Trap tipped on side, bait still there, no animal inside: 1
  • Faint sound of rodent laughter in background while placing trap: 11

The hell of it is, the animal I trapped was a mere kangaroo mouse, not the pack rat or ground squirrel I was going for.  But we persist, and the traps are going out again this morning, as soon as I drink my coffee.

On a more somber note, my father has untreatable liver cancer and is receiving hospice care at home in Missouri.  I was able to visit a few weeks ago and will fly out again later this month, this time with Donna.  Considering dad’s condition, and all the medication he’s on, he’s doing remarkably well, facing the end with dignity, calm, and even humor.  Damn, dad, now I have another example to live up to, and won’t be able to go out kicking and screaming, as I’d planned.

Naturally this has brought me closer to my sisters, step-sisters, and their families, and that’s a precious thing.  Since dad’s diagnosis, both our children have visited him too, and both are now more a part of their clan.  As sad as these occasions are, they can also be restorative, healthy, even good.

My father did an interesting thing a few years back.  He had assumed, like most Missourians, that the mule was the state animal.  Not so, it turned out – Rebuplicans in the state government had resisted repeated attempts to enshrine the mule as state animal, fearing that people would confuse the mule with the jackass, symbol of the Democratic Party.  My dad took it on as a project, mobilizing his American Legion Post, crisscrossing the state to speak at public meetings and press the flesh with politicians, and in 1995, then-Governor Mel Carnahan signed the bill naming the Missouri Mule state animal.  My dad did that.  How about that?

We’re heading out in a few minutes for a morning bicycle ride.  Today’s agenda: Freeman hill.  Without dismounting.  Wish us luck, okay?

© 2007, Paul Woodford. All rights reserved.

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