It’s been raining here in New England since yesterday (Monday) with no possibility of seeing the sun until late Thursday or Friday. Great for the grass, trees and plants but definitely not the right kind of weather to work on boats or to paint the house or shed. So instead we’ve been busily working inside the house, cleaning out a lot of stuff (aka crap) in the basement, the office and a few of the closets, and posting the more valuable items up on eBay.
Yikes, where did all this stuff come from and why on earth have we been keeping it? Guess it’s just human nature to tuck things away with the “I might need this someday” attitude but somehow someday never seems to arrive, at least not in our household. I think so far we’ve filled up 6 or 7 of the huge black contractor’s bags as well as numerous smaller trash bags. And the shredder and I have become best buddies over the last few days shredding unnecessary medical and miscellaneous paperwork from 1993 and beyond. It seems like we’ve been working hard but have yet to make a dent. Oh well, I guess that’s just part of the process.
Usually I wouldn’t bother writing about throwing stuff out as it would probably be pretty boring but today I had an interesting experience that I wanted to share. This afternoon I decided to clean out one of the closets in our upstairs bedroom. This is the closet where I keep a lot of my spare linens, tablecloths, old towels and sheets that haven’t been used in 10 years (but I hang onto them just in case) and all sorts of other stuff that ended up in this particular closet for whatever reason. If you are getting the idea that the closet was a little cluttered, even messy, you are so correct!
Well, anyway, a little background is needed here before continuing on with my story. Quite frequently we have heard critters in our roof especially at night when the house is quiet, causing our ferocious felines to sit and watch the wall waiting expectantly for something to happen. Of course we know that if the creature ever appeared in front of them, the mighty hunters would most likely run and hide under the bed!
Well, while we were away during the winter before last (2011), we discovered that somehow a critter had found a way into the house. Because several things had been knocked off of rather high shelves and we found one of the upstairs wood window mullions on the floor, we suspected that whatever it was it was larger than a mouse or chipmunk, most likely a squirrel.
We suspected that somehow it had found a hole in the soffits along the edge of the roof and had squeezed its way in but Rob was never able to prove that theory. Shortly after we arrived home we noticed a very strong, strange odor emanating from the closet in our upstairs bedroom which led us to suspect that perhaps the critter had died within the walls or rafters of the house.
Knowing that any potential buyer would turn his/her nose up (literally and figuratively) at the unpleasant odor emanating from the closet, Rob took everything out to search for a point of access or at least a stain on the wall or ceiling. At that time he found nothing and figured the next step would be to punch holes in the wallboard to find the dead body and eliminate the odor. A chore that has not been at the top of his priority list.
By now you probably have guessed where this is going! Yes, as I was cleaning out the closet, I picked up an old blanket which was on top of a box. As I did, I noticed something dark and hard between the folds! EEEEKKKKK! It was the mummified, still very stinky body of a squirrel! How totally disgusting! He must have crawled into one of the folds but then couldn’t figure out how to get out. Poor thing! You’ve probably noticed if you’ve followed our blog that we like to add a lot of photos to our posts but somehow today it just didn’t seem appropriate – aren’t you glad?
Since Rob was working down in the basement, I folded up the blanket, marched down two flights of stairs and proudly (hey if the cats can prance around with their dead animals, why can’t I?) displayed my discovery to him. Boy, was he happy – not because the poor squirrel had been trapped and died but because now he probably wouldn’t have to poke holes in the walls. Guess we can cross that task off our never ending, always growing to do list, although Rob wonders how he could have missed that squirrel the first time and if there is perhaps more than one unintentional entrapment that has occurred – guess time will tell.
A lot of people on the news find wads of money, jewelry or valuable art work hidden in the walls of their homes, but sigh, no such luck here (at least not yet)! Oh well, we still have a lot more cleaning to do!