Recently, my husband and I attended a marriage retreat. We had such a wonderful time. We laughed. We cried (or maybe that was just me). We laughed so hard we cried. It was such a sweet weekend to remind us of God's purpose for marriage and helped us to focus on what really matters.
The first night we were there, all of us ladies were asked to write one word down on a card that our husband would know was ours . They would be read aloud and the husbands were to raise their hand when their word was called.
In order for you to be able to guess something like that, you have to have a history with a person. You have to have inside jokes, to have lived through ups and downs. You have to be each others person. You two have to be an us.
One of my best friends and her husband were sitting at the table with us. I said, "I know what our word would be." She looked at me and grinned and together we said, "Inky Binky Bonky." (Long story from years ago.) We could say with certainty what our "word" was because we know each other. We have a history. We have stories and memories. Our marriages should be no different.
As the words on the cards were read aloud, hands would shoot up. Some of the words were pretty funny. As soon as the word mice was called out, J's hand shot up.
He knew it was our word. I knew he would know.
You see, during our marriage (Eight and a half years), we have had some encounters with the little vermin. Some, I hope you never have!
On our five year anniversary, we rented a "rustic cabin" in the mountains of north Alabama. I thought, How romantic. A cabin with only a large fireplace for heat with a beautiful view and small waterfall just outside of the back door. We had no idea just how rustic it would be.
The afternoon we arrived at the cabin, we unloaded our things and headed out to see some sights. We may have been gone an hour or two, and when we got back to the cabin, the loaf of bread we had placed in the kitchen already had a huge hole it. Mice.
To make a long story short, our long weekend consisted of seeing mice skitter across the floor in broad daylight, taking a running jump for the couch or bed to avoid said mice running across our feet, and hearing mice shrieks at night when they had been caught on the glue traps that Management had given us. ("Oh, you're in that cabin. Here, have a whole pack of glue traps.")
Our most recent encounter, however, has been ongoing for about two or three months.
Back in July, we purchased an air conditioner from a home improvement store. We brought it home and placed the large box in the living room. When J pulled the lid from the box, four mice scattered from the box and into our house. Then it was utter pandemonium. J had no idea what was going on at first. You should have seen the look on his face as my girls and I started shrieking and running. We caught two mice within about fifteen minutes.
J returned the air conditioner to the home improvement store and exchanged it, making sure the manager noted the incident and checked the new one before he took it out of the store. They gave us a pack of glue traps.
Over the next few days, we had two more mice on glue traps and we thought we were finished with mice. That was wishful thinking.
About three weeks later, I opened my car door and saw a mouse scamper across the floorboard. Evidently, there were more mice in the box from the home improvement store than just the four who ran into my house. And it was now living in my vehicle.
I was completely freaked out, thinking that at any time while driving down the road, a mouse would run across my feet. So, in went the glue traps and we caught our stowaway mouse that evening. We were done with the Mouse Debacle of 2013.
Or so we thought. A few days later, we entered our vehicle and saw that my pack of gum had been chewed. We had more mice! We had no idea how many.
We set out glue traps and other traps all over the vehicle. Jared baited it with peanut butter crackers. (We know they like peanut butter crackers because they chewed into a pack of them while I was on my way home from Wal-Mart! I didn't even hear them!) I know you have the heebie jeebies right now. I am shuddering as I remember. Eww!
Anyway, they kept finding a way to eat the crackers without getting caught. I imagined our little vermin friends like this video: (Watch the whole video! If you don't you will totally get the wrong idea!)
Or maybe our mice stowaways have outsmarted us because they are as wise as Splinter from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles:
Last week, we finally caught another mouse. I'm not sure if that was the last of them. I certainly hope so. So far, there have been no more signs that indicate we still have a mouse hostel in our SUV.
As I remember this story with shudders and goosebumps, I am also thankful for my husband. He knew our word. He and I are an us. He's my person. In ten, fifteen, or twenty years, I hope we have many more words.
Maybe our next word will be something more soothing. I'm hoping for beach or mountains. But for now, we'll stick with mice.