Tangled Up in Blue: Mouse Traps

I got lazy last week.

It was the middle of July and things in Seward got a little hectic. The weather was warm, the town was abuzz and I just didn’t want to clean my home. Instead I wanted to walk along trails, ride my bike to glaciers or just lay out in the sun in anticipation of the imminent rain.

So, I got lazy and did all of those things instead of doing my dishes. They piled up, bowls with lines showing where yogurt once was, a cast iron pan with a little bit of oil residue, a plate with just enough egg crust to be deemed dirty and several coffee cups. They formed a mountain in my tiny double sink next to an equally overflowing trash can, all inside my camper in the woods outside Seward.

Without running water, dishes are more of an adventure than a household chore. Sometimes I bring them down to the river for a quick rinse. Sometimes I drive them into town for a thorough scrub. Last week, I just let them fester.

In the past, my laziness would go unnoticed. Living alone, the only one impacted by my mess is me. This time, though, I was not alone.

The scuttering woke me late in the night. The first night, I convinced myself it was coming from outside and that I had nothing to worry about. The second night, I started accepting that maybe, just maybe, there was something living in my camper alongside me. The third night, when I woke up to a mouse on my chest, I couldn’t ignore the problem a minute longer.

I flew out of my bed, out the front door and slept in my car (where the mice couldn’t get to me) and started planning my attack. Now, there are traps spread across my camper floor, strategically placed in each nook and cranny. More importantly, the entire place is spotless. I scrubbed and swept and vacuumed and mopped and washed. Anything resembling food is packed and double packed in a cabinet and there’s not a single crumb to be found.

I haven’t heard from my houseguest since, but I don’t think I’m out of the woods yet. I’m sure if I get lazy again, I’ll find myself making dinner for two (or three or four or five or, please no, six).

I’m lucky that my laziness didn’t manifest itself in a more dangerous way. Had my dishes been left outside, my small mouse problem could have turned into a large bear problem.

Recently, campgrounds nearby Skilak Lake have been closed due to black bears scuttering too close to tents and scratching unsuspecting campers. They don’t think the camper did anything wrong to attract the bears, but if I had been in that tent during one of my lazy weeks the scutters and scratch could have been much worse (sometimes I like to put honey in my yogurt)!

I’m lucky that my laziness was confined to my camper walls. If you cut corners out in the wilderness or in nature, the smallest of oversights can exacerbate the most common of situations.

If you’re lazy on a long, rainy hike your sleeping bag will stay wet and you’ll stay cold.

If you’re lazy while enjoying an off-grid hike, you’re family will worry (especially if the one day hike is so great it turns into a two or three).

If you’re lazy while fishing, a hook may end up where it’s not supposed to.

If you’re lazy while on an adventure, you can end up getting hurt.

My little house guest taught me a great lesson in the gentlest way possible. By shaking me awake in the middle of the night, the mouse gave me a small understanding of how laziness can lead to disaster. And yes, I am classifying our late night dalliance as a disaster because even though I learned a lot from the little mouse, he’s definitely not invited back into my home.

Kat Sorensen is a writer living in Seward. She can be reached at katsorensen.nj@gmail.com

More in Life

A girl dressed as Snow White takes candy from a witch at the Orca Theater’s Trunk or Treat in Soldotna, Alaska on Monday, Oct. 31, 2022. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
October packed with Halloween events

October brings with it fall festivities, trick-or-treating opportunities and other seasonal celebrations

Minister’s Message: The right side of fairness

In God’s kingdom, the point isn’t that those who have get more, but that those who don’t have get enough

A copy of “Two Old Women” is held inside the Peninsula Clarion offices on Monday, Sept. 25, 2023, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ahlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Off the Shelf: Athabascan legend enchants, informs

The two women, shocked that they’ve been left behind by their family and friends, resolve that they will not resign themselves to death

Rusty Lancashire does some baking. (1954 photo by Bob and Ira Spring for Better Homes & Garden magazine)
The Lancashires: Evolving lives on the evolving Kenai — Part 5

Ridgeway homesteader Larry Lancashire was reminded of the value of such friendship in December 1950 when he shot another illegal moose

Will Morrow (courtesy)
Passing the time

There are lots of different ways to measure the passage of time

Shredded chicken and vegetables are topped with a butter crust in this classic chicken pot pie. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
A meal for when you need a hug

This classic chicken pot pie is mild and comforting

Kenneth Branagh portrays Hercule Poirot in “A Haunting in Venice.” (Photo courtesy 20th Century Studios)
On the Screen: Murder most haunting

Hercule Poirot takes on supernatural in latest Agatha Christie adaptation

Jack Meyers, Jackson Hooper, Kincaid Jenness, Kry Spurgeon, Leora McCaughey and Oshie Broussard rehearse “Lockers” at Nikiski Middle/High School in Nikiski, Alaska, on Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
High school drama

Teenage archetypes hit the stage in Triumvirate production “Lockers”

Most Read