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Thursday, October 20, 2011


If ever I wondered whether my trip to see my daughter was a good idea, I had validation this afternoon. After a three-hour train ride, enjoyed lying flat across two seats, I was pleased to arrive at Penn Station. My daughter was there to help me maneuver both my case and myself into a cab for the ride to her house in Brooklyn.
I had seen pictures and heard reviews, but it was first time I saw it as it sits. This property is nestled in a small, hidden courtyard, surrounded on all sides by brick buildings. This erst-while carriage house was built decades before its neighbors. It has been grandfathered by Brooklyn building codes and manages to just squeak by on public health ordinances. For instance, in Massachusetts, law requires two forms of egress from any structure built for the purpose of dwelling. There is one door in this two-story home. The steps leading upstairs are steep and narrow. The razor-sharp metal lip on each step seems to make it that much more hazardous. However, the house has many charms. Large windows, wood floors, extravagant space, clean,white walls, and charm galore. The winter heating bills remain a topic of estimation; the heat has yet to be turned on this season.
The first thing my daughter and I did after unloading bags and coats was to go into the kitchen to make a cup of tea. A favorite we both love. My daughter moved confidently setting out mugs, filling and heating the kettle, grabbing the honey. She remarked that was the last of the honey I had given her -- it was made by an apiarist from our hometown. Just as she tossed the container in the trash, my daughter squealed. Her face flushed and her eyes went wide in astonishment. I couldn’t fathom why. She ran to get her phone but remained immune to my questions. She clicked a photograph and had texted it to her roommates before I walked over to the garbage to see what had caused such a frantic reaction. The corner of the trap and the tail told me everything.
We had to wait for her roommate to come home before serious discussion could begin about removing the varmint. I wanted to scoop it up, throw it out and be done with the whole thing, They had different thoughts. Her roommate called home to get advice on removal unwanted animals. The upshot was that they wanted to put off dealing with it. Off they went to do errands.
I am a mother. I am a warrior. I donned plastic bags (no rubber gloves to be found) swept the offending creature up and tossed it. I poured a quarter of gallon of bleach where it had lain. After waiting fifteen minutes, I put on my plastic bags-cum-rubber gloves to mop up the remainder of the offending fluids. I packaged everything in a black Hefty trash bag, tied it tightly shut and set it by the (one and only) door to go out to the curb for garbage pickup the next morning.
Welcome to Brooklyn.
Day 39

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