Sunday, January 14, 2018
Mouse in a Box
It happened between Christmas and New Year’s. When two of my grandsons, Josh and Ben were home. I sent them to our attic and to our basement for the retrieval of boxes, many boxes, 57 boxes to be exact. A history of my years working at UW-Madison and a history of 50 years of writing. All stuffed into boxes. Letters, manuscripts, interview tapes, speech notes, edited book pages, research notes. Lots of research notes. And several book journals. I keep a journal for each book I write—a topic for another day.
Oh, and a bit of mischief on the part of my grandsons, who knew well the whims and fears of my daughter, Sue, their mother. As Josh hustled box after box down the rickety folding attic stairs, he spotted a dead mouse in the attic. And he put said mouse in one of the boxes before handing it to Ben who brought the box to my office where Sue and I worked. She and I inspected each box as it arrived from the attic and basement for its contents, so I could develop an inventory. The work was progressing carefully and quietly.
Then a hair raising scream from daughter, Sue. So loud it brought my wife running. So loud it nearly short-circuited my hearing aid. And then laughter. Belly laughter from Ben and Josh who had once more “put one over” on their mouse challenged mother, about the only wild creature she can’t tolerate. She had opened a box, and there she spotted the dead mouse. Very dead.
After son, Steve removed the mouse, the work continued. Eventually the 57 boxes filled half our living room—until Jonathon Nelson from the Wisconsin Historical Society Archives arrived and hauled them away.
THE OLD TIMER SAYS: One way to keep a record of one’s history: Stuff it a box and pile it in the attic
Saturday, Feb 10, 2:15 p.m. Garden Expo, Alliant Center, Madison, with daughter Susan
Sunday, Feb. 11: 1:00 p.m. Garden Expo, Alliant Center, Madison, with daughter Susan
Wednesday, Feb 28, 6:00 p.m. Wild Rose H.S. Auditorium, Premier showing of Jerry’s new Public TV documentary on One-Room Country Schools.
Purchase Jerry’s DVDS and his Books from the Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fundraiser for them):
Patterson Memorial Library
500 Division Street
Wild Rose, WI 54984
The library now has available signed copies of Jerry’s DVDs:
Emmy Winner, A Farm Winter with Jerry Apps (based on The Quiet Season book.)
Jerry Apps a Farm Story (based on Rural Wit and Wisdom and Old Farm books.)
The Land with Jerry Apps, (based on the book Whispers and Shadows,) and Never Curse the Rain, Jerry’s newest DVD based on his book with the same title.
Also available are several of Jerry’s signed books including: Jerry’s newest nonfiction books, Never Curse the Rain and Old Farm Country Cookbook, and his newest novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County. Also available are Wisconsin Agriculture: A History, Roshara Journal (with photos by Steve Apps) and Telling Your Story—a guide book for those who want to write their own stories.
Contact the library for prices and special package deals.