Tonight was the night for extermination. Our renters will not be happy if there are mice scurrying all over, or ant armies trailing through the kitchen. The rodents have truly taken over, and Eric and I have long ago given up the fight and tolerated their presence. Our new property manager ( the real estate agent in her new role) was firm with us; the mice had to go. With Elmer away from the house, we can use more toxic methods to eliminate our pests. Our neighbours across the street had struggled for years with their pesky mice and had found this particular fellow who had worked all of one night and scared all the mice away permanently (perhaps they moved over to our house). 'At Once Termite and Pest Control' was unable to guarantee me success forever, but felt they could make a difference, at least through the winter while the renters were in the house, but that was good enough. I am regularly horrified to hear them scrambling around in the walls while I am sleeping or running across the kitchen floor as I open the door. I would call Eric and insist that he "DO SOMETHING!!!!" and he would put out traps and catch a few, but invariably he would lose interest in after a few days and the mice would return to take over their space (our space?) again. This is it!!!! Extermination!
I miss Elmer and Pippi. It is amazing how empty the house feels without two one-hundred pound dogs taking up space. No more wads of fur in every corner, no more wagging tails, no sad eyes and unconditional love. We have been making 'conjugal visits' to give Elmer hugs and attention, but he is perfectly happy in his new home and his babysitters may not give him up; they adore him. I felt the loss of Pippi more acutely and did not think that it would so difficult to give up Elmer. Except that I like that our grass in the yard is growing back. It began to improve when we went from two dogs to one, and even moreso when we went to none. Eric is so pleased and would be happy not to have any more dogs in the house, but Maya and I both want Elmer back. I began thinking of having another dog, perhaps a smaller one, but Eric will definitely object. He only barely tolerates the dogs.
It feels as if Maya and I are just wandering through the hosue trying to get our bearings. So odd without furniture and personal effects. It simply does not feel much like my house. What makes a house a home? The family, the dogs, the items reflecting the personalities of the inhabitants. There is none of that now, just big rooms with empty, half full and overflowing boxes. I had friends over for dinner, the original plan was to picnic on the floor, but Eric had set up a table and chairs, so we had a reasonably elegant evening dinner amidst the cardboard forest. Having friends over was once a regular part of our lives, but with all the packing, we have ceased living our ordinary lives. We have been held hostage by the house for months now. It is interesting that by entertaining friends and family, the house becomes more like a home. The packing experience has become quite isolating. Of course, while the house was being shown to renters, we had to keep it clean and neat, and having people over would potentially mess things up, so it is with great relief that I can open the house up again. It is also a bit of an adventure to live this way, without all the usual paraphernalia.
Maya is having fun with the space. She spends almost no time in her room. She has set up her mattress on the floor in the guest room, with a few of her prize possessions nearby, but sleeps most nights in my bed, especially now that Eric is gone, and runs in circles around the spacious living room and hides upstairs in Tara's attic whenever she has friends over. Every room of the house has become more of a 'playspace' and more accessible to her. I feel as if I have lost control of my house. There is no room that looks like it once did, or serves the same purpose. I have lost my house already. It hardly belongs to me anymore.