TIME OUT WITH LOIS: Drawing a lesson from a mouse caper

This week I set up my easel to see if I could paint the view from my front porch with watercolors. First, I had to check for mice (even though my porch is mouse proof). It has been a year since I dabbled in paints.  It is a hobby I keep mostly under wraps. I did get a blue ribbon on a painting of Sheep Mountain. And I sold one of my first paintings for a dozen eggs!

Lois Olmstead


“From here to the big time,” praised He-Who-Took-Long-Steps. The easel was an anniversary gift from him and it makes any painting look good!

I got the giggles just thinking about one of the first times I used it. The experience was a heart stopper! I had set the easel up in the family room the day before. Ready to begin again I reached behind the easel to pick up the two foam plates I used for palettes. I went to dip the brush in the paint. Horror of all horrors, there was a mouse sitting in the plate!

I screamed and threw the plates. The serene quiet evening we were enjoying turned to pandemonium. “Where’d he go? Where’d he go?” We couldn’t find him.

We knew we had a mouse in our house. The week before when our gas fireplace was installed, they opened up the crawl space. A mouse got in. He-Who had set traps. Next morning there was a sprung trap. “We got a leg,” reported the house game warden, “but not the mouse.”

Back at my easel this night, I said emphatically, “Well I am certainly not going to use the plates he was sitting in.” I reached down to pick up the scattered plates — and there he was again!  He-Who jumped out of his chair as the mouse ran under it. “Get him!” I yelled.

The mouse ran from his chair to under the desk. “That’s him!” He-Who hollered. “He’s only got three legs!” 

If you have had a mouse in your house you know how it turns into a circus.

 I plugged in the shop vac. That noise sent the mouse across the room and the game warden threw the flashlight at the mouse. Stunned by the blow, he slowed down enough that I could get perfect aim and with a “SLOOOP,” up the tube he went. 

“Now what?” says the warden.

“Well, we have a mouse in our shop vac,” I said.

We were both out of breath. Outside, we went and carefully popped the top on the shop vac. Mr. Three Legs looked up at us. 

“Cousin Pat would haul this creature God made out to the desert and let him live,” I said philosophically. “What do you think?” 

After a brief committee meeting discussing hantavirus and prolific birthing patterns, we opted for cremation.

We stood at the burning barrel. I put my hand over my heart. “He was a good mouse.” Then we … well, I will skip that part. He has gone to heaven.

Glory, I hope God doesn’t bring mice to heaven. Depends on how God feels about his mice though. The way my heart stopped when I saw the mouse on my easel, I thought I was going to heaven.

This can be a spiritual lesson. It was only one mouse and one time, but I could have said, “No more painting. Too scary.” Sounds silly doesn’t it? Yet how many times do we give up easily? Even praying — people can say, “God never answered by prayer, so that’s it. I’m done.” Or “I tried church once, didn’t like the sermon, I’m done.”

Do you remember Revelation 3:20, where Jesus says, “Behold I stand at the door, and knock: If any man hears my voice, and opens the door, I will come in …” 

If I can try painting again, maybe you should give God another chance. He loves you.


EDITOR’S NOTE: Lois Olmstead is an inspirational speaker and author who lives in the Shields Valley. Email her at loiso@wispwest.net or visit www.timeoutwithlois.com.