Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Dammit: A Mouse Ate My...

It was never my intention to swear on my blog. Not that I'm opposed to a well-deserved, well-placed salty word, I just figured I'd never be blogging about anything that bugged me enough to swear here. But dammit, a mouse ate my checkbook cover.
Not a polite nibble, but a thorough job of ruination.
And the reason that crazy, inconsequential act is worthy of a little swearing is because this particular checkbook cover has a story behind it. (You already knew that, right, because my favorite thing is always the story behind the story.) So here are the highlights:
  • Summer of 1998 we hosted an exchange student from Japan at our house in the city.
  • She brought gifts of silk and food - the former because it is a symbol of great respect and appreciation; the latter because she wanted us to know the simple pleasures of her life in her home country.
  • She gave me this silk checkbook cover and insisted I use it and think about her, rather than store it away as a keepsake.
  • She loves potatoes, something she had never eaten in Japan. Big Daddy made it his mission to introduce her to as many ways of preparing potatoes as possible, although we seldom eat them ourselves. We made a list of every potato dish we could think of, and she checked them off one-by-one as we worked our way down the list. (Okay, that was a digression that has nothing to do with the checkbook cover, I know, but I just had to tell you what simple pleasure excited her most about America - that and steak.)
  • We spent a wonderful summer together and shared many experiences, including motorcycle rides along the Great River Road, para-sailing behind a huge jet boat on the Illinois River, chats with my dad about some of the places we lived in Japan when I was a child, and on and on.
  • Over the years we've kept in touch less frequently all the time, but we reserved very special places in each other's hearts. I knew I could always track her down through her parent's home in Fukushima, Japan.
  • And then just over a year ago a horrific tsunami hit the city of Fukushima, in her home prefecture, unleashing a dreadful nuclear disaster. And I've been unable to find her or her parents since.
  • But each time I pulled that checkbook cover out of my purse, I said a silent prayer for her safety as well as that of her sister and parents.
  • And now, dammit, a mouse ate that checkbook cover and the silk-like lining in my purse (along with a snack baggie of mixed nuts, which I carry should I ever be stranded without food). And the fact that Big Daddy came to my rescue (as always) and caught the little interloper in a peanut-butter baited trap doesn't make this loss any easier on me.
So, Mutsumi Kanno, should you ever do a Google search on yourself and run across this blog, please contact us and let us know that you and your family are recovering from your terrible losses as you pass that one-year anniversary of life-changing devastation.


  1. I am so sorry about your lovely checkbook cover! I'd be mad too. I do see a bright spot in this though...I got to hear about your dear friend. I'll always think of you both when I eat potatoes! I also pray she and her family are well. I hope you hear from her again one day.

  2. Oh no! Sorry about your checkbook cover. I really hope your friend and her family are okay and that you hear from her soon. Loved your story.

  3. oh, that is terrible. i do hope your friend and her family are okay, too...

  4. Swear away! Loudly! I know I would.

    I truly hope your friend runs across this blog and contacts you!

  5. Oh, how disappointing for you. I would feel anger at the mouse and frustrated over the situation, too, if I were in your shoes. The story behind the checkbook cover is very sweet, very touching. I pray you'll reconnect with your friend very soon.

  6. Ugh, mice! I just killed the NINTH one in my car since September. I've tried every deterent I can find to no avail.

    Love the story behind the checkbook. And all those potatoes! I could've gone for that ;-)

  7. Charade, what a story. How sad about the cover, maybe you can repair it? I hate mice with a passion, too. They are always chewing the spark plug wires off my car. Grrrrrr....

    I so hope you hear good news about your friend soon. I hope she sees this!

  8. Any way you could patch it? Perhaps not.

    We had one bad year with mice and they were eating the papers in my glove box in the truck, among other things, like the seats.

    I do hope your friend is okay -- my son spent some time over there with the Navy Reserves helping with the rescue efforts.

  9. well i think swear words are a tad under-rated. it was a beautiful checkbook cover, don't throw it away, let's try to think of something we could do or make with the rest of it!!

  10. The story is always worth more than the item, but the item represents the love in the story. I hope you find her and she's well. By placing her name in the post, maybe she'll search or someone near her will find it.

  11. While your story is a delight to read it is extremely sad on so many levels.

    We have had many exchange students in our life. Two of my siblings and our neighbor have all been hosting students for quite some time. My experience is that they always get in touch at some point. Here is hoping you reconnect with your exchange student and she is able to replace your checkbook cover.


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