My very first Air Force assignment was at Eglin Air Force Base, in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. My townhouse was about 1/2 block from the Brooks Bridge, which connects Fort Walton with Okaloosa Island. So basically I lived about two blocks from the beach, and happily, less than 2 miles from Howl at the Moon. My friend, whose family is in and around Mobile, AL, just emailed me that at least part of that general area is under water (make sure to read to the end of the story -- about the last restaurant open in Fort Walton). How strange to think that if I was still there I would be either (a) evacuated, or (b) working with the military filling sandbags or cleaning up flood damage in the community or on the base. What a difference five years makes!
Here's a good story about my townhouse in Florida. After I moved in, I found out that it was infested with mice. I would see them running and if the lights were out at night and the house was quiet I could hear them running in the walls and across the linoleum floor in the kitchen. So, I called an exterminator but he couldn't come for about a week, and I didn't want to put out poison because I was afraid they would die in the walls and smell really bad in the Florida heat. The solution? Mousetraps. They didn't have the snap traps at the store I went to, but only glue traps. The glue traps are sticky (duh!) and the mouse is then trapped on the sticky surface until you pick up the trap (or force your male friends to do it) and throw it away. It's probably not overly humane, but whatever. So, one night, I'm awakened by a sound like "Thwack, thwack, thwack, thwack." And of course, since I'm asleep I wake up in a panic thinking someone is trying to break in or something. I basically lay there in the dark for a while trying to decide whether to get up and check it out, but the noise keeps happening and gradually I decide it's not a burglar but don't know what the hell it is. I get up and turn on the light and there is a mouse all the way under the closet door, except for his tail, which is sticking out into my bedroom and is stuck to a glue trap. It was so funny (well, it's funny now). I totally panicked. What are the choices? Leave him there thwacking away at the door all night, let him go and have him running around the house stuck to a trap, or take the trap off which would require touching the filthy little bastard. So, I did the only thing a girl can do, I got a broom and sort of brushed the trap away until it came off and the mouse was then able to run into my closet and probably eat through my walls a little more. I put out poison the next day. Anyway, now that I reread this it's not a very funny story -- but it took a long time to write so I'm posting it anyway. Sorry.