It's been so long since I've heard the pitterpatter of little feets that I forgot about yet another facet of Winter: the too-predictable arrival of the Allied Attic Invasion Forces.
Standard Home Maintenance Manual 101 would have it that ALL one has to do is check for holes at the home's foundation and be certain all crawlspace and attic vents are firmly sealed.
We should be so lucky.
No, our annual non-renters have found some subterranean tunnel that apparently lends to an effective Rat (...or Possum: take your pick) highway under the house, leading handily up the bathroom wall pipes to comfy and spacious attic accommodations.
For all I know (and for all the activity it enjoys each winter), it's paved down (and up) there, with stoplights and In 'n Out Burgers for the millions (sounds like) who enjoy the combo of dry convenience, well-used ingress and egress, and even thoughtful insulation (sprayed in by the landlords) against the elements.
The attic's been all tricked out by Rats R Us.
The Peanut Gallery heard the first pitterpatters that marks this annual migration period and began loudly moaning.
The scurrying stopped momentarily - then came the unmistakable roll-roll-roll sound of a marble being rolled along the attic floor overhead.
Obviously, I pointed out, a bowling alley had been added to the attic attractions this year.
Or perhaps it's a marble tournament.
Either way: between the paving possibility, the dining and dancing at midnight, and now the appearance of a mini-bowling alley up there, I think it's time to move on.
Us, I mean.
Let's face it: the rodent denizens obviously have earmarked our palatial estates for their winter getaway: let that serve as a lesson for us to do the same.
I'm votin' for Hawaii, myself...