Last week I attended a reception in Huntsville where my friend Helen Belcher was showing her beautiful traditional quilts. She's especially fond of redwork embroidery and quilts of the 30s, 40s and 50s. It was very nice to see so many old friends who appreciate Helen's work. As things were winding down, one of the ladies came up to me and asked whether the silver car was mine. When I said yes, she told me she'd seen a large rat running across the dashboard.
So, along with several museum staff members, I went out and searched the car. No rat, no sign of rat. So Gee Gee and I got in and headed off for home, a two hour drive. About an hour later I saw the silhouette of the rodent running across the steering column, then disappearing in a downward direction. I did not drive off the road--it was very dark and way out in the country. In the next few days, no sign of rat. Several long drives to Austin, no rat. I hoped and prayed it had found richer pastures.
Then I picked up friends Gene and Ellie at the airport for a brief visit. I have no sense of smell and was concentrating on driving, so did not notice them reacting to "a foul odor" in the car. It was two more days before they had the courage to tell me about it! These dear people were gagging and not letting me know a thing out of politeness. Once I knew, we sped off to the car dealer, where they took apart the dashboard and a good deal of the front of the car before finding the hairy, very dead rodent "and rat poop everywhere" according to the mechanic. I'll pick up the car tomorrow (rental people were super and found me the right vehicle to get home). Best news: insurance agreed to pay for all but my deductible. Thanks, State Farm, Texan Hyundai and Enterprise.
Moral of the story: it's OK to tell your hostess you smell a dead rat in the car. Honest. No hard feelings at all.
More fiber art news next time. Postcards for my solo show went out today.