“Plotting Murder?”

Dark dirt mounds litter my yard, evidence of a mole or
gopher infestation. Mini mountains crest my lawn like volcanic islands being
born. My landscaping beds, garden flowers, and plants have been frequent summer
snacks for the rodent population. In a fit of murderous critter-rage last night,
I spotted two entry tunnels – a rare find—and rushed into our garage for the
gopher traps. They weren’t there. 
My plastic bag of dirt with the two metal gopher traps was nowhere
to be seen. Overturning tent tarps, lifting bocce balls, and sliding garden
supplies to the side produced no results. The yellow poison pellets were gone
Spewing poison myself, I spoke impatiently to my husband,
and then to my son. Racing against time, I grabbed my car keys and wallet, and
squealed out of the driveway, muttering to myself. 
The sun sank lower on the horizon, and the orange box superstore
glowed in the twilight as I parked. In front of me, a veiled matron ambled
calmly through the doors, wrapped in muted blacks and greys, except for one
bedazzled zebra and fuchsia purse that matched the black in her head covering. Pink
spots in her shoes poked out from the long robe, and I grinned in quiet
connection with her. Her son and husband walked gently beside her, intent on
their projects as well. 
Inside I strode to the critter aisle, scanning the shelves for
my traps. My poisoned words echoed back to me. The sharpness of my words sliced
in. Wounds and gashes could be dealt so quickly. Items in hand I retraced my
steps to the front of the store, scanned my purchases, noted the sharpness of
the prongs, and quietly walked out to my car. 
Tangerine, rose and grey-violet streaked the sky, layering
high. Crimson trees stood tall against yellow, blue and rust backdrops. Changing
gears, I pulled into my driveway, mounted the stairs, kissed my man, and
apologized to my towering son. “I’m sorry for spewing poisonous words. My anger
is at the moles and at having to buy the traps again, not you. Will you forgive
Darkness fell refreshingly cool as we read cardboard instructions
and tramped across tunneled grass together. 
Linking with Ann, Duane, and Emily, I count gifts, note sunsets, and chronicle
stories of grace and redemption.

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  1. Pam on October 2, 2012 at 12:49 am

    I know what you mean… it so easy to let our tongues go with the feeling, even in the midst of a prayerful heart. I find myself praying in the car one moment and exasperation at another driver in one split second… And sometimes it is just something else coming out… like your frustration with the moles. For me, yesterday, it was a bit of sadness over a recent death and longing to know where that one's heart was… But speaking out the need for forgiveness is like a fresh spring…as it was between me and the Lord yesterday. Good post.

  2. Jennifer Dougan on October 2, 2012 at 12:53 am

    Hi Pam,

    I'm so glad someone else wrestles with their tongue too. Thank you. I'm sorry about your sadness from that recent death and a longing to know where their eternity is. I understand that feeling as I wonder that about some relatives… Thinking of you tonight from MN and nodding head in prayer with you, friend. May they have chosen him, bent their knees and hearts in time.

    "Like a fresh spring," you said. I like that.


  3. Unknown on October 2, 2012 at 1:20 am

    Oh, I loved this. Your writing is beautiful, and His Truth is all over it. So glad you stopped by.

  4. Jennifer Dougan on October 2, 2012 at 1:23 am

    Thank you, Kara. You encourage me.

    Glad you stopped by. Please come back anytime. Hope to get to know you more.


  5. Lisa notes... on October 2, 2012 at 2:24 am

    I've had to issue those kinds of apologies too. Grace and redemption. That's a pair I need, over and over and over.

  6. Unknown on October 2, 2012 at 3:07 am

    Oh girl that's a hoot! You are the great gopher hunter. What a distinction!

  7. Unknown on October 2, 2012 at 11:55 am

    I get angry at my husband…because the pigs stink.

    I get miffed at my son…because I have to step over his dog when I walk out the door.

    I get aggrevated because the deer eat all our tomatoes…and there was not a good enough fence to keep them out.

    Great post. Rings true with me as you can tell.

  8. AmyAlves on October 2, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    Beautiful… Love from Maine Jennifer! ~ Amy

  9. Jayne on October 2, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    Oh, how my tongue has gotten me into trouble more than I care to admit. I especially hate it when I am angry at someone else and my family catches my wrath. I am so thankful that my family loves me so much and forgives me.
    Now as for the fire ant hills I have to battle…I swear they are one huge colony all connected with underground tunnels. I can't buy enough fire ant killer for my yard!

  10. Deena on October 2, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    Jennifer, I love your honest and I can see this scene playing out between me, my husband, son and our local hardware store. I gave in to the gophers and moles years ago. My son has a safe trap he puts out and lets go the kindly critters and shots the ones currently deemed, "Nuisance".
    I will enjoy traveling with you through our 31 Day travel as well.
    Shalom, Deena

  11. Anonymous on October 4, 2012 at 12:25 am

    Great words here. Misplaced anger is so hard to spot when you are in the midst of it.


  12. Unknown on October 4, 2012 at 4:12 am

    Oh, I get stuck in those moments, too. Thank you for your honesty in sharing one of those moments with us. It reminds us we're not alone 🙂

  13. Cheryl Barker on October 4, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    As you can see from all these comments, you are not alone! I bet I would have spewed a few angry words of my own if I had moles to contend with. You set a great example for your family with your honest apology. Blessings to you, Jennifer!

  14. Jennifer Dougan on October 4, 2012 at 9:25 pm

    Lisa Notes,

    Grace and redemption over and over …. yes, me too, friend. Thanks for stopping by. Nice to see you again!


  15. Jennifer Dougan on October 4, 2012 at 9:28 pm

    Hi Shannon,

    The gophers are still winning, aiye! 🙁

    Thanks for stopping by.


  16. Jennifer Dougan on October 4, 2012 at 9:32 pm


    I grinned along with your descriptions, and felt humorous relief at your understanding. Thanks for the encouragement and for stopping by. I am thankful our Abba is patient and tender with a sense of humor too.


  17. Jennifer Dougan on October 4, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    Hello Amy from Maine,

    Thanks for stopping by. What fall colors are in your neck of the woods today?


  18. Jennifer Dougan on October 4, 2012 at 9:42 pm


    Yes, the anger that is mis-focused… I get it. Good way to describe it.

    And fire ants?! Whew, that would stink too. Good luck, girl, at getting rid of those. That sounds frustrating too. When I lived in Africa, driver ants were formidable occasional foes.

    Nice to meet you!

    Jennifer Dougan

  19. Jennifer Dougan on October 4, 2012 at 9:53 pm


    Thanks for stopping by, and commiserating with mole and gopher stories with me. Your son sounds helpful and brave. 🙂 Too bad he couldn't help get some of the ones from my yard too.

    Thanks for your encouragement here. Have a great week.

    Jennifer Dougan

  20. Jennifer Dougan on October 4, 2012 at 9:57 pm


    Thanks for stopping by. I'm glad others wrestle with this at times too, and glad that our Abba is patient and kind with us. Nice to meet you!

    Jennifer Dougan

  21. Jennifer Dougan on October 4, 2012 at 9:59 pm


    You are not alone! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by my site.

    Have a great week.
    Jennifer Dougan

  22. Jennifer Dougan on October 4, 2012 at 10:02 pm


    Thank you. We do a lot of apologizing around our house. 🙂

    Have a great weekend.

    Jennifer Dougan

  23. happygirl on October 5, 2012 at 1:12 am

    Doesn't James say something about reining the tongue as you would a wild beast? Yeah, I think he does. As encouragement, I'll tell you, it gets better as you get older. At least it has for me. I'm just too tired to get that worked up anymore. 🙂

  24. suzannah | the smitten word on October 5, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    grace and grace. (i know this story, friend.)

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