I had begun an annual Christmas ritual of making a gingerbread project with Charlotte, Lauren and Ellen. It began with a typical gingerbread house that was titled the “CLE B&B” in honor of their respective names. I would have the girls come over and decorate the pieces for the project and then I would assemble them into the finished theme which I would give them for Christmas.
The second year, the theme of the project was a twin city separated by a river with city skyscrapers and roads. The buildings had names like the “Phantom of the Opera House”, the “Maya OCD Clinic”, “The Charlotte Museum” etc. Again, I had the girls come over and decorate the building pieces. I had already assembled on a large piece of Styrofoam for the bridge, the river and the roadways. However, that evening following the decorating, we were having company coming over, so I put all of the decorated pieces into a laundry basket and the Styrofoam base with the Hershey kisses river and the Oreo cookie crumb roadways into a room in our office area on our old dining table.
The following day I went down to the garbage and at the back door I saw a silver Hershey’s kisses wrapper on the floor and thought how did that get there on the floor. I ran upstairs to the office and saw that most of the river had been removed and apparently eaten. Thankfully the actual building walls were untouched. So now I have to start again with the base which I would have to get more supplies for which meant I would get to it the following week. So I took the base and the pieces and moved them to my studio which I believed to be mouse-free.
During the week while going to feed the horses, I enter the barn and see a whole stash of unwrapped Hershey’s kisses piled against a wall. Again I run upstairs to find that the remaining chocolates were stripped from the river. Our house was overrun with a bunch of chocoholic mice!
The gingerbread projects continued despite the mice and included a scale-model of Hawaii with a working volcano on the big Island; old-fashioned outhouses with miniature marshmallows for toilet paper rolls, undersea coral reef, the Beijing Olympics, and the Vancouver Olympics.