On June 20th, I wrote the following.
So as I posted earlier today, the air quality here is terrible and Chad's asthma and Charity's allergies were just going nuts. So we decided to pack up and head out to cleaner air in the Wheeling area per the air quality map.
Sure enough--the closer we got to Wheeling, the better they both felt! So after kicking around walking and walking in the mall and mainly browsing (although we did find a couple clothing items on clearance that we were happy to find!) we were tired and hungry and wanted something nourishing to eat since our PB and J sandwiches etc. at lunch time had long worn off. So Charity found this little local cuisine place in the historic Centre Market that was called The Soup Shack and we set off to find it. We were charmed when we walked in and placed our orders, and they were soon brought to the table.
We had just started to tuck into our yummy soups when Kristina says, "There's a rat!" with a slight edge of amusement and nervousness. Everyone's heads were swiveling as we tried to locate what she had seen, and Chad suddenly exclaimed--"There's a BIG mouse!" I by that point located it scuttling up the edge of the hall, and exclaimed, "That is a BIG rat!"
Charity stood up at this point to try to see over our heads and caught a glimpse of Mr Rat as he decided to dodge into one of the shops that sold fabrics! Chad ran to tell the Soup Shack employee and he came and poked around with another person to see if they could find the rat. They couldn't but we all assured them that we definitely had seen this critter and he was a HUGE rat! Well, they went back to their stations and we went back to eating soup while laughing over what an unusual experience that was!
Lo and behold, just a few minutes later, Chad suddenly whooped, "There it is again!" and sure enough! We saw it again! He went calling for the young man working at the Soup Shack, and he came running and this time saw Rattie as well! Mr Rattie did NOT like the attention and commotion and came running out of the fabric booth and down the hall with the employees in hot pursuit. We sat down to eat again, laughing even harder because we could hear the commotion at the other end of the building! People were laughing, yelling and exclaiming and we heard someone yell, "Get him OUT the door!" Well, after a bit every thing died down and the young Soup Shack employee came back shuddering, shaking out his shirt which was suddenly dotted with spots of perspiration and waving his hands in a mix of stress and excitement. "That rat RAN OVER MY FOOT and I had to KICK him out the door!" and he disappeared out the door himself to the side walk where we could see him still pacing and practically quivering with nerves.
A few minutes later he came back in, tried to work a few minutes and then gave up, coming to talk to us again. "There's two things in life that scare me!" he proclaimed earnestly. "God Almighty is one, and RATS are the other! And that rat ran over my foot and I was afraid he was going to climb up my leg! I try not to smoke at work, but I'm still so shook up I have to go smoke!" and out the door he disappeared again.
Well, I have to tell you, we are such country bumpkins and so easily amused that we all derived considerable amusement out of the event, and Chad especially was totally delighted that he had seen a rat "in his natural element" so to speak! We couldn't wait to get home to tell Paul and he got a good chuckle out of it as well. All in all, a great day! As Chad said, "Everyone got a good kick out of it, especially the rat!"