Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Blame it on the mice October 19, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:33 PM
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A close-up of art in the Hickory, dickory, dock rhyme.

A close-up of art in the Hickory, dickory, dock rhyme, part of a “The Story Books of Christmas” exhibit at the Owatonna Art Center in 2011. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.


I’ve been off the grid for a few days because I’ve been without a computer. Issues began Sunday evening with the computer not responding.

After a call to my in-house techie, who lives in the Boston area and is therefore truly not in-house, I was advised to shut off the computer manually. Monday morning the computer booted up just fine. But then the same thing happened; it wouldn’t respond.

Frustrated and not willing to wait until Christmas, when the son may or may not be back in Minnesota, I called a local expert, Geek Central. I am smart enough to realize that when a computer shows the symptoms that mine exhibited, I shouldn’t ignore the issues.

Monday afternoon apprentice Josh Sorenson was dispatched to pick up my computer, which then underwent extensive testing. No issues were found, a relief to me. But what was the deal? Why did I have problems? The computer worked fine for the Geek guys.

My husband planned to pick up the computer on his way home from work today when Geek Central owner John Rowan called to say Josh would drop it off. I was relieved as neither Randy or I knew which wires/cables went where on the computer tower. After Josh reconnected everything and turned on the computer and I tried it, same thing—the computer was not responding.

That’s when I asked, “Could it be the mouse?”

Turns out it was and now, thanks to Josh, I have a new mouse. He didn’t leave my house until he was certain everything worked. That’s what I call great customer service. This 23-year-old recent college grad, who is passionate about working with computers, also has two other jobs—at a local grocery store and a pizza place. He dreams of bringing more technology jobs and technological innovations to Faribault. In my brief time with Josh, I have no doubt he will do that. He seems a determined young man.

I am appreciative of Geek Central for doing such a thorough job in checking out my computer. And I am especially grateful for the outstanding customer service. That’s what I love about keeping my business local.

That the problem proved to be a mouse does not surprise me. You see, we’ve had a bit of a mouse problem in our house recently. About a month ago, a foul odor in the basement suggested a dead mouse. After much searching, Randy found a dead mouse in the furnace. It’s the second one that has managed to crawl into the furnace in recent years. That discovery necessitated a call to a local heating and cooling company to assure no wires had been chewed. The responding tech, ironically also named Josh, shared that, yes, he sees dead mice in furnaces this time of year.

Finally, just this past week, I discovered mouse droppings in an upstairs bedroom closet along with a chewed up Crayola crayon box. I dispatched Randy to check out the invasion. He discovered that a mouse had carried crayons from the top closet shelf to the other side of the closet and stashed them behind boxes. And…the mouse also chewed beads from a lamp shade.

I’ve had it with mice.

Yours truly,


© Copyright 2016 Audrey Kletscher Helbling