Sandy Turner: When there’s a mole in the hole

The Examiner

I keep a close eye on my sister. I need to be sure she’s not losing her mind.

It’s always in the back of our minds, my sister and I, if dementia will plague us as it did our dad. We have two older brothers, who may or may not be dealing with it. It’s hard to tell with men, since they seem to have selective hearing and short-lived memories unless it’s about hunting/fishing/sports/anything-but-what-is-important-to-their-wives. The bottom line is, if we’re going to have dementia, she should get it first, since she is eight years older.

My sister and I don’t look for approval or try to impress – as the bond is stronger than friendship, when you can’t change the status of the relationship, you can say just about anything. We don't always see eye to eye, and more times than not our opinions, on most every topic, are as different as night and day. There isn’t much about our lives we don’t share with each other so I’m able to evaluate her mental stability on a weekly basis (and I’m certain she does mine as well). This last week was a tad bit on the questionable side.

Her story began with being upset a mole was tearing up her yard. Join the club, I said, I have mole runs all over the place. She took it a step further and decided to drown out the mole and actually stood at the mole hole, for who knows how long, to fill it up with water until the rodent came out, and it did.

This is where it gets a little weird. Besides the fact, who wants to spend any amount of time trying to drown out a mole. When it finally emerged, gasping for air, she caught it by the tail and threw it in her recycling bin.

I can’t make this stuff up. Who has ever been able to grab a mole by the tail?

She began to feel guilty so decided to throw a bit of dirt in the bin. (To do what – make the mole more comfortable?)

When she told her husband (OK, not really, they were married for 28 years, divorced for 13, and now back together again, thank goodness) that she threw the mole into the recycling bin, he simply asked, “Why would you make the mole suffer like that?”

Sensible question in my book. If I caught the moles tearing up my yard, they wouldn’t be able to see the inside of a recycling bin.

After calling it a day (I’m sure she was tired after watering a mole hole for hours on end) she couldn’t sleep, worrying about the mole and if it was suffering inside the recycling bin. (If you’re going to go mole hunting the last thing you need to be is their friend.)

At midnight, my sister and her ex-husband-now-boyfriend retrieved the mole from the recycling bin and took it to a nearby park to let it go.

I’ve determined she doesn’t have dementia. She’s just plain weird. It runs in the family. 

Sandy Turner lives in Independence. Email her at

Sandy Turner