Annie Lane

Dear Annie: I recently read the letter from A Better Man Today, who was concerned about people reading his personal diary, particularly about his “dark times.”

I agree with your answer but would like to add one more idea. Create a “burn box” and entrust it to someone who will not open it or divulge its contents but will see that it is destroyed upon your death or at your request. I read about this once upon a time and apologize for not recalling the origin. I suspect it was from the military.

I shared this idea with a very dear friend of mine years ago because she also journaled and was concerned about how her children might react to her words and deepest feelings. She created her burn box, sealed it and left instructions that it was to be given to me. I understood that once I received it, I was to burn it.

But this may be another way for A Better Man Today to have some peace of mind about his most personal, deepest thoughts.

— Burn Box

Dear Burn Box: What a clever idea. Thank you for your suggestion.

Dear Annie: I resisted responding to the first letter you received in regard to eliminating mice, but after reading another on that subject this morning, I decided to add my experience.

When I lived in my previous house, I would get a mouse visitor every so often, so I set out a cage trap. I was delighted to discover that each one I caught had a facial expression and personality all its own. For example, one looked at me with great irritation, and I could almost hear it thinking, “You’ve got some nerve. Just wait till I get out of here”; another was quite afraid and huddled as far away from me as possible; another had a sweet expression and looked at me as if to say it would like to know more about me. I would drive each one to a wooded area away from houses and let them free.

 — Missing My Mice

Dear Missing My Mice: Your sweet story makes me imagine them like little cartoon characters. Maybe you could write a children’s story about them. All people and animals have unique personalities and characteristics that make them special. It is beautiful you noticed that in little mice.

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