We get spiders at our house.
I don’t mean that we’re overrun with them … we just encounter more than what might be considered usual. It’s certainly more than we encountered when we lived near downtown Atlanta years ago.
Our town, Fayetteville, has really grown over the last few decades, so I suppose you can’t exactly call us “rural” anymore, but there are still lots of natural, open and wooded areas around us.
That includes several acres of woods right behind our house. There’s a creek back there, which means it’s a floodplain, which means unbuildable land, which is why we chose our lot all those years ago … no danger of houses popping up right behind us … just several acres of beautiful, peaceful trees.
Living close to the woods means plenty of opportunities to see wildlife up close. At first, it’s wonderful to see deer meandering across the yard. Then you find out they love hostas! Pooh. Anything that gets planted in the back yard is just a smorgasbord for the deer, so I gave up years ago ... there’s always a trade off.
And then there are the spiders. I know it’s not my imagination …
The property next door is a rental, and years ago some tenants complained about the creepy crawlers they were experiencing and they wanted the owners to cut down all the trees in the yard around the house. That didn’t happen, thank goodness!
If you are terrified of spiders, don’t live in houses built among the trees!
I certainly don’t mean that we’re overrun with spiders, but we surely must have more than usual. When we’ve had overnight guests – usually female – they complain, There’s a SPIDER in the bathroom!!
When I say “spiders”, I don’t mean big, hairy terrifying monsters. I’m talking about delicate, lacey things that you probably wouldn’t even notice until they move. Except for the occasional granddaddy longlegs, most of our spiders are tiny.
They are surely all over the house, but we notice them mostly in the bathrooms, against the light-colored tile and countertops. They are busy living their spider lives all night, then morning comes and someone goes into a bathroom and flips on a light … I’ll bet the spider is just as terrified, but no one ever thinks about that. How would you like to look up suddenly to see a creature thousands of times bigger than you jumping around and screaming and trying to splat you with a shoe or a book? Not funny.
I keep a postcard and a small glass in each of the bathroom cabinets. If a spider can’t just be left alone, it gets captured in the glass and taken outside. He’s probably not happy, but he’s alive, and that’s the best I can do for him. What can I say … I’m a touchy-feely kind of person.
So I wasn’t surprised one morning when I went to take a shower and, dang it, a little guy had built his web across the tub, right under the faucet! That’s not going to work, little fella, there’s a monsoon coming! So I captured him in the glass and headed to the front door.
It was an early spring morning and it was still cold outside. I bet spiders don’t like cold … I’ll put him out a bit later when the sun warms things up … and I set the glass down on the table in the foyer and went back to take my shower ...
… later that night, as I was heading to bed … I passed the table, and …
OH, NO! I FORGOT THE SPIDER!! I had left him in that glass ALL DAY!!
I was mortified! ‘Cause I’m a touchy-feely kind of person, you know.
I picked up the glass and looked … he wasn’t moving! I KILLED HIM!!! Poor spider! I’m SO SORRY!! I DIDN’T MEAN TO!!! PLEASE FORGIVE ME!!!!
In addition to being a touchy-feely type, I’m also an eternal optimist. A thought popped into my head … Well, maybe he’s not dead. Maybe he just ran out of air in there and passed out. I’ll give him some air and maybe he’ll revive …
Yes, I know … I’m a nut. But I’m a touchy-feely kind of nut with hope in my heart. And that’s the best kind of nut to be!
I took the glass back to the bathroom and laid it on its side. He still wasn’t moving, so I just turned off the light and went to bed.
The next morning I rushed back in there to see … and he was GONE!!! Hooray!!
Now, of course, there does exist the possibility that some other nocturnal creepy-crawly ate him or dragged his corpse away … but I just put that horror out of my mind. I’d like to believe that he revived in the fresh air and went somewhere else safe and secluded and lived out his spider life and died at a nice, ripe spider old age.
I hope so.
And I vow to never, never, ever do that again! Oh, the inhumanity … torturing and murdering God’s creatures!!
I don’t mind being a hopeful, touchy-feely nut, but I don’t want to be a MONSTER!!