Thursday, February 18, 2010

United Spiders 

New homesteads always take a little getting used to. The different sounds at night, the pumps that run, furnaces that clank, the sound of rain on the roof – they all take on a cadence and timber of their own. The nights are short and filled with terror until these common effects become a part of your natural resting state. Apart from the usual adjustments to sounds, I will never be comfortable with foreign-body invasions.

I went shopping at the Home and Garden section of our local department store the other day. Possibly for the first time ever. Which explains why I was kind of nervous and clammy. Had no idea what to buy, just what I needed: garden hose and nozzle to spray the spider infestation off my innocent garage and around the adorable side-entrance of the house. Following with some serious spider death spray to finalize the watery wash-out, just so they’d know I mean business. This innocent massacre material was easy to find and I headed back to the scene of the crime already in progress.

I actually felt kinda bad at one point, realizing, “Hey, they’re not hurting anything. They’re spiders. Hanging out is just what they do.” I wondered what the psychology or natural motivation was for spiders to spin and live in high places and dangle from front doors and garages and if they could be pleasantly coerced to do so some place less obvious to me? Do they have a Union Rep I could maybe negotiate with? And then I saw this huge ass black and red monster, actually crawling in a way that made me see how pissed off he was and I nailed him with the death spray. This really, really angered him. I buried him in the stuff; white with chemicals and he kept on climbing! I thought, “uh-oh. I’m setting myself up for retaliation from the spider posse.”

Even though I had on full regalia more fit for handling killer bees than a few domestic spiders, I felt disadvantaged. Just one scamper up the pant leg would send me begging for roaches any day. But like David and Goliath, I persevered. In the end, I realized spiders aren’t bad. It’s not me against them, really. They’re just a slight nuisance to me, and I’ll sweep them away, as often as necessary. Preferably they’re dead when I do this.

As long as I have my elbow-length gardening gloves, knee-high rubber boots, and death spray, I can handle this.

I really did mellow during the whole massacre. I started out with the kind of determination that only fear could inspire. And ended with a peaceful sense of accomplishment. Then I swept my walk and cleared weeds from the front steps and took a small sense of pride in my new place and responsibilities for upkeep.

Isn’t that just so Laura Ingalls of me? Apart from the poisonous death spray, I mean.


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