Halloween, Phobias, Spiders, Tarantulas


Eureka Springs 2012

You won’t find any fake spider webs and hairy-legged creatures among my fall decorations. I don’t like spiders. I tolerate them outside because they get rid of bugs, but I don’t want to share my dwelling with them. Unfortunately, this is the time of year when they move indoors. At my house, that’s hazardous to their health. I will step on spiders that trespass.

 My mother thought a spider might have visited me in my crib when I was a toddler. She said they found me hysterical one night and that it took a long time to settle me down. Afterwards I was terrified of spiders. I’m glad I can’t remember it.

I took this picture through a store window.
That was as close as I wanted to be to even a fake spider.

Do you remember the story that circulated back when teased hair was in vogue, and sophisticated women wore beehive hairdos? It involved someonewho kept her hair teased for so long that a black widow spider built a nest in it. You know the rest. I’m certain there was a funeral involved.

Before Terry and I were married, I was reading in bed one night and looked over to find a big, ugly wood spider sitting on the pillow next to me. I didn’t think. I reacted. I flung that pillow and spider across the room, found a shoe and beat him to death. My throat still gets tight when I think about it. Maybe he was harmless, but I wasn’t interested in reading to him.


Several years ago, when a tarantula ventured into our kitchen from the garage, Terry swept him out with the broom. He felt bad about hurting Mr. T in the process. I DID NOT. If you had seen that hairy thing scurry and jump across my kitchen floor, you’d understand. I’ve read that their bites won’t kill you, but they HURT.

Outside, I can practice Live and Let Live with spiders. I appreciate their beautiful webs and the colors of some garden arachnids. But if I walk into a spider web, I go into a frenzy to be sure the critter didn’t drop into my hair.

These magnificent photos were taken by
the Ruckers who live next door to me.
As a mother and grandmother, I learned to manage my fear. I can dispatch an indoor arachnid unemotionally when necessary – for the sake of the children. I want them to appreciate our natural bug zappers.
What about you? Do you have any creepy-crawlie stories?
 God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. Gen. 1:25