I love the end of summer, except for one thing. In the fall, the spiders appear. And it’s the survival of the fittest here in our lovely countryside. Only the biggest, strongest ones make it until September. And the biggest and the strongest are the ones you notice the most – especially if it’s climbing up your white curtain.

We have loads of spiders here – from taratula-sized brown house spiders to spindly daddy long-legs (that we all played with as children – you don’t find out how poisonous they are until you start reading scientific journals, and the reasurance that ‘they can’t possibly inject their poison into a human’ is scant comfort) to brightly-colored crab spiders of yellow, pink and bright green (depending which flower it’s crouched in), to tiger-striped orb spiders, and the huge, gray web-spinners that scare you silly until you realize ‘That’s Charlotte of Charlotte’s web!’ (they still scare me silly).
I have arachnephobia, and even though I try my hardest to convince myself that spiders are ‘Our Friends’ – whenever I see one I want to sprint away, and if one accidently lands on me, I swear I could beat Bolt’s best 100 meter dash time with no problem, probably running backwards with my eyes shut.

Today I saw a huge house spider (perfectly harmless I Know that!) Crawling up my curtain.

That spider was So big – it didn’t fit into the vacuum-cleaner tube. It’s legs hung way out and I had a fit of the willies as I tried to cram it down the tube and vacuum it up.

Other spiders that were so big…

That spider was So big I thought it was my son’s plastic toy spider and almost reached over to pick it up. It moved. So did I – levitating to the ceiling then flying to the kitchen where I grabbed the first thing (a flyswatter on the chair) I managed to kill the creature minutes before the real estate agent walked in to show the house.

That spider was so big it was drinking out of the dog’s dish in the kitchen. A St. Thomas tarantula. When it’s sitting on your homework, you get a note from your mother explaining to your teacher why you didn’t bring your homework in – and the teacher understood.

That spider was so big it covered a whole paragraph of the book I was reading. My son had just tipped it onto my book with a pleased “Look what I found mommy!” I slammed the book shut before it skittered off onto my lap. It was just nerves. My son, who loves spiders, never did forgive me.

That spider was so big that when it fell into my sister-in-law’s suitcase, she slapped it shut then looked at me. We were staying with our inlaws for the weekend. “I’ll lend you clothes,” I said. She gave the suitcase, still shut, to her concierge to unpack. (along with a huge tip).

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