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the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad yet thankful day

I always thought when I got to heaven that the first person I'd look up would be Eve. I'd find her in a dark alley and give her the what-for. Fruit? Seriously? Messing up mankind for a mango? Girl, please.

But as of Thursday at 1:30 a.m., I've changed my mind. First on my list is Noah. And I'm not leaving him alone until he gives me three good reasons he let spiders on the ark.

We may be there for a while. Eternity even.

It happened in the middle of the night. My husband woke up and went to get a glass of water. As he crawled out of bed, I rolled over and felt something scurry across my shoulder. I slapped at my back about three times, checked my pillow, figured it was a phantom feeling and laid back down. Before he turned the lights back out, I looked under my pillow one more time . . . and there the little bugger was: a spider.

I screeched for Chris to kill it, but since we're both -- how do I put this? -- BLIND, he couldn't see where I was jabbing my finger. I was hollering for him to grab his glasses, and he was trying to explain he had contacts in, and when it was all over, he'd grabbed a Kleenex, and the arachnid was dead.

He went to the bathroom to drop the deceased in the trash, and by the time he came back in and laid down, my right eye had swollen closed and I jumped out of bed, pulled my hair back and raced for the trash can. Then the headache started. Then my chest tightened. It really happened that fast. Whatever that little dude was packing, it was legit.

With gratitude to Chris, my husband, for meritorious service on the field of battle AKA  someone hopped up on spider venom
Chris, of course, said we needed to go to the emergency room, but like any idiot, I tried to convince him to let me lay on the bathroom floor for a while so we wouldn't have to wake the baby. Thankfully, the Lord sets the solitary into families, so while I kept saying, "I don't feel good. And what's with my eye? Are you even there? Who am I?" Chris called his mom, who graciously got out of bed, came to our house and watched Georgia while he drove me a half an hour to the hospital with a baggie toting the spider in tow.

Three hours, an anti-nausea pill, some steroids and a receptionist who shrieked, "Did the spider BITE YOUR EYE?" later, we headed home with the knowledge that I had been bitten by a brown recluse.

Or as I told Chris, "Well, now we're just going to have to burn the house down."

The next day I had a follow-up with the doctor, who sent me to the pharmacist, who didn't even acknowledge my swollen-eye-pirate-esque look and acted like it was totally normal. God bless her.

My little Walmart trooper

Then I went to Ace and pretty much bought out their supply of spider traps. Then the exterminator came and hosed the house down. Then Georgia and I, who had vacated the premises at the time, came home just in time for her nap. I laid her down, went back to the car to get the spider traps, and heard the back tire hissing.

In other news, Toyota Camry tires don't love country roads.

I got her back out of bed, drove to the Walmart Automotive department, and parked my car with its now completely flat tire. Two hours and a wailing baby later, and the car still wasn't in the shop. Chris graciously rescued us, and his mom kindly drove him to Walmart later to pick the car up. In the meantime, in an effort to make amends for making him lose three hours of sleep the night before, I pulled a beer out of the fridge to go with the supper I'd fixed and promptly dropped it on the floor -- the beer, that is, not the supper -- where the cap went flying and beer slowly foamed and oozed all across the kitchen floor.

I almost sat down in the middle of the puddle and cried. But my dad's voice echoed in my head. And so to the words, "You're not unique," I decided to mop instead.

Or mope. I can't really remember. Dads are good from pulling us out of our pity parties like that.

How we feel about spiders. 

The good news in all of this is that doctors prescribe steroids, husbands don't blink twice about getting you medical attention, mothers-in-law sleep on your couch so your baby doesn't have to wake up, Leinenkugel makes more beer and swollen eyes eventually go back to normal.

I mean, you may not know it from all the toxin-induced rashes covering me at the moment but it's true. Or as Rosie Adle says, "The Lord cares for His creatures through His creatures."

And I am grateful.

Just not for spiders.

PS I'm also reminded of this great Lutheran Witness blog post that reminds me, "Nature is trying to kill you." I would only add, "Yes, it is. And apparently
while you sleep!"


  1. "If it's sympathy you want, call your mother."

  2. I know you aren't asking for advice, but having lived with those spiders in total fear for 5 years in our parsonage and researching EVERY POSSIBLE THING that might make them go away (extermination did not get rid of them for us...), I did have a few little tricks that made me feel better. I would get some peppermint essential oil (I always ordered from Edens Garden for cheap, or sometimes you can just find it at a drug store) and mix some in with water in a spray bottle. The smell repels them. I would spray our bedposts every other day or so (along with my kids'!) to hopefully deter them from getting in there. It doesn't KILL them, but does seem to keep them from entering. I had glue traps absolutely anywhere I could have one and we caught a lot that way. Our stored stuff was moved away from walls and such so they couldn't hide as easily. We kept everything in storage tubs vs. cardboard (they love cardboard...) and when we moved to Fort Wayne there wasn't a single spider in any of the tubs we had. I'm pretty confident that tubs are spider-proof :) Hoping the exterminator works for you - but in case you want to be extra-safe, there's a few tips from someone who's been there. I am so sorry; I can't imagine how terrifying that was, especially having a baby around, too.


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