Gratitude Sunday: Tricksters And Creepy Things

Gratitude * Sunday

Quote of the Week – “Truth will ultimately prevail when there is pains to bring it to light.” George Washington

Sunday Haiku
Wildfire burning bright
lighting up the dark of night,
stay away! Die right.

Sunday Musings

TRIGGER ALERT: This is a fanciful museful post but I do mention spiders and torture. For the particular spider in question, I’m using the pronoun he, but he may as well have been a she. I’ll never know; I might never care. The rest of the spiders mentioned could be of any orientation.

My “new” neighbor has been in the house behind me for four or five years now, and he has methodically cut down many of the trees the “old” neighbor had lovingly cultivated. It has created heating and cooling issues in my house I didn’t have before, but how do you plead with your new neighbor, “Don’t cut your trees!”? Why should he care about me? He’ll never know I care about him as much as I care selfishly about me. I refuse to let the hubster plant a row of arborvitae on our side of the fence. Those things are a mess, need to be trimmed every year, and will grow through his fence. If I leave enough room to trim both sides I lose six feet of yard space, and that’s half my yard. I know hubster won’t trim it and it’s too much work for me, and I’m not going to subject the neighbor to it either.

So, I’m seeing sunlight in my house where I haven’t seen it before. This afternoon the sun shined brightly through the kitchen window precisely at the proper angle to show a massive cobweb woven over my collection of trinkets that live there. The clever spider made a rain resistant canopy where none was needed (it’s indoors), but that’s what spiders do, and that’s what he did, turning my window sill into his own private condominium. The canopy was pretty much invisible to my eyes in normal light, such is the cleverness of stealthy spiders. I shouldn’t resent his squatting in the territory, what with me leaving the windows open on these warm nights I might as well have hung out a “For Rent” sign.

As I cleaned away the tightly knit webbing, suddenly the little guy darts out of his hidey-hole and dives into the sink. And I do mean dive; he launched from the sill and caught air the six inches of width and all the way down into the sink landing upright on his feet, didn’t even have to tuck and roll. I swear I heard him yell “Geronimo!” as he leaped toward the sink. (“Geronimo!” was a game I played with my siblings when we were very small. We had a small, maybe four-by-four foot concrete platform entry into our house that was raised two steps off the ground, about two feet. We would stand with our backs to the front door, “run” the two or three steps to the edge, yell “Geronimo!” at the top of our lungs, and pitch our little kid bodies, arms wide for balance, off the two foot high platform onto the grass of the front lawn. Sounds a little silly now as the platform is about knee height, but when you are a little kid and the platform is half as tall as you, it was a great feat of faith and bravery to jump off the platform and trust you would not die or be injured by the jump. That’s where the siblings came in; there was always someone who could run and get Mom if we hurt ourselves. I don’t know where we came up with shouting “Geronimo!” (maybe some old black and white Western we saw on TV?), but I’m sure we were announcing our bravery and confidence, if not competence. Perhaps it’s like the “hi-ya” practitioners of karate and other martial arts yell, using their lungs to aid the projection of the force of their bodies.)

This spidey knew what he was doing and where he was going. He likely had made night-time forays to the sink for drinking water. He did a double circuit with banked corners around the bottom of the sink Nascar-style, then made the circuit around the center drain as well, making a pit stop in the muck at the bottom of the drain. Spiders are smart. They have prodigious memories. How else do you think they remember how to build webs? I don’t think it’s just instinct. Spiders come in all shapes, sizes, and colors, like people, but this one was small, lithe, and a lovely shade of ghostly pale gray. Though they aren’t my favorite critter, I’m only mildly creeped out by spiders. Observing critter behavior is an enjoyment left from childhood when I would spend hours watching a spider weave a web and then devour its prey. Fascinating stuff.

I am, in fact, a master spider terminator. I stomp them in the bathtub, smash them in the bathroom sink with a vast fortitude of tissue between me and them, or running across the floor, which requires a sneak-and-scrape technique, because if you raise your foot they see you coming. For the walls and ceilings I have a spider dispatching gun, a plug-in dartish type affair with a large flat plate attached by a string so you don’t have to retrieve the plate after shooting. When you pull the trigger the flat plate piece shoots out with a certain amount of spring-loaded force and velocity enough to squash critters flat from a distance of a few feet. I’m not a great shot with this toy, as sometimes the critters drop after being hit; it’s when they run after being hit that’s disconcerting. I tell myself spiders do good things like eating other more noxious insects. I let them live in my house until they make a nuisance of themselves, then I do as my dear grandma did: I kill them. I don’t take them outside; as my grandma said there’s plenty of spiders. They will not be on the endangered species list in my lifetime or at least seven generations. Grandma did not tolerate any critters whatsoever inside her house; neither cat nor dog graced her floor in her older age, visiting pets stayed out of doors. She was a much better housekeeper than I.

Occasionally I use other methods of termination. I am a torturer. I don’t like chemical poisons, because those end up going down the drain and into our water sources. No, I am an advocate for whatever chemical warfare is immediately available. I’ve used liquid soap, baking soda, vinegar, salsa, hand lotion, and whatever other liquid cosmetic, cleaner, or food item was at hand. One drop is all it takes. Then a swish of tap water, and spider be gone.

I’ve recently been advised that vinegar sprayed around doors and windows will deter the spideys from coming inside. In my house I’d have to spray the entire foundation and roof line, because of certain weirdnesses in my house, so I have yet to experiment with this method, even though I believe in the use of vinegar as a sustainable biodegradable cleaner. I might start with this one window and see what happens.

Water by itself doesn’t work to eliminate spiders. Most spiders don’t drown, even when scalded with hot water. I think they are heat resistant. I’ve seen them find water bubbles and use those to breathe while riding to the surface of the water. They can spread their legs and skid-balance on top of the surface, riding any whirlpool created by the force of the tap water going down the drain. Water can be spider-friendly.

This little gray guy survived the tsunami of hot water. He survived the whirlpool amusement ride I provided. He survived the gross muck at the bottom of the drain, yet unwashed this week, but not enough guck to ensnare or suffocate said spidey. He waited until the water was gone and rose from the muck and mire of the drain to attempt an escape up the vertical sides of a smooth enameled sink.

Then the hand of a higher power descended to darken his world. Yes, he was crushed by a teaspoon humanly wielded. Had he cooperated and gone down the drain on a bubble of air to his next adventure, he would still be alive to tell the story to whatever spidey kin he had. Not now. The trickster is no more.

Sometimes our lives are full of spiders, tricksters, and creepy things, many of them bigger than we are, or at least they think they are bigger, some even think they are better. In America right now we are dealing with spiders that embarrass us both at home and on the world stage, tricksters who don’t know what they are doing who think they are clever nonetheless, and creepy things who have sold their patriotism for that emblem of greed: money. Those same people rig the system so average hardworking people cannot make a living or support a home, and then these greedy people, who have gained wealth from cooperating with foreign entities or not paying taxes, point fingers and call names about laziness and entitlement at the very people they have sworn to serve and protect. The spiders wrap us tightly in webs of deceit and filth, dragging us down into their muck and mire. These bigger, better spiders will have their day of darkening and the hand of justice will descend. Nothing lasts forever.

We must be the clever little gray spiders who catch air bubbles to ride to the surface of survival. We must rise to the top of the muck and mire and let those who made the messes go down with their own dirt and die in filth of their own making. We must ride the whirlpool, despite the heat, and go on to weave another safety net to make sure this crazy-making doesn’t happen again. We must render the cobwebs visible, in clear bright daylight and in low light as well, defying the stealth of deceit. We must be smarter and more resilient than the tricksters who tell us not to believe what we see or hear with our own eyes and ears, to only believe what we are told. We must prevail or we will die under the hand of darkness.

Color Watch – colorful attractions in my neighborhoods this week – Love the exotic look and scarlet-vermillion color of the neighbor lady’s crocosmia. Am I blue? Heart throbs for this shade of blue mallow (maybe?). A pile of bright school bus yellow black eyed Susans. Pink hollyhock, anyone? I recently found out mallow, hollyhock, and hibiscus are related, and I can’t tell them apart yet, but I sure like this shade of pink!

Current View – {These are only my opinions about movies and books, but don’t let me stop you from trying these reviewed items yourself; your opinion may differ.} Almost done with season 3 of Dr Kildare (1961-1966, TV series, not rated). Still unresolved topics include aging, discrimination, health insurance costs, single mothers, and so many others we are still dealing with today. Progress, but not enough; how many generations will it take?

Currently Reading The Truth According to Us (2015, fiction) by Annie Barrows. We begin in 1938 West Virginia when a young woman is cut off from her allowance from her wealthy Senator father and is forced to take a job with the WPA Writer’s Project, which was considered being on welfare back then. History, small towns, and fiction, oh the joys of summer reading! * The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger (2010, sociology, health outcomes) by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett. The authors intend to lay out evidence and studies showing the poorer you are, the poorest health outcomes you have. I’m looking forward to reading what they found.

This week I have been grateful for:

  • Keeping the house relatively cool without central air.
  • Not having to go anywhere, or the pressure of a schedule in this heat.
  • The fragile flower I am wilting in the heat.
  • Opening doors and windows for the cooler air of night.
  • My local aquatic center, and the comfort of the pool water on warm days.
  • The ease of requesting items from my local lending library, and often being able to have them ready when I am.
  • Being able to advise if you want to really feel alive without excessive adrenaline, wax your legs.
  • How time seems to disappear when I’m reading or writing or editing. Feels like a little bit of magic.
  • Shorts, tank tops, tank shifts, and ice.
  • The smoke from local wildfires not hitting us yet.
  • Learning more about the differences in socio-economic classes. My life stories come from the lower income/poverty side and the interesting thing is people often don’t believe stories of poverty, because they never had to live through such hardships.
  • Remembering we aren’t all granted the same abilities, intelligence, nurturing, and opportunity.
  • The strawberries being so ripe when you open the fridge they send their sweet fragrance clear out into the living room.
  • Water.

Hoping you have a lovely week.

Namaste. Peace. Blessings.


Floral ribbon border by Laurel Burch

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This entry was posted in abundance, Aging, Education, GRATITUDE, Grief, Health, Nature, Photography, Poetry, Politics and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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