Saturday, August 16, 2008
The Lady or the Spider
It's early, and while I am not up, you just know that Richard is. Bless his heart he rolled up the beach mats and shower curtain on my garden boat. By the time I wander out at 9:30am, it is already +25 in the shade and going up. It's hot and airless in the garden yard. Even the dogs are listless in the heat, laying in the sun getting their daily dose of Vitamin D.
We bathed and deflea-ed the dogs yesterday, oh happy day, and it has improved their disposition immensely. Mine too.
It's been really hot for the last few days, and I am draggy. I do ok in heat up to about +28. After that, I fade. Don't get me wrong, I am not complaining about the heat - Lord knows we suffered so much with the cold and rain this past winter that I swore I wouldn't complain if it got hot. This is me not complaining!
My plants are suffering and as our water well is getting quite low, Richard is hauling a tank full tonight after work for me to pour on them. I wander back into the house where I have 4 fans on full blast, two in the kitchen, one in the living room and one in the back room to help keep it cool. We have a window air conditioner but it doesn't make sense to use it for four days and then have to haul it out of the window and back upstairs again, so upstairs it stays. I turn on the living room computer.
The phone rings and it is Kate. My sister has never been a gardener, always insisting she has a black thumb, not the green thumb that I have inherited from our parents and grandparents. Recently she and Jon moved to a cute little cottage in the country outside of Sidney and she has decided to try gardening on a small basis. They have purchased several gorgeous hanging baskets and filled window boxes with geraniums, petunias, alyssum, lobelia as well as herbs. We talked about my latest blog post, Fruit Fly Olympics, and she laughed and said "I'll do you one better".
I should tell you that Kate and I are quite brave women. No, really. Not too much frightens us. Ok, well bears frighten me, but that's a different story. We come from tough, pioneer stock, and both think humor is a great defense, using it all the time. We have both backed down large, aggressive, annoying people with just a few soft words. And controlled our children with quelling looks.
Remember I said not too much frightens us? Well, um, there is one thing...one thing that can make us both run screaming into the night startling wildlife, and our husbands, into near palpitations. Not a big thing, by most standards, but to us...to us it is HUGE. And hairy. And leggy. Very, very leggy. It is the one thing that causes an extreme atavistic response in both of us - that completely uncontrollable, shaking, shivering, yes, even drooling, God-help-me-it's-gonna-get-me, screaming meemee's, Richard-bring-the-shotgun-and-load-it-with-double-ought-buckshot, response. Um hm, that one. It is one of the biggest phobia's known to mankind. I am speaking, of course, of arachnophobia.
Yup, fear of spiders.
I know that the spiders on the Island are not BIG by tropical standards, like the dinner plate size ones of the Panama Canal Zone. However...the ones we have here, especially close to the water like down-Island were Kate lives, are as big as your fist.
And Kate had the misfortune to have a run-in with one, only that morning. Remember I said she had taken up gardening? You know, watering, weeding, fertilizing, dead-heading (remember, I had written in my blog that the Fruit Flies were doing a forward dive pike from a standing start). Kate was dead-heading her Begonias, totally involved - in the zone as they say - when a huge, hairy, teeth-gnashing, 8 legged, foot stomping, spider, grabbed her by the arm, shook her, and told her to bugger off and stop disturbing it's sleep!
Ok, well, maybe it grabbed, er, landed on her hand and scared the bejeezus out of her. She said she did a triple back flip and spiked her landing, worthy of a Gold Medal in Gymnastics at the Olympics for sure. I believe her. I've been there. That gut clenching, adrenaline fueled, eye crossing, get-out-of-my-way, door busting, fear.
But I am in awe of her triple back flip. That's impressive. I've never done that one. My personal best spider response was the 100 meter dash in just under 10 seconds. That and the 1000 decibal scream but that's nothing much, Kate has that mastered too.
Is that a skeptical look I see on your face?
Obviously you haven't seen our Island spiders up close and personal as they dash out from under your computer desk, grab you by the ankle, and threaten you with grievous bodily harm if you don't get out of their way.
That's when Kate and I mastered the splatting foot stomp.
That and her triple back flip.
I told you we were quite brave women.