At least Charlotte is the smallest critter to conquer

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I was carrying a load of laundry down the stairs, to our utility room.

As I balanced the clothes in my arms, I simply walked down the corridor of steps to the basement.

As I made my way, I suddenly was engulfed in some strange substance. A film covered my face, neck and hair – and I suddenly dropped the clothes in order to wipe away whatever grossness was attacking me.

I shuddered in horror and shrieked aloud, as I battled what I had realized was a massive cobweb.

This was a very large one – a cobweb that hadn’t even existed, at all, just a matter of hours earlier.

I had gone down those stairs just the night before. Heck, the day before, I had vacuumed the whole basement and even wiped down the walls in that area!

How on earth did a spider extract that much and get that busy, to create a massive web to cover the whole entryway to the living room?

I turned on the light to get a better view and grabbed a broom to wipe away whatever web wasn’t already stuck to me. In the minutes that followed, I never even saw a spider.

I imagined the perpetrator was probably the size of a basketball – it would have to be, in order to create such a large web in such a short amount of time.

I am not a fan of spiders – at all – but at least old Charlotte is the smallest of critters to conquer.

If a critter is somewhere it shouldn’t be – namely, in my space – it needs to die.

When I was growing up, we dealt with mice on a disgusting, regular basis. Living on a secluded piece of property – literally surrounded by cornfields and pasture land promoted the habitation of those darn disgusting rodents. I developed such a phobia about mice that to this day, I can’t bear to be in a pet store because I might accidentally see even a guinea pig.

In our first house, after we were married, we never had mice or spiders, which would be considered a blessing – except for the fact that we were instead infested with bats. The winged rats crammed into our chimney, filled our trees at night and quite often infiltrated the living quarters. There were occasions of finding one hanging upside down (like a vampire) from a shower head; or one was stuck on a sweater that I didn’t notice until I was putting it on; or another that flew around the kitchen until it had a close encounter with a tennis racquet.

In our current house, we spent years battling snakes – as did all our neighbors. Many people would have at least a dozen or more slithering nightmares in their house during the summer months. I’ve had snakes fall on my head from an exterior door frame and my neighbors had so many snakes sunning themselves from the porch that they looked like icicle Christmas lights.

Fortunately, following a little construction project called the “Nebraska Avenue reconstruction,” all the snakes mysteriously disappeared. It’s truly fascinating how they vacated. While work crews didn’t report finding any massive underground snake nests or anything – for some reason the snakes no longer like living along our corridor of town.

So I have lived in bliss for a number of years – no mice, no bats, no snakes.

It’s been heaven.

Until I walked into that dang spider web. Instantly, I became fearful that we might be embarking on a new surge of domicile pestilence.

Granted, I haven’t seen another web anywhere and I have yet to spot a spider.

But I’m extremely cautious now, when I make my way through the stairway, stand near doors or entryways. I really don’t want my face covered in spider stuff ever again.

I keep thinking I feel a spider crawling in my pants.

I dream that I’m covered with tiny spiders while a big mama spins a web tightly around my body.

I check the sheets before I crawl into bed . . . just in case there’s someone waiting.

But I’ll take a spider any day over my past enemies.

In this battle, I won’t need a shovel, or a hedge clipper, or a broom, or a racquet, or a kettle, or a trap as my weapon.

Thank goodness, Charlotte is the smallest critter to conquer.


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