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I have nothing against spiders in general.

I live and let live.

You go your way, I will go mine.

When it comes to flies, I’m aggressive. They bother me, I smack ’em.

But folks, this is ridiculous. This hairy black thing was at our back door–on MY patio this morning.

Now I was out doing my duty to God and country by walking my required 2+ miles with nothing much annoying me but the usual junk yard dogs that inhabit the far foothills wherein are housed all manner of horse, pig, rooster and so forth. I get the usual yaps, but frankly life in a fenced desert does not engender a lot of war-whooping howling. It’s more, “hey, you human. You’re not in my family, move along, and I’m back to my morning snooze.” They “guard” the family home with a “yeah, sure” assurance, and frankly don’t much give a damn.

A road runner scurrying by, a rabbit playing a game of “gotcha” tag racing by me and off into the brush, and heck, that’s about the only excitement I get. But returning home, I find the Contrarian beckoning me to see the upturned glass on the other side of the patio door.

“What’s that?” I query.

“A spider.” he responds.

“No way!” I exclaim.

“Don’t worry, it’s dead,” he bravely advises.

“What kind of spider? Is it dangerous?” I whisper.

“Don’t know.” he intones.

He removes the glass from it, and gets the broom. Whoosh, and it’s gone off to the side.

Much later, hours in fact, I go out to take a picture. I have trouble finding it. I brush back some greenery (weeds) with a foot, and there it is. I take the picture.

I do some investigating, and find that it’s likely a tarantula–being black and hairy, and therefore probably not dangerous.

An hour or so later, I go back out to turn him over. Something about a black widow having a red spot on the belly. I want to make sure.

I have trouble finding it. When I do, I don’t remember it being THERE last time.

I grab a broom, and I nudge.


I go screaming into the house–“IT’S ALIVE, IT’S ALIVE,” in my best Frankensteinish imitation.

“What’s alive?” he murmurs from his office chair.

“The spider! The spider. Do something!”

“Like what?”

“Get rid of it!

He sighs. He gets up. He gets the long-handled tongs from the grill. He gingerly picks up fuzzy bottom and removes him/her to the side of the house.


“I guess, but I would rather you have dumped it across the wall to one of the neighbors, preferably the one with the yappy dog.”

He grins.

I just wanna know. What other surprises I have in store? Snakes? There better not be any of those showing up. I put up signs around the perimeter already–nothing to eat here!

On another note.

We came here to retire.

When do we get to actually do that?

I spend most every week running from one store to another, or one somewhere or other doing “chores” of one nature or another. It’s getting rather tiresome. I want to stay home, and ENJOY my home, and all the things I want to DO here. When do I get to do that?

On the other hand, I’m getting fit, fit being a relative term you must understand. I have walked now 7+ weeks, six days a week, not missing a one. I’m hoping to get to my swimming three times a week. I am up at 6 and seldom get to relax until around 2 in the afternoon, which is not relaxing so much as it is collapsing.

But, and this is really weird, but I swear it’s true. A whole bunch of my physical complaints are gone. First and foremost was an allergy that left me scratchy (you don’t need to know more). Two days after leaving Iowa, it was dissipating faster than a dog with a new bone. And get this. My digestive troubles have vanished. I mean vanished.

I was supposed to have this inability to digest complex sugars (so said the doctor) so I had to use only cane sugar, no brown sugars, no high-fructose corn syrup, and go light on fruits. I learned I could get away with some of it, without too much trouble, but every five weeks or so, I had a week of lousy health, with my belly full of air, and belching all the time, and feeling very uncomfortable.

It’s all gone now. All of it.

The only thing that accounts for all the various symptoms, is—get this—the water.

We had a well, which was from a large aquifer, and of course when we moved in, the water was tested, and was fine.  Still, well water carries with it certain natural organisms. Apparently, one of them didn’t agree with me. It’s the only thing I have changed since we moved here–water. I used to carry anti-gas pills and antacids with me all the time. Haven’t used them a bit here.

Weird huh?

The Contrarian breathes much better here too. Although his balance problems are no better. The new VA docs have some ideas and are sending him off to El Paso soon for some new tests. If he can get his balance back to normal, he will be one very happy dude. And he might not be a Contrarian, which would present a whole new set of problems the least of which would be what would I call him then?

So how’s your day going?