Misadventure is still an adventure; we find solace in that statement.
Her formative years were spent here at the lake in the woods. Her stories of the hour-long rocky ride over unscreened, bank-run gravel while stuffed into an overloaded station wagon with four siblings are recited to me each time we drive up that hill; a section of cow path that used to be all but impassable. She recalls several mufflers and driveshaft u-joints that gave up the ghost, “Right there.”
The road is much improved. It’s now easily navigated—during two out of four seasons—by all but the lowest sedans. It is why that a couple of times each summer, I am forced to give directions to lost souls who are driving Teutonic sedans while the occupants search for a rental camp that is on a different and less remote section of the lake.
They mistake the open iron gate as an invitation, and the signs noting that “there is nothing to see” here are overlooked by folks who are excited to rough it a bit. I attempt to give all of them good directions. At the same time, I’m perplexed that any valid directions could have landed them in front of me. The “Keep Out” and “Private Road” signs seem like they would indicate the lack of a bed & breakfast that they are seeking. I digress.
I share this side-note only to give you enough background so that we might agree that my Significant One’s unnatural fear of spiders should have been quelled by now. She grew up in the woods. Outhouses, old sheds, wooded walks, and bunkrooms are the places where spiders should be; she never got the memo.
Now, about her odd taste in Netflix fodder; she watches Asian-produced serials. Most are South Korean-made, I think. Some are Japanese-produced, I believe. I’ve never watched any of the shows in their entirety.
She doesn’t have a chance to watch much television, so the films are her guilty pleasure. I don’t understand it, and neither does she; and I mean the language. The good news is that all are appropriately sub-titled, and it allows her to watch silently, late at night, when she can’t sleep. Her mind is a busy place. She is even learning the languages, and she finds that to be an interesting and enjoyable side-dish to the break from work-related thoughts.
She has also mentioned that she has learned much about cooking Asian fare and loves to watch the actors eat their meals of soup and noodles. She thinks I am not listening when she tells me these things, but I am.
It was two o’clock in the morning in America. The porch-installed rope swing bed— that she claims most every night— swung so hard that it hit the red Coleman cooler that we store in a void between the bed and the wall.
The resonant boom brought me out of my bed just inside the open sliding glass doors of the camp. The place is small, so the crashing noise caused me to sit up and take a blurry-eyed notice. I thought the British were not only coming, but they had entered and started a percussion band; it was the Fourth of July.
The entire raucous event commenced when a rather huge wolf spider who—at that time—lived in the rafters of the porch dropped down in front of her computer screen. The 3D effect created by her dimly lit backdrop probably made the critter seem much larger than it was. She said it looked at her right in the eye as it swung on homemade silk. She said she swiped it away, but she also lurched, thus recoiling the swinging bed into the cooler, and the cooler into the pine-clad wall. She also screamed.
I was immediately recruited to investigate; that’s what I do. The spider was nowhere to be found. I searched in a way that made me seem interested. We picked up her things, and she went back to bed believing that the spider had moved on. We were wrong.
My explanation was that the lit screen probably drew other small and edible insects, and she (the spider) saw this as an Asian-inspired buffet of sorts. She was calmer, now, and returned to her show. I returned to my bed. A bed, recently infested by one black dog who saw this as an opportunity. I pulled over me what blankets were available and fell fast asleep.
At three-thirty, the whole thing repeated itself. The Significant One was up— and out— of the swinging bed. She claimed to have struck the spider with a fistful of quilting. I was no more awake than I was asleep, but I lumbered out to the porch to help in the search for the wounded beast. No luck.
I took Ellie out for a necessary visit to the forest and took the photo that I have shared today. I also shared it a couple of days ago on my Faceplant page.
The SO found the spider by the time I returned to the cabin. She was a large arachnid, and she had returned to the rafters about ten feet off the floor of the porch. I selected a sturdy chair and a long-handled fly swatter as my tools for the battle ahead. It was a side-show, but I was able to finally able to whack the spider out of the rafters and off to some other location on the porch. I felt the force of the blow was enough to knock the critter unconscious, but the trepidation in my voice was palpable to the lady in the swinging bed.
While “The Lady in the Swinging Bed” sounds more like a not for Netflix series, it’s just the way language sometimes makes us giggle. She came inside the camp and curled up—wide awake—to finish an episode without fear of attack.
At full daylight, over black coffee, she explained that her fear of spiders was recently amplified by a surprise visitor from Florida.
I did recall a late-night phone call when she saw a tiny scorpion escape from her suitcase while unpacking at her old apartment in South Carolina. She said, ever since that event, spiders cause her more angst. She finally hunted that freeloading beast down as it hid behind the curtains in her bedroom. A broom was utilized during that eviction and subsequent eradication.
After the post-event briefing, I went to the porch and found the body of the wolf spider. She was a big one, but I still felt bad about what I had to do.
Last night, while the mosquitoes dive-bombed us as we read, I did mention that it sure would be nice if we had a friend to rid the cabin of the blood-sucking vermin. She didn’t even look up from her material.
I think she had her headphones in.
(copyright Tim Cotton 2021)
Thanks for all your support, and you know who you are. I have been flabbergasted, not just by your BuyMeACoffee support, but for the fantastic notes that I receive weekly. I read them all, and I relish the fact that people have enjoyed the new blog space and still come to read what I write. No one could have predicted this. No one. Thank you. It should also be noted that all the information regarding my SO’s hatred of spiders and love of Asian-produced serials were run by her before I hit the upload button. I figure if she laughs about the things I write, it’s safe to send it out there. Still on vacation, so you won’t see much on the Facebook page this week. It takes a long time for things to upload over the iPhone hotspot. Even when I put the phone up where the spiders reside. Part of the charm is making it work from the woods. We are boating a bit, I dragged the cratered road with the tractor, and I am going to mow the patch we call the lawn. My son and his family are coming down for a couple of nights. After his last few weeks on the road, the boy needs a vacation from all the things that law enforcement has become. This is a safe space for him, now. It was mine for most of my years in the cop trades. We all need a safe space away from our work; some place quiet. I hope you all can find a spot for that. It keeps you sane. Right now, we all need a bit of sanity.