Life at the Lake

a diary of living at a small lowland lake


Early moonrise over Lake Ketchum

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At my window this morning


This is the season for spiders. They appear in the shower, in the bathroom sink, and everywhere there is a drainpipe for them to enter. To think very much or very hard about the life of the spider is to think about fate. It is best to avoid such thoughts whenever possible.

I like spiders. Well, sort of. I try to practice the philosophy (?) of live and let live. It is more an attitude than a philosophy, especially if you care about words, and I do. If the spiders will leave me alone, I will return the favor. But some of the ones at this time of the year are, well, huge. You could just above cover one of them with one of those silver dollars that gamblers seem to come across in Vegas, and nobody else does.

I speak sadly, because in the past week or so I've killed three of the brutes. One I lived with in the bathroom sink, quite tolerably, quite pleasantly, until a companion appeared one morning. That was too much. I thought we had an agreement? I reached for a piece of paper toweling and, suddenly, they were no more. Or, rather, they were a black smudge, rather like used motor oil, in the center of the toweling. Into the garbage, along with the thought that at least they didn't suffer. No, death for the long-legged pair came suddenly. As death should.

Today, a the sink where I mix my paints and clean up after using pastels, there was the third spider. I tried to practice my Zen attitude toward life for half a day, but the spider crabbed (a fit word) my work, and every time I ran water, he panicked and ran around the edges of the basin, trying to escape.

It was pathetic, his scrambling way. And I tried to avoid hot water, which might have been horrible for him, a simple spider. Sometimes, even with the cold, he would ball himself up, like a rubberband that had seen its best days, and try to disappear, as it were. But given half a chance, a few moments later, there he was again, huge and seemingly astride the wash basin.

It was then that I knew his time had come. I reached for the papertoweling and did the dirty deed in a nanosecond. Once again I complimented myself on my efficient killing, then returned to my work and tried to forget it.

And nearly did.

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