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Spider in a Van (Think Snakes on a Plane)

How was your Easter? Ours was really nice. It felt good to be home and have a family day. Church was great, full of great worship, new baptisms, and both services were full. Love that! In the evening we celebrated Easter and my son-in law's birthday with our family. My heart was in the right place and it felt so good. I mentioned last week that I was doing a Holy Week devotional leading up to Easter and I really liked it. I felt so much joy and gratitude in my heart Easter Sunday. What he went through for me, for us, is truly an act of love. There are no other words to describe it.  

We don’t do a lot of the commercial stuff for Easter to celebrate the day. Sure, there is some chocolate and I did hide a few eggs with jelly beans inside for Landon to find. I’m still finding them, so I think I hid too many. We also got him a bunny. They live in the country now and we thought he should have a pet. Grandpa built a cage and we gave Landon a little fur ball Sunday night. He loved him! Sometimes a little too aggressively, but we're working on that. I went over there on Monday night and he proudly led me over to see “Speedy.” I am not a big animal lover, but I do like bunnies. The bunny was even in the house! Big step for this Grandma.

The week before Easter I was alone in Orange Beach getting some writing done. I was truly enjoying my little alone routine. Coffee and devotions on the balcony, morning walk or bike ride. Then I would work on my writing until about 1:00. Beach from 1-4 and then clean up, make dinner. Write some more or attack another project. Sounds idyllic, doesn’t it??? It was!!!!  For someone who used to hate to be alone and always surrounded herself with people, think (“Where’s the Party!”) I truly enjoy it now and make good use of alone time. Am I becoming an introvert???

Probably not. Here’s how I know that. I had been alone a few days, except for church and a few random people here and there (Publix cashier.) I was using maybe only 2-3,000 words a day and feeling it, so I decided it was time for an outing. Pedicure? Yes, please. On Monday, after the beach, I got ready and did just that. Thoroughly enjoyed myself and then went to a local restaurant to grab a bite to eat. Then this perfect day went from good to bad. I even had that feeling that something was bound to go wrong. I am not a negative nellie by nature, but for some reason I felt like any minute it could all change. It did.  

The culprit? The reason? Not sudden illness, a car accident, or bad news from home. Nothing like you would expect. It was a spider in my van! Not just an ordinary spider, but a big black furry spider with a yellow eye. He was INSIDE my windshield right in front of me and appeared just as I was pulling out of the parking lot. I was frantically trying to grab something big enough to kill it with (like my shoe) when he disappeared somewhere into my rearview mirror. I used the light on my phone to try and see from the outside where he was, no luck. I banged on the windshield, no luck. I turned on the windshield wipers and I really don't know why I did that but it seemed like a good idea at the time. Still no luck. I said under my breath so people wouldn't hear me and think I was crazy, “Show yourself to me you coward!” Nothing. So, I did what we all do: I sent a text to my friend who is deathly afraid of spiders. I felt she should know what I was going through right now. Here are the supportive texts I received:

I did not call a cab but I did try to wait him out. He was bound to come out sooner or later. He did not. After about an hour, (yes an hour) I gathered the nerve to drive one block over to Home Depot. I was going to bomb him. Operation "Kill the Furry Spider" was underway. I turned on all the lights in the van and drove over there. The entire interior of my van is black and of course I had on black leggings and I was not taking any chances on missing him. I also drove with my shoe in hand.  

To my dismay, I could only bomb the van when I wasn't going to drive it for about four hours.  So, with a heavy heart, I purchased the bomb realizing I was going to have to make the 20 minute drive back with the company of a spider. 

I need to explain something here. In spite of what you may be thinking, I am not deathly afraid of spiders. I was more afraid of him surprising me while I was driving and my reaction causing a car accident. I do not like surprises while driving.

About then, my same friend called me (filled with genuine concern) and wanted to know how my cab ride was. I told her my plan and she had the genius idea that she would watch the windshield via FaceTime so I could watch the road.  That is what we did for the ride home. She watched the window for me in the comfort of her home. I did say to her, “You are so brave about spiders WHEN YOU'RE 1,000 MILES AWAY!”  I made it back without a sighting - thank God. She also told me later she thought it was a good idea to ride along with me so I didn't stop at Rite Aid for some Milk Duds to alleviate my stress. She knows me too well.  

The next day, I bombed the van and when I went back to open it up I thought I might as well grab some of the trash out of there. I'm a messy traveler. In the pocket of the door were a few foil wrappers. Similar to Cadbury Egg foil, not saying they were…. just similar. There was a suspicious black “fuzzy” in the door as well. 

I honestly did not think it was said spider, but just in case, I made a little scoop out of the foil and attempted to scoop it out of the door. That fuzz came alive in my hand and, of course, I screamed, he dropped to the ground, and scuttled under the van. I was relieved to have seen his carcass, but not happy he was still alive. I mean, what if he found the strength to climb back up in my van? So, I moved the van. Took a close up picture for evidence and finished him off.

The spider saga was essentially over, except for my nervousness that rest of his family would appear. Thankfully, they did not.

There is a lesson here in this dramatic spider tale. Me being me, I have to find some good out of this to learn from. As I was lying in bed that night, I jotted a few down: 

  1. Life is full of surprises. Be ready. 

  2. One bad thing doesn't make the whole day a wash. It was still a really good day until that happened. It's also something we will laugh about for awhile.

  3. Thankful for a friend that has my back. You can always phone (or FaceTime) a friend when in need.

  4. Sometimes God uses a delay or a detour in our lives to keep us from something that might harm us. Mine was probably the outlet mall, as I never made it there that night.

  5. Don’t turn to a substance when in trouble. Even though my days of stopping for liquor in a crisis (yes, this was a crisis) are behind me, the left side of my brain was telling me to get some sugar for when I got home. You deserve it. That wouldn't have done anything for me but make me feel like crap the next day. The spider would’ve been successful in ruining more than an evening.  

  6. God hears all prayers. “Please God don’t let the spider appear, please God don’t let the spider appear, please God don’t let the spider appear, please God don’t let the spider appear." He didn’t, God heard me loud and clear.  

  7. I learned my oldest daughter really had been listening all those years in church. She sent me a biblical supportive text. Well, kinda.

These life things are going to happen. Often and unexpectedly. That's just life! While you can’t always be ready for them, I mean who's ready for a spider to appear on their windshield! Not me. You have to just stay grounded. To stay grounded I also sang (softly) while I tried to wait him out in the restaurant parking lot. “All creatures great and small, the Lord God made them all.” Not sure if that's how it goes, but that's the variation I came up with.  

The LORD will keep you from all harm-- he will watch over your life;  Psalm 121:7

Like I said, I learned a few things. A crisis can be survived with a little help from my friends and the Big Guy above who made this nasty little beast in the first place. 

I went to bed that night with a smile on my face as I was starting to see the humor in this. I also left the light on!

Peace on your weekend,


P.S. I saw the same kind of spider in our garage when I got back to Michigan. Pretty sure this guy was with me for awhile!  


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