What creeps me out

blogIMG_3972 (2)There aren’t a lot of things I can identify that would be classified into my ‘creep out zone’ – you know, things that you find creepy.

Tons of novels and movies abound that are filled with creepiness, but I choose not to read them or watch them.  I mean, really, why allow those imagined creepy images to infiltrate the recesses of my mind when happenings in the real world with real people are creepy enough?

So no, I don’t do creepy.  But today I found myself searching for photos in my picture cache to personify this word because this week’s photo challenge theme is – you guessed it – creepy.

So what seems creepy to me?  An abandoned and deteriorating house situated out in the country?  No.  That just makes me sad thinking of the family that may have once lived there and the joys and struggles they may have experienced in their home.

Scenes in a cemetery, are they creepy?  Not to me.  I find cemeteries fascinating again imagining the lives that once lived on this earth and all that they may have experienced during their time on this planet.

What about photos shot in the cover of nighttime, when it’s really dark outside, the sky is obscured by clouds, and the only light penetrating the black velvet covering is a slice of moonlight?  Nope.  Not creepy for me.

So what gives me the creeps?  It’s usually things I can’t see.  And how do you photograph what you can’t see?

So my next thought concentrated on that idea.  And I identified at least two occurrences that totally creep me out when they happen and for them, I do have corresponding photographs.  

I scream and totally go spastic when I walk into an unforeseen spider web.  The thought of it even now makes me shudder and creeps me out.  I don’t mind looking at wispy webs but I can’t stand the thought of them (and the spider) actually being in my hair or on my hand or face.  Yikes!  Creepy!

It’s been a few years since I’ve been to the beach (you can feel sorry for me here).  When we lived in the Pacific Northwest, trips to the beach were common and even now living on the other side of the country, we’ve taken many vacations to the shore, just not lately.

I love the beach.  I love the ocean.  I love sitting in the sand in my beach chair, reading a good book, and listening to the ebb and flow of ocean waves.  It’s a happy place. 

This one is safely behind glass at the aquarium

This one is safely behind glass at the aquarium

But actually diving into that ocean water is another thing.  Wading out into the tide?  Ah, not so much.  I will go out into the water up to my knees and no further.  Actually swim in the briny?  No thank you.  I’ll stick to the pool.

Why?  Because the farther you go out into ocean water, the less you can see what’s in it.  And when seaweed or – yikes again! – something else unidentifiable swirls around my legs and feet or brushes against me, it’s creepy. 

You just don’t know what’s lurking in the water underneath or around you.  After all the shark sightings at our eastern seaboard beaches this summer, I don’t think I’m being unreasonable about that one.

“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.”  ~ H. P. Lovecraft

©2015 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

Spun just for me

blogDSCN7211A gift was intricately made visible on our deck for me this morning, and the evidence of that gift taught me a lesson worth sharing.

As I stated in an earlier post, I am not fond of spiders, especially those arachnids who find their way into my house.  Unlike my oldest daughter, I don’t freak out and scream hysterically unless they startle me.

Awhile back, we were being assaulted by those eight-legged creatures inside the house,  but hubby managed to put down some kind of “spider  barrier,” so they’ve stayed outside where they belong!

This past weekend since the weather cooperated and produced a fairly warm and sunny day, hubby and I awakened early on Saturday and decided to finally crack open the gallons of paint that have been taking up residence in our garage for over two months.  Our family room needed a new paint job, and since we could open the windows and French door to ventilate the room, we scurried to move furniture and get prepared to wield the paint roller and brushes.

Of course, this also required much heavy-duty cleaning also to be accomplished, including washing the windows.  When I first opened them, I was assaulted by scads of cobwebs and an assortment of dead insects in between the glass panes and the outdoor window screens.  Yeah, gross!  But you know what they say, a good bug is a dead bug.

As I was tipping in a window to clean the outside of it, a live spider dangled from nowhere causing me to give a little shriek, but I just smashed him with my Windex-laden paper towel.  I didn’t give the spiders another thought until this morning.  You know, out of sight, out of mind.

Last night the temperature dropped significantly and this morning as I peeked out our shiny, sparkling windows, I noticed there was a heavy layer of frost on the ground.  Our window thermometer revealed it was 32 degrees, shivering weather!

blogDSCN7210Perched at the kitchen table, I relished my hot cup of tea and waited for hubby to transport me to work (he’s driving my car while his is in the repair shop).  I glanced again out my squeaky clean windows.  And that’s when I saw it – the gift the spiders spun for me.

Strands of spider webs, coated with thick frost, were laced across the deck banister and from post to post.  They appeared snowy white with their icy coats against the wood of the deck and looked exactly like strands of cord or string strewn hither and yon.  I was intrigued enough to brave the chill without a jacket and snap a few pictures.

And that’s when God spoke to my visual brain as He so often does.  I immediately thought of this scripture from the Bible:  “A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” ~ Ecclesiastes 4:12.

blogDSCN7212All day, even at work, I mulled over this passage in Ecclesiastes.  There’s more to it as you can see: “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work:  If one falls down, his friend can help him up.  But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!  Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone?  Though one may be over powered, two can defend themselves.  A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” (Chapter 4:9-12)

This passage reminds us of the advantages of belonging to a group of fellow believers (the body of Christ), how we can support one another, work together to further God’s kingdom, and encourage one another.  Being bound together in Christian love can be compared to the three cords (one for each of the Trinity – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) woven together, strong and steadfast.

That’s what my fellow believers in Christ are to me – my dearest friends.  I’ve been blessed with strong sisters in Christ most of my life and for that I am thankful.  No matter where my family has roamed over the years, God has always provided faithful friends.

Some of you, even though we no longer see each other because we live in different areas of the country, read my blog.  I need to let you know what a source of joy your continued friendship is to me.

Others of you are friends I’ve known for most of my life, tried and true friends.  You have always been there for me, and for that I am most grateful.  Still others are new friends who have brought new perspective and wonder to my life.  Some of you are my family, my closest friends of all.

In this season of thankfulness, God showed me through the viewing of frost-encased strings of spider web that you all are such a treasure.  You are the kind of friends that remind me of this Shakespearean quote from Hamlet“Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried.  Grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel.”

My friends, you who have stood the test of time and those who have proven so very worthy (whose “adoption has been tried”), we have been bound together with love, powerful as a three-stranded cord.  I hope you all know that I am “grappling” (tying and securing) you to my soul with those strong, unbreakable cords as durable as “hoops of steel.”

Who would have thought that God would use those spiders, pesky to me but created by Him, to unfold this truth to me?  Now, I have to be thankful for spiders!

©2010 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

Where’s Spiderman when you need him?

blogIMG_1776 (4)We are a family not very fond of arachnids.   I still get the willies every time I think about the time,  when we lived in the Southwest, hubby and I were out driving and saw lines of tarantulas crawling in front of us – yes, on the road!

The only spider we ever got a kick out of was Spiderman in the movies. I think my kids have all of the DVDs and have watched them a zillion times.  Which makes me wonder, could Spiderman throw out some of those heavy-duty webs and catch the spiders that are infiltrating my house right now?

The thought of seeing these black hairy creatures would send my oldest daughter into orbit.  She is terrified of insects and I do mean terrified!  When she still lived here in the nest, she would scream for her dad or brother to come kill a bug in her bedroom, even if it was just the common old housefly.  I’m not sure how she manages the insects that may find their way into her apartment now, but I suspect she has a very brave roommate (she is a doctor).

The rest of us don’t hyperventilate at an insect sighting like oldest daughter does, after all, we do live out here in the country, so there is an assortment of bugs flying and crawling around.  But it does creep me out when I spot fuzzy spiders darting across my family room floor!  That’s not the kind of fuzzy that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy all over, ya know?

But that’s what happened last night.  Out of the corner of my eye, I saw something about the size of a quarter scurry across the floor.  In my flu-induced weakness state, I couldn’t get up fast enough to see where it went and smoosh it.  Instead I called out to hubby, “There’s a spider!”  Okay… I yelled.

He chastised me a little because by the time he came from the kitchen, we had no clue where it had gone to hide away.  Then hubby told me he has already killed four of these boogers!  Ewwww. 

Here at our house we definitely do not agree with an old American Quaker saying, “If you want to live and thrive, let the spider run alive.”  No – spiders in our house, prepare to die!

As the weather has gotten cooler and the rain has set in, these creepy crawlers have found ways to enter our house and garage.  Spiders seem to be everywhere.  They’ve even taken up residence in our mail box and you never know when you pick up the mail if you have a hitchhiker.   I’m sure anyone driving by my house when I’m standing in my driveway shaking the heck out of my mail thinks I’m nuts.  Maybe they think I’m shaking down my mail for money! Ha — finding money in the mail…that would be the day!

Today on my way home from work, I stopped to fill my car up with gas.  While I was pumping, this huge monster brown spider ran towards my car, but luckily changed its little spidey-brain and ran back from whence it came.  Thankfully!

I suspect the spiders at my house are entering around our French doors in the family room, but I don’t care where they come from, I just want them gone! And I really want the one I spotted last night to be gone.  Last time I saw him, he was headed for the computer desk.

As you may recall, I romp around my house in my bare feet.  Guess who is sitting at the computer typing her blog post and holding her feet up from the floor?  Yeah, that would be me.  Spiderman, please come save me!

©2010 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com