Creepy Crawley Christmas

 

This past autumn has been so very hard. Missing Jack. Unable to go hunting. Watching the leaves turn from my back yard instead of from endless woods full of birds and bucks.

My hunting season has been reduced to closing my eyes and remembering past experiences. Just not the same thing.  Temperatures hovered at unusual highs in early November, offering me many opportunities to escape to a warmer, friendlier place.

But I couldn’t leave. Health problems were stubbornly hanging onto me in defiance. I couldn’t drive.  I couldn’t go.

I had to accept the harsh reality that I’m likely not going anywhere warm any time soon. Life is changing for me, indeed. And ohhh, to have to face a Minnesota winter.

It’s been so long!

Winter without palm trees and beaches and warm sunny skies.

What is there left to do but make the best of it?

One morning, with great reluctance I finally stepped into the cold wintery outside and made my way to the side of the trailer, unlocking the door. My Toy Hauler was dark, creaking and freezing inside, so I quickly jumped in, dug out my Christmas tree and decorations, and carried the whole works into my living room.

Yup, I’m setting up my tree.

With a heavy sigh I carefully transported several light boxes of delicate Christmas baubles to the front window area, then began pulling my dainty “toy hauler size” tree out of its box. It was cold and stiff.  It’s little artificial branches were hugging tight to the trunk, not very willing to open up into place.  I pulled and separated the 3 sections onto the floor, then fit the base sections into their slots so the tree would stand freely.  This brave little tree has not known cold.  It has traveled the country with me to warm weather destinations, standing proud amidst the palm trees and tropical plants in 60 and 70 degree temperatures, never complaining.  As I fit the middle to the base, then the top to the middle, I recalled the strange feeling of our first Christmas in Florida.

In a tent. On the east coast.

Yes, many precious memories with this tree. I began fussing with the flattened branches to open them up and breathe some life into my little tree. Finding the plugs for the lights, I spun the sections to line up plugs, then tested out the lights.  All working perfect!  I returned to opening up branches, looking into the clusters of squished boughs for any sign of wear or breakage.

‘My how this tree has toughed out the last few years. It still looks pretty good.’

Picking at the branches accidently bent over in transit, my attention was split between the tree, and wondering about dinner, when suddenly, about half way up the tree, right next to my left hand, appeared without warning………a….

SPIDER!                !

Instantly, with feet peddling a mile a minute, I was rocketing backwards. My reflexes automatically reached for something (the tree) to stop me (from falling) realizing I was too late (and hit the floor) landing hard and still scrambling to get some distance between me and that creature infested tree! I pushed myself away so fast that I took down a box of ornaments from the chair, causing shiny round orbs to roll all over the floor.  OH did I mention that I was pretty much screaming the whole way down?

That spider was mega huge.

I went from the desperate attempt to place distance between me and the tree, to frantically brushing myself off and shaking my head to release any other potential critters that were hiding out in those fake branches waiting to attack me, crawling away as best I could.

I made it to the other side of the room—without crushing any of the escaped ornaments. Out of breath and out of sorts, I stood up and did a little pacing in the dining room, trying to get my composure back.  I need to dispatch the spider.

Relax. Take a breath.

I grabbed the broom and cautiously approached the tree, peering into its branches from a safe distance. Didn’t see anything moving anywhere.  Thinking maybe it’s on the underside of the tree, I tried erecting the tree back up with help from the broomstick—causing the base pieces to fall out of place.

‘OH no, I have to get under the tree and fix the stand!’

I tipped the tree to lean into the window, fixed the base pieces, and the tree fell into it’s proper place again. I peered intently into the tree—looking for signs of life.

ARAGHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THERE IT IS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I ran back to the dining room screaming.

You have to realize, this isn’t your every day run of the mill spider. No, this is a Florida spider—they can close up a walking path with a web in a matter of hours and catch unsuspecting birds and animals in it….some of them can carry a small child away…well maybe now I’m being a little melodramatic….but still!  That thing was huge!

I creped back over to the tree, just out of arms reach and peered again into the bristly branches. There it was. I stared, and stared, and stared at the hairy legged beast, waiting for it to make it’s move.  I rustled the tree with the broom just a little bit.

Hmmm, is that a broken leg?

Hmmm, is it missing a leg?

It’s just sitting there.

OH my God how many more are in my trailer.

Um….is it alive?

I shook the tree again, and it took its first lunge for me. It headed down the tree and hit the floor.

OH MY GOD IT’S ON THE FLOOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And I ran into the kitchen screaming.

By now, both of my dust mop dogs are highly curious about what’s happening. Sunny Girl is wandering closer and closer to the tree with a metal ornament stuck in her tail hair.  From across the room I cry out for her to get away as she gets right up close to the spider.  I have to rescue my little girl, so I dash in and scoop her up and away.

The spider didn’t move.

It’s just right there on the floor.

Beginning to think it’s actually not alive.

Beginning to feel a tad silly.

Ah yes, the rugged outdoorswoman.

Oh it’s times like these I’m glad there are no witnesses.

After a thorough inspection from a distance, I reach the conclusion that nope, the spider is not alive. I surveyed the mess I made trying to get away from the dead spider.  Wow.  I wonder how long that thing was able to stay alive in the box?  When did that thing get into the box?  I have more boxes…..oh dear.  I mustered up the courage to scoop that monstrous being onto a piece of newspaper, then placed him on a metal tin for “show and tell”.

Needless to say my tree decorating efforts came to a complete halt for the rest of the day. Finally got the tree trimmed that night, while keeping a sharp eye out for anything moving that shouldn’t be.  Have had several false alarms, thinking I saw something in the tree…or on the floor….and have had a couple dreams that I’d like to un-dream.  It’s one thing to have keepsakes of places you’ve been to that you’d like to remember.  It’s a whole different matter to have  fond memories of a Creepy Crawley Christmas!

 

Words from Wild PR Brady AdventuresThank you for reading my post. What are you most passionate about? What makes your soul sing? I’d love to hear about it!  All comments are greatly appreciated.  For me, it’s any time I can be immersed in nature! I love to ‘get wild, rugged, and dirty’, so to speak.  You can get up close and personal to the great outdoors through many of my observations and experiences in my blog category, “Words From The Wild”.  If you like what you see, please let me know by “liking” my website. You can even join my tribe to automatically receive new postings ‘hot off the press’.  As always, please feel free to share my information with others who may find meaning and value in the outdoors from this outdoorswoman’s perspective, and PR Brady AdVentures. Thanks again!

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