December 20, 2010

My Grinchy Heart Grew Three Sizes That Day

There are moments in life when you realize you've made great strides in maturity...Usually these moments are provided by my children as I learn selflessness in caring for and nurturing them.  Often though, the insight comes from nature and it's revealed in the smallest of decisions...

Don't get me wrong, I like spiders and appreciate their value...I don't even mind little spiders living in the corners of my home occasionally.  And it seems somewhere along the way I've heard that a healthy home (i.e. non-toxic) has spiders... but, I have to draw the line at a spider approaching the size of a quarter with its web stretched across the back of my favorite chair.

I'm sorry to say that my gut reaction was to get a shoe...Fortunately, I didn't listen to my gut.  I remained calm and after taking a lap decided how to proceed.  Relocation seemed the best plan.  But how?  This is a big spider.  With my trusty companion at my heels we formulated a plan...grab the flyswatter, run it through the web, scoop her up and hastily get her to the door...very hastily. 

As luck would have it, when I swiped through the web a bit of it stuck to the flyswatter.  She immediately dropped to the floor and curled up in a ball.  The web acted as a leash and I was able to literally "walk" the spider out the back door (30 ft or so) and down the stairs while holding on to the flyswatter!  

Now for all you brave souls out there I realize you're thinking what's the big deal?  Well, in my house this would normally fall under the blue category of jobs - mine; blue jobs - his.  But in the last couple of years I've come to appreciate the importance of each participants role in nature.   The reality of what she is just wouldn't allow me to smash her with the shoe or call for my husband to smash her with the shoe...she had to be preserved, she is beautiful and beneficial and essential.   My Grinchy heart grew three sizes that day...

 "Our egos tell us we're the only ones that have any kind of feelings.  We're the only ones with a relationship.  We're the only ones with family.  You know, I think that if you kill a spider, there is a relationship that you're ruining.  There's a conversation going on outside with the other spiders. 'Did you hear about Chris?...Killed yeah...Sneaker.  And now Stephanie has nine hundred babies to raise all alone.  Well, she's got her legs full I'll tell you that right now.  Chris was so kind, wouldn't hurt a fly.  It's just been tough for them lately.  They just lost their web last week.  Those humans think they're so smart.  Let them try shooting silk out of their butt and see what they can make.'"    ~Ellen DeGeneres

May all of our hearts grow at least three sizes this Christmas season!  Merry Christmas!


  1. Wonderful post Cat - you had me smiling, especially the part about the blue and pink job categories ;-) My wife learned to take on a lot of 'blue' jobs when I used to travel on business regularly - some have reverted to me, but she is still quite capable.

    Love the Ellen D. quote - how true !

    And I like your words about us needing to grow big(ger) hearts - throughout the year.

  2. Dear Cat, I am all for our hearts growing and wish you a Happy Winter Solstice and Merry Christmas too. I truly could not handle having a spider like that in my house. I really get chills from seeing spiders like this one, though I too respect them and never would harm one in nature. I love the way you carried it outdoors and hope it stays there. Maybe it will let the other spiders in the community know of your big heart and they will leave you be.

  3. Merry Christmas to you too and looking forward to many more wonderful postings from you in 2011!

  4. I too am like you, transporting every spider to the great outdoors. I even find the a new suitable place to call home. Your post gave me a reason why we do it and it was so well put.

    And I love Ellen's quote. I am going to have to look into more of her work. She is both funny and philosophical to boot.

  5. What a great story, Cat! I'm so glad you saved the spider, too. From looking at it, I believe it's a yellow garden spider. I had one living outside my office door all summer long. I even did a post on her in July. She's beautiful and harmless. And yes, all creatures share our Universe and each has a purpose, and maybe even a family :)

  6. When I was a kid I was terrified of insects, anything creepy crawling was sure to evoke screams and running away as quick as I could. Today I still don't want to touch them but I'm learning, like you, to be a little more conscious of them and their place in the world.

  7. Yes, I too have made the journey to find myself scooping up those spiders that love my home as much. I decided we too are spiders (on a different level) and I would like to be scooped up and walked outside instead of being smacked with a shoe.

    Merry Christmas to you!

  8. Hi Cat, I'm with you...little spiders are okay. The large ones freak me out a bit. You are a kind person and the spiders are all very fond of you for saving their friend. :) My husband would grab the shoe, too. I have taught my kids to grab a cup.
    Also, I like the idea of blue and pink chores.

  9. What kind heart you have Cat! Hope that spider not venomous, what if it comes crawling back in looking for your favourite chair! Happy holidays and Merry Xmas!

  10. Hi Cat, Love your photos. They are all very beautiful. I don't see spiders indoors but there are ample on my plants especially my lemon tree. I tried many times to take photos of the web but they don't turn out half as nice as yours.

  11. I loved this, especially the image of you walking your spider out the door! Wonderful story, and heart-tingling the way you told it.

  12. A very sweet post and lesson learned. Happy Holidays to you and yours!

  13. I dont like big spiders especially wnen they move quickly. My eldest these days deals with spiders and adopts the large tankard and magazine approach. He puts tankard over spider and then slides magazine under. Works well

  14. It's a beautiful Christmas story and I love it, Cat! Just what I needed to smile :) Happy holidays fun blogging friend ... it has been a joy connecting.

  15. Hi Rick, yes there are plenty of blue jobs that I tend to although, occasionally I put my pink foot down and refuse!

    Thank you Carol. I hope she likes her new digs and leaves me be too!

    Thank you Charlotte. Merry Christmas!

    Thank you Donna. I like Ellen too - funny but poignant and thoughtful...

    Thanks Diane, There is another just like her living outside my door to the garage too...she spends the day inside the tube of the wind chime and comes out at night to hunt...we've enjoyed watching her all summer. I'm not sure where this one will call home but am happy it won't be by my favorite chair for now!

    They will thank us for our maturity Marguerite!

    Yes, TG, I agree...would much rather be scooped up and gently placed instead of smooshed with a shoe!

    Thanks Amy...our kids are sometimes more trainable than our husbands, huh?!

    p3chandan I will keep my eyes out for her around the chair before sitting down for sure!

    Thank you One...I bet your lemon tree blooms are smelling fine right about now?!

    Thanks Laurrie, So glad you enjoyed the adventure!

    Thanks Tina! Merry Christmas to you and your family!

    Sounds like good advice Patientgardener - thanks!

    Thanks Joey, Can't wait to see a picture of your new grand baby!

  16. Good for you! Loved the Ellen quote. Hope your Christmas is merry and spider-free.

  17. What a truly marvellous Christmas story! Superb photographs!!

    We have a Christmas Spider, made from wire and threaded with beads. Her function is apparently to bring good luck :)

  18. That is a nice looking spider. I had to laugh at the idea of you pulling it along by the web.

    I always get a paper towel or tissue, and pick them up to put outside.

  19. i totally saw this spider in my town, just like similarities, this spider is too dangerous.

    Just like to share with you a life quote...

    "I love my past. I love my present. I'm not ashamed of what I've had, and I'm not sad because I have it no longer. " -- Colette

    You can get more life quotes at

  20. Cat,
    I'm a little late, but what a wonderful post! I love the Ellen quote. It does make you stop and think. My patio gets a ton of spiders in the fall. I use a gardening stake that is about 3-4 ft long and the web and spider wrap right around it so I can wipe it in the grass and they can be on their way until the next day when it's probably the same spiders coming back over and over again. They are probably thinking, I wish she would leave us alone, if I wanted to be in the grass I wouldn't keep building a web on the patio!

    Happy New Year!



Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind.
"Pooh!" he whispered.
"Yes, Piglet?"
"Nothing," said Piglet, taking Pooh's paw. "I just wanted to be sure of you."
~A.A. Milne

Thanks for taking the time to visit!