Posted by: canthold | October 8, 2007

Recreational Spiders

Thursday night I packed the kids, suitcases and the dog, poured lots of food for the cat and left instructions for the cat-checker-inner-onner. We dropped the dog off at the place he loves more than my house, (but which costs so much that I can’t tell my husband exactly how much) and drove to Oakland to pick up my husband.

The Holder family went to Lake Tahoe for the weekend. We met up with my husband’s folks from Houston, which meant that I got to breathe a little with grandparents to step up.

In order to start this weekend off, my husband, who was over-tired and over-worked, asked me to drive. I was the lucky sap who got to take us over Donner Summit while it snowed a lot. I used to live in the snow in both Chicago and Japan so I know how to steer into the skid. And I did it. Twice. After the highway patrol stopped all the cars for miles for a whole hour to let the snow get thicker on the ground, they let us pass with instructions to leave it under 35 miles per hour. That was not a problem either. With my kids and husband in the car with me, I had no incentive to careen off the side of a cliff.

Normally the trip takes about three hours or at least that’s what we always tell ourselves. The trip there took five and we got in at 2:00am. For a gal whose bedtime is around 10:30, you can guess how tired I was. I slept in the next morning without the premature wake-ups of either cat or dog and slept so late that I never even bothered to call the kids’ schools to tell them they weren’t coming. (Ooops!)

With an early snow up at Tahoe, we were given the best of both worlds. Tahoe to me is a Winter Funland. Summer up there isn’t really for me, though it’s so beautiful. All I want to do is sleep. It must be the altitude. With snow, however, it felt magical and I could stare out the windows and watch it fall in perfect contentment.

The second day we were there, it was beautiful and warm (comparatively.) My father-in-law and I were supposed to golf. We drove all over tarnation to find a golf course that was a) open b) had tee times available and c) was full of spiders. Fortunately we scored on all three accounts.

I don’t get to golf too often. I like to tell myself that it’s a conscience choice because they’re not too environmentally friendly. The fact of the matter is that I don’t have anyone to golf with (yet.) (And it’s not the cheapest sport and I’m too frugal.) I have golfed with my father-in-law twice now and it is more fun than I ever thought it could possibly be. First of all, we don’t even bother to keep score. This keeps the self deprecation down to a minimum. Also, it removes the burden of fussing about rules. Out of bounds are schmout of dounds. It’s all about the joy of hitting the ball in the purest sense. And since I’m really not that great, though with moments of genius, I might add, I still have a lot to learn. It’s best not to get bogged down with unnecessary clutter. If you know what I mean. (If you’re a golfer, try it sometime.)

It was a beautiful day and we were having fun and then we started noticing something weird. There were thousands upon thousands of spiders ballooningthrough the air. They landed in trees, on my arm and hat once, (oh! that didn’t freak me out one bit!) in the brush, but mostly, they just floated. It was fascinating in a way, but I managed to steer clear most of the time. At one point we just stood and stared at the quantities of webs caught in the trees.

What’s with me and spiders? Are they following me? I’m sure it’s just that I notice them and nothing personal. I do like one reader’s comment that they’re a symbol of creativity. (Am I saying that right?) If that’s the case, let me tell you that I’m about to write the Great American Novel in November. That’s for sure.

All in all, what a great weekend. I came home to a very busy day and a handful of spiders in my office, which, by the way, look bigger in shadow. And I lost 2.5 pounds. I have no idea how that happened. I ate birthday cake, steak and potatoes, and drank red wine. Like I said, what a great weekend.

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