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By Becky Barnes

When Ernie and I were first married, a spider in the shower would send me squealing for someone to hunt down the intruder and eradicate its presence.
After nearly 41 years of marriage and our morning routine where he leaves a good hour before me, I have had to suck it up and fight my own battles against arachnids.
I’m not happy about it. In fact, most mornings when I hit the shower my eyes have barely opened. A creepy crawly does not put me in a tickled-pink kind of place.
This week of meeting-my-fears head on began Sunday afternoon.
I came home from church, opened the door and walked directly into the Indiana Jones spider scene. Cob webs were crisscrossing my kitchen and now clinging to my face.
In the living room the white ceiling is dotted with miniscule black spiders. I killed 10 in a matter of minutes.
So then I head to my La-Zy Boy recliner, and an itsy-bitsy spider drops from the ceiling. I smush his itsy-bitsy body and wait for the next invasion.
Remember, I do not like spiders, whether they are the size of a pin head or the size of my hand.
Tuesday night, supper was over. My  after-dinner ritual is to sit in my recliner with iPad in one hand and my 4-pound Maltese tucked in beside me. Oh, and there is a fuzzy blanket involved. Not sure if it’s for me or the dog.
So as I’m reading my latest e-book check-out from the library, out of the corner of my eye strolls the biggest, the creepiest, the hairiest, most beastly spider I have ever seen.
Dog, iPad and blanket sail through the air in slow motion. The spider that has to be as big as my hand hits the floor running.
I don’t think, but I squeal like an infant with its first Santa Claus encounter.
I have a sandal in each hand and I am doing a running squat. First one sandal comes down right behind the mammoth intruder. That just propels the spider into overdrive. However, he is still within reach. The second sandal comes down, but, for what ever reason (other than it’s an indestructible arachnid) it keeps advancing.
With the first sandal within reach, I swat again and catch him right before he has a chance to dart under the couch.
Oh yeah, he’s dead. I heard his gasp.
He will not have another chance to hear this woman squeal and watch her attack like an orangutan waving shoes.
Okay, so maybe he wasn’t as big as my hand. But he was big. Maybe the gasp was mine.
Now what about all those little spiders? Were they this monster spider’s babies? Did I get them all?
There went my sleep for Tuesday  night. I had to keep my spidey senses alert.