Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Spider Pit

That's what I thought it was, but my parents called it "the cellar". It was out west of the house and had a couple of steps as an entry way, descending to a wooden door secured by some kind of latch. Inside were shelves lined with my mother's hard summer work. Even as a child, I thought the space felt very cramped and terrifying. I have vague recollections of a pull-string light bulb...giving the same effect as being interrogated by the FBI in Alcatraz.

It felt to me like you'd envision the walk into hell, accompanied by lurching spiders. Frankly, I'd almost rather starve to death than go down there, but if someone went with me, I would make a quick trip. One time I tripped and fell and skinned my knee on the steps and ended up with a big infected sore that made me gimpy for a good week. I was probably less than 8 when the cellar disappeared or went into disuse. Thank goodness!

At some point, there was a cellar dug under the porch in the "old" house, or perhaps it was the area cleared out by Bill Taylor and Dad when they ran plumbing under the house somehow. I have no comprehension how they ever did that. The door to the in-house cellar was level with the floor and pulled up with some sort of handle. If anything, this cellar was scarier than the outside one. For one thing, it was smaller and totally without light. I never went down there without gloves and once saw a spider that was unlike any I had ever seen before, and twice as big. It makes me shudder now just thinking about it. We weren't allowed to scream, but you can darn well bet I was screaming like a banshee inside!

(p.s. 1) After typing this blog, I read on Yahoo where some poor guy was trying to clear his yard of cobwebs and nearly burned down his house, $25,000 worth of damage. I'll bet he is screaming like a banshee as well.

(p.s. 2) A funny thing happened tonight. Marty found a spider in the back room, huge he said. He got some Raid and talked Teelay into helping him. When Marty sprayed the Raid, the spider disappeared. Teelay let out a girly-girl scream and they both ran out of the room. She thought maybe she felt the spider on her arm, though no evidence. They rounded up a flashlight and bravely returned. Marty told Teelay that he was going to lift the cooler where he saw the spider and she was to shine the light. Kyle walked in just then and went to see what all the fuss was about. I heard him say, "Marty, quit being a wus and face the spider like a man!" About 15 seconds later, Teelay let out a blood-curdling scream. Apparently Kyle thought it would be funny to grab her from behind and spook her. It worked. It wouldn't have been half as funny if the incident had happened in my own room. And no, they didn't find the spider but I'll bet he's long gone.

(p.s. 3) I looked up the meaning of banshee and it's "a fairy woman who begins to whail if someone is about to die." So now we know.