So sitting in fellowship last Sunday morning watching the kids in their Christmas play, The Wombat Divine, I finally read the notice asking parents to have kids, who in the play, at the oval by 6:45pm. Now, the oval is outside and I started to realize that perhaps Carols by Candlelight was not the same in Aussieland as I had previously been familiar with. Startled I turned to my mother-in-law and said, "Carols by Candlelight is outside?", and she looked at me like well where else would it be and said, " Yes". I said, " Well yeah we wouldn't usually want to do it outside in the States cause you would freeze but..." and trailed off cause what else do you say. That night I was treated to a Carols by Candlelight unlike any I have ever experienced. There were bouncy castles and huge plastic chess and checkers sets for kids to play on, as well as sausages, and soda and a petting zoo. About 6 pm a band came on with spunky music to pep us all up for the carols and then at 6:45 pm the carols started and we all sat down on picnic blankets and turned on our electric candles and the kids put on their glow in the dark bracelets and necklaces and we sang Christmas carols.
If I thought this was startling to my particular vision of what the Christmas season means it was nothing to what happened to me this weekend. The spiders came out in full force. And then the entire spider population of Aussie land seemed to be out to get me. Which was ok, I think, until they started showing up in unexpected places and ways.
I met my first jumping spider yesterday. I was on my way to the toilet and saw a bit of black fuzz hop into the air and come down quickly much closer to me. I stepped a bit closer to pick up the fuzz and throw it into the trash. The fuzz again hopped up into the air and came down quickly again even closer to me. This is when I realized that this was not fuzz but a rather talented breed of spider. Not knowing where the spray was I was happy to allow this spider to go it's merry way. I actually backed away from the spider with the intention of just giving it a few seconds to get out of my way before I headed to the toilet. The spider, of course, had other ideas. It decided that it would like to go to the toilet as well. OY! As it hopped it's way closer and closer to the toilet I tried to figure out a way to kill it without getting close enough to it for it to jump on me. I finally grabbed the broom and tried to just kill it very quickly. Thankfully I succeeded.
This was not, however, the end to my spider experiences. Late last night I stumbled into the toilet and turned on the light. I sat down and reached out to grab the end of the toilet paper. My eyes blurry and confused registered that the underside of the toilet paper looked somehow unusual. What was on the bottom of the toilet paper? I couldn't figure it out in that state of consciousness but just thought I would grab it and throw that piece away. I reached out a bit farther to just get it and throw it away when the end of the toilet paper floated up in a breeze from the fan... and I let out a huge YELP! There was a very large specimen of Daddy Long Legs which had attached itself to the underside of the end of the toilet paper and was sitting there quite happily, not looking to move or relocate any time soon. Now I was in a very vulnerable position and in need of the product on which the spider was resting comfortably, probably due to it's double quilted softness. I did some quick thinking, ( not a position you call for help in), and managed to kill the spider and proceed without too much incident or panic.
I have gotten too much sympathy for these incidents from the Aussies around me as they correctly pointed out that I am just lucky it wasn't one of the varieties which are poiseness and I should be more observant in the future. I definitely will be.
I was prepared to add to my holiday season 110 degree F heat or 40 degree C heat, and pools, and the beach, outside Christmas parties, and cold Christmas dinners. Spiders and bouncy castles was not something I had even though to add to my existing schema of Christmas traditions. Are there more surprises in store? If it's something like festive bouncy castles I might be able to handle it, but if it is similar to spiders resting on my toilet paper then I am not sure I should be held accountable for my response.