Monday, March 23, 2009

The Old Lady and the Shoe

I'm going to share an experience I had recently. It's just another one of those, "I live in the mountains again and this is the way of life" experiences that I have encountered in the past year, ever since I left the big city behind and opted for life in rural Arizona.

As you may have read in a previous post, we have a river running through our 'back yard', in the BLM acreage just a hop, skip and a jump away from our house. When the weather is nice, I enjoy taking the dogs for a walk there and watching them frolic and play in the water.

Unfortunately, it is usually quite muddy. I have a pair of hiking shoes I wear. When I return home, I leave them outside on the back porch so I don't get mud inside the house.

The shoes had been sitting there a couple weeks because I was too lazy to clean them up. One day I decided it was time to quit using the back porch as my shoe closet. I picked them up, dismayed to find that a spider had woven a web across the opening in one.

Being used to running across spiders on a daily basis (both inside and out) and not afraid of them, I took a stick and poked around inside the shoe to get rid of the web. I held the shoes upside down and banged them against each other to try and get the mud out of the dried lug soles.

All I've got to say is thank goodness that I decided to do a good job of cleaning them up. After banging them together for a couple minutes, out popped the spider which had taken up residence inside. No ordinary spider, this. Oh no. The spider living in my shoe was a black widow which had just laid eggs. I smashed her into the dirt.

So I know the black widow is now gone. But I still haven't been able to wear those shoes again. The moral of the story? Always check inside your shoes before putting them on. And that's just life here in the White Mountains.

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