an eventful, infested weekend

We are infested with black widows. Saturday morning we had the house fumigated – they only did the outside, the only place we’ve found them so far. After the fumes cleared Tony, ventured out and found a “big one”, and a few more, all crumpled up and dead along the fence.

Sunday, the next day, Teenage Boy was watering the trees that line our dirt and gravel lane when he found a black widow at the base of one of the trees, alive. He positively identified it because, when he was little, he was obsessed with all things arachnids, and for years. [I can trace most of my fears back to this interest-directed homeschool science study of his in the early years. I’ve  never been the same since. Ignorance WAS bliss. I miss it.]

When I asked if he was sure it was a black widow I got this: “No, it was an Australian Red Back (looking at me intensely as if I should know, Mom), closely related to the Black Widow of North America. Scientists have studied their DNA and found that the Red Back is the Black Widow’s closest relative here on earth, and just as deadly.”


So, did you kill it? That’s all I really want to know, thanks.

Yes. Papi and I squashed it with a rock.

Good. Any eggs sacks? You know you gotta squish those, too.

No, but I saw a male Red Back and I think they were about to mate. We caught them just in time.

Later, the neighbor stopped by to pick up her girls, who had come for a swim in our above ground pool. They couldn’t resist looking out their back window at the sparkling water and calling over, “Puedo venir?” When I told her we found black widows she waved her hand in the air nonchalantly, shrugged, and said, “Oh, they’re all over the place. You just have to remain calm. The other day I found one in my deposito [pantry].” Her big Hollywood sunglasses glinted in the setting desert sun.

I just stared at her.


Okay, see you later! She sped off. I stood there at the gate laughing. Calm. Haha. Yeah.

No one is afraid of anything here. What the heck? I wish I were like that.

The guy who cut our jungle of a yard down when we got home was bitten by a black widow once. He shrugged it off and kept working, until he felt ill and decided to drive himself to the hospital. He barely made it. He survived because God wanted him to. By the time he got there he was almost in cardiac arrest, could barely breathe, and was losing control over his body. He takes black widows a bit more seriously now. Thank God the hospitals have anti-venom here.

Surprisingly, I am not freaking out. Yet. Before our recent trip to the US I would have LOST it if we had found black widows. I never would have come back, I know it. I can only attest my calm to the prayers of the saints. Glory to God; I know it’s not me because I am afraid of A LOT: sharks, the ocean, bees, scorpions, venomous snakes and arachnids, flying, heights…

I’m a joy to be married to. lol I have a lot of problems I know, you don’t have to tell me… I still don’t know why God called me to the mission field. Most unlikely candidate ever, I’m beginning to think. I don’t know why I used to be convinced I could do this. I’ve never been good at estimating my own abilities.

All I know is what I read in my Bible,

“… and Jesus went before… and those who followed were afraid” Mark 10:32

A to the men!

*If you really want to see pictures, here are some found in our neighborhood two springs ago.


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