Bomb Cyclones, Snow Hurricanes and Other Dramas

During the great storm of 1992, I encountered an intruder in my home.

My husband was away. That’s the first thing. Secondly, the storm was touted as “historical” and “major” and “dangerous” and other scary words, the scariest of which were “Snow Hurricane”. My children were 6 and 3. We lived on Elm Street. We had moved into our house a couple of months prior and we and the house were still learning about each other. I had learned, for instance, that many of the windows had broken ropes, after one slammed down, trapping my finger between the sashes, necessitating a visit from the fire department. That happened on our first day in the house, just after my husband left on a business trip. I sensed the house might not like us or maybe it resented our painting the dining room pink, which, looking back, was not unreasonable.

I bought bread, milk, batteries and wine. The storm got off to an impressive start. Great, swirling clouds of snowflakes fell, buffeting the neighborhood. It was eerily quiet other than the thunder, which was as surreal as you’d expect. That evening, I tucked my girls into bed, added another log on the fire, poured a glass of red wine and retired to the couch to watch “Mad About You”. I didn’t have to work the next day and I was thankful the electricity was still on. All in all, it was kind of cozy. I’ve always enjoyed a good snow storm.

Around about the second glass of wine, something caught my eye. Something on the wall. Something scary.

Slowly, because I didn’t really want to look, I shifted my gaze from the television to the wall. I adjusted my vision for the distance. Yup. There was something there. Something big and black. Shit.

A big, black blob. But was it moving? Was it?

I stared at it. Jamie and Paul continued their comedic whining in the background. Oh my God, I think it’s moving. It’s moving. Oh my God. ohmygodohmygod.

It was December. During a snowstorm. Where in hell did that huge, ugly spider come from? And where in hell was my husband? First he leaves, and a window slams on my finger. Then he leaves again and a precociously huge spider shows up on the wall, in the middle of Snowmageddon.  I knew my marriage was doomed. Mangled finger, meh, but leaving me trapped in a house with a ginormous fucking spider was just too much, even for my forgiving nature. As soon as the storm stopped, I resolved to pack my shit, put the kids in the car and move further north, where big ass spiders don’t show up on walls in the middle of snow hurricanes. I poured more wine and began to strategize. I kept an eye on the spider. It flipped me the bird. Bastard.

I considered waking the girls. The older one was smart and freakishly strong. The younger one was practical and, properly plied with sugar, possessed a creative streak bordering on genius. Sadly, I had raised the girls to respect living things, which was going to present a conundrum the day they realized the grilled steak they loved so much used to be a cow, but that’s a story for another day. What if the girls lobbied to relocate this monster? Where, exactly, would I relocate it to? There was no way I was releasing it anywhere near our house and there was no way I was getting into a car with it, even without a snow hurricane, to drive it to, say, Texas, which just might be far enough. No. I couldn’t risk the girls and their goody two-shoes, Pollyanna outlooks getting in the way of my mental health. Sometimes, when you need a dirty job done and you can’t afford henchmen and your husband deserts you, you just have to pull up your big girl pants and do it yourself.

I took a swig of wine for courage and gave the spider another glare. It winked at me and slowly waved two of its arms in the universal “come and get me” gesture. That’s it. This asshole was going down.

One good thing about spiders in December; they don’t move fast. Too cold and too old. I, however, was young and had warm blood flowing through my veins, not to mention two glasses of red wine. “You can take him”, I muttered to myself as I rummaged around our bedroom closet for my husband’s biggest shoe. Then, I dragged a chair into the living room and placed it a couple feet out from the wall. Eight beady eyes tracked me. I removed my robe so it wouldn’t restrict my movement. I climbed on the chair, stood up, realized I was still holding the wine bottle, took another gulp for luck, and slowly, slowly, lowered it back to the floor. I didn’t want it to spill. I was going to need it in a minute. I stood back up, swaying just a little, lifted the shoe and took aim. I wasn’t brave enough to get too close so my plan was to throw the shoe and take him out with my first shot, since I probably wouldn’t get a second. If I missed,  I was going to shovel three feet of snow, wake the girls, venture into the snow hurricane, and check into a hotel. I took a deep breath, released it slowly, and centered myself. Then, I drew my arm back as far as it would go, threw the shoe with all the force I could muster, and yelled “TAKE THAT YOU MOTHERFUCKER!”.

When I came to, I was still standing on the chair, legs weak, breathing ragged, and all around me was silence. The snow was still falling. A black smudge on the wall was all that remained of my foe. “How’d you like that, motherfucker?”, I whispered, as I climbed down to safer ground. I retrieved the bottle of wine and retreated to the couch. A voice floated down the stairwell. “Momma? What was that?”

“Nothing Sweetie. Just the TV. Everything’s fine.”

“Ok Momma. Love you.”

“Love you, too. Now go to sleep. We have a big day tomorrow.”

The next day we moved to Canada.

Just kidding. We didn’t move to Canada. But the rest? Well, you decide.

Chicken out



spider chicken battle

a humble visual




  20 comments for “Bomb Cyclones, Snow Hurricanes and Other Dramas

  1. January 6, 2018 at 8:55 pm

    I like spiders. But they don’t get too big or dangerous here, they just hang out in my bathroom and I chat to them. My husband is not a spider fan, he would have lent you his shoe. Hope the blizzard doesn’t send you any further unwanted company.

    Liked by 1 person

    • January 7, 2018 at 1:27 pm

      Hi Lisa,
      They “just” hang out in you bathroom? You must be one of those crazy interwebz people I was warned about. On the other hand, your husband sounds reasonable enough:-)


  2. January 6, 2018 at 9:52 pm

    Though I was not there, I can tell by the description it had the “The Evil Eye” centered in its back, to ward off shoes. Good job, Superwoman.


    • January 7, 2018 at 1:28 pm

      Hi Joanne, You are correct. It had about 8 evil eyes, actually. It was a monster. Thank you. Narrow escape.


  3. jenny_o
    January 7, 2018 at 3:05 am

    Knowing the extent of your arachnophobia, I can only imagine how freaked out you must have been. That spider is almost as big as your head!!

    Doesn’t the fingers-caught-under-the-window-sash deserve its own post??


    • January 7, 2018 at 1:31 pm

      Hi Jenny, I thought it was an interesting psychological tid-bit that my picture showed the spider as comparable in size to my head. It did feel that way. I can never remember the term “window-sash”. Did that ever happen to you? To this day, I examine windows carefully before I open them.


      • jenny_o
        January 7, 2018 at 6:56 pm

        We are even then, because I didn’t know “rope pulleys” and it’s definitely a useful term. They are breaking at an alarming speed in our thirty year old windows, and the husband says they can’t be replaced; the windows will all need replaced instead. So, until we win the lottery, we are being careful not to end up the way your fingers did.


      • January 7, 2018 at 7:44 pm

        Rope pulley is not a technical term-I made it up. Sometimes I do that. My ex was able to replace the rope in the Maine window-I’m not sure how he did it. You could try googling it.


  4. Doug in Oakland
    January 7, 2018 at 8:38 pm

    Things do get scarier when you’re trapped inside with them. And it’s amazing what you can pull off when you feel like your life depends on it.
    I’ve only been snowed in one time, when I was eighteen. I learned how to retrieve firewood from under the eaves without getting in the way of the snow that slid down off of the corrugated roof.
    We bribed the county driver with cookies to come back around and plow the road which was the “driveway” so we could get out.
    I admit to giving my friend Sara a hard time about being afraid of spiders (and mice, and snakes…) but she apparently knows what she’s doing. She got stung on the big toe by a honey bee and went into allergic shock, and had to be revived by the EMTs with a “jacked up Epi Pen with a needle as long as her little finger”. She said it was like Pulp Fiction without the Sharpie, whatever that means.
    I hope we get some storms this year. It’s looking like we’re settling into the same dry-winter pattern that gave us the worst drought in modern history before last year’s soggy winter and spring.
    Great drawing, by the way.

    Liked by 1 person

    • January 7, 2018 at 9:50 pm

      Hi Doug-Pulp Fiction without the sharpie? Almost makes me want to see the movie. But yeah, if I was Sara, I’d be afraid, too. I have no reason to be afraid. I’m aware that my fear is abnormal and that killing things I’m afraid of is probably not good karma. Just look at the state our country is in right now and mostly it all comes down to fear. Fear of people who are different, fear of losing one’s way of life, fear of not having enough, fear of being obsolete, redundant, fear of dying. We’re losing the war on fear. Whoa, how did I get here? Okay, back to snowstorms, so what kind of cookies make the most suitable bribe? My driveway is not a road but it’s no fun to shovel either.


      • Doug in Oakland
        January 7, 2018 at 10:53 pm

        They were freshly baked chocolate chip cookies, but I don’t know how they compare with other cookies as bribe material because that’s the only snowplow bribe I’ve ever seen.
        My mom used to bribe me with cookies she baked when I was a kid, but I only submitted about half of the time. I always ate the cookies, though, and behavior like that is one reason I never wanted children…


      • January 7, 2018 at 11:33 pm

        Just snorted my wine. If only I were as wise. As it happens, chocolate chip is my number one specialty and I just made one. However, my driveway is clear so I’ll eat these and keep it in mind for later.


      • Doug in Oakland
        January 8, 2018 at 10:14 pm

        OK, there was something about your reply that made my memory circuits tingle, and I couldn’t figure it out at first, but then I remembered: Molly Ivins! I do miss Molly Ivins, and here is something she said about fear, safety, the first amendment, and chicken snakes:


      • January 9, 2018 at 1:38 am

        Doug-I loved that. Thanks so much for posting it and yes, what she said is what I meant:-) I did not know about her. She sort of reminds me of Kathleen Turner-do you get that? I’m going to see if I can find some of her books.


      • Doug in Oakland
        January 9, 2018 at 2:08 am

        Kathleen Turner played her in “Red Hot Patriot: The Kick Ass Wit of Molly Ivins” which I totally should have gone to see when it came to Berkeley, but didn’t.


      • January 10, 2018 at 12:44 am

        Well, there you go. I don’t understand why I’ve never heard of her. I’ve only heard of Molly Brown. At first I was like, how many charismatic indomitable Mollys can there be? Answer: Hopefully there are an infinite number of charismatic indomitable Mollys


  5. January 10, 2018 at 1:46 am

    Excellent visual. Expressive. After living in the sticks most of my life, I have have perfected the cup-and-card method of relocating critters intact back into the wild, where they can find more rewarding lives –but yes, Ive mashed a few and regret it. My happiest encounters are with frightened tree frogs who find their way into the back porch –they climb into my hand because it is warm and I set them free in outdoor flowerpots. Worst are the little young snakes who venture into the mud-room, who must be snatched and nabbed just behind their heads and carried off to the creek bank. Once all these techniques were learned, I forgave myself for swatting –mosquitoes excluded, there is no theological or philosophical excuse for their existence.

    Liked by 1 person

    • January 15, 2018 at 1:26 am

      You know, Geo, you are always so kind. I worried about your opinion of me when I wrote this. First, there’s the spider killing. I recognize it as my own karmic catastrophe. I think that’s why I write about them so much. I’m trying to overcome this fear. Secondly, there’s all the swear words, which I know is not the Geo, Donkey, or Pearl way, but sometimes it is my way. Sometimes, it’s just an urge I have and it feels very good to say bad words. I always forgive myself for the swearing but please be assured, I never forgive myself for the life-taking.


  6. January 15, 2018 at 10:04 pm

    Okay, that made me laugh out loud. Spiders son’t actually trouble me much, but camel crickets, centipedes and roaches make me shriek involuntarily. It’s my husband’s job to kill anything that makes me shriek.


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