Sunday, March 01, 2009

The Tarentella


My sister and I are beginning the difficult task of going through my father's things, and trying to decide what we can bring back to the US, and what we should leave at my stepmother's house for the moment. Our first task was sorting through the contents of his office, because these items are being stored in an unprotected damp shed.

Even after a very short time in storage, everything is covered in hedgehog poo, and crawling with big hairy spiders. This orange spider ran across a book I was moving, and made me do the hopping-up-and-down Spider Dance. It may look small in this photograph, but I assure you that all of these spiders are gigantic.

Blog readers know that I'm not a wimp about spiders. But these are too much for me. They're really fast-moving. We're wearing plastic grocery store bags on our hands, because everyone knows that's exactly the right protection from the horror of hairy spider feet, when you can't borrow gloves that haven't also been sitting out in the open. Having been introduced to the local spider population, I'm not about to stick my fingers in any glove that wasn't stored inside.


Pockafwye said...

Beautiful spiders, but I'd be doing a hopping-up-and-down Spider Dance if they ran across something I was carrying, too. I'm sure customs will be glad you left them there, instead of bringing them home.

. . . Lisa and Robb . . . said...

"Anything to declare?"

"Just this box of Big Hairy Spiders."

Yeah, I think that wouldn't be very popular with the customs officials.

Grumpy Grinch said...

I know it seems, upon first glance,
That with my shrieks and hopping dance,
I fear the creepy, hairy thing,
When spiders from the shadows spring.
Unlike a crass arachnophobe
I bravely peek and prod and probe
Recesses of that old wardrobe.
Plastic bags protect my hands
As I explore this room's nightstands.
I hesitate my hands to shove
Into a dusty, webby glove.

Anonymous said...

Shudder! Spiders have their place but it's not anywhere where I might put my hand.

Anonymous said...

Ah, going through other peoples stuff- isn't it grand. By all means choose what speaks to you through memories, and what ever else may appeal to you. You will regret it later if you dont act on this response.

In Wyoming there were endless bugs inside boxes of stuff, as well as mice prone to the Hanta virus. Continue to be careful, and maybe you should bring back a spider as well?

I suggest saving any paper documentation (irregardless of language) of your fathers history, as well as jewelry, charm-type objects...etc. I have done this with all my dad's US Military stuff, and really value its presence today. I also saved a coat that smelled like him.

I have found that these are invaluable as items of proof linking your father to what ever groups or organizations he may have been a part of in his life before you two arrived on the scene, and will prove VITAL when you choose to do more family research about your origons later on. This I can guarantee.

I myself found old rings of my father that I had at first thought decorative, then later on when emotions had settled, I looked these things over when I had more time, and discovered they were emblems of groups in Wisconsin, WW2 army groups, and even some Croatian stuff my grand dad had brought over from the old country. I urge you to save these things. Its not like you can ask your Dad (unfortunately) about these items, if there are any, but stories forgotten or tucked away over time do become uncovered with the proper research.

Go through the pockets of everything. I wish I were there to help you out and to share your grief, but you are surrounded and supported by the strength of your family. Dont forget that your dad's companions may truely want a reminder of your father as well now, but may be uncomfortable in asking this of your sister and yourself.

Gary has a really good story about "sorting thru family items". His father died when Gary was in college in the late 1980's, a week after quadruple bypass surgry. It turns out Gary and his brother discovered their dad was a book thief from the Brooklyn library on a VAST scale. Well, it' not like he was a bank robber or anything, right? Well, Gary has a great story about how he and his brother grabbed some shopping carts from the local all night grocery store and manhandled about 15 cartloads of overdue books ( by 20 years or so) into the overnight book depository at about 3 in the morning. This story about how they addressed the problem while they evaded Brooklyn's finset book police- ended up being a very bright spot of humor in an otherwise terribly sad time. Even today they chuckle over this act, and you may be suprised about your own, perhaps unorthodox methods of sorting through and ultimately dispersing of all this stuff.

If there is indeed a LOT of stuff don't forget any charitable organization.

I wish you and your family well- dont forget if there is a lot of stuff you cant bear to let go of, shipping it to the USA in a crate is a very affordable option if you choose to do so by 3 month boat.


Kay/The Little Foxes said...

I visited France on a tour with my church choir. One day we were sitting outside and I swatted a bug that had just stung me. One fellow choir member said, at the precise moment I swatted "Wait, don't swat......." She was an entomologist and interested in the local fauna. We looked for the corpse (I was sure I had smushed it) but to no avail. But whatever it was - it was very fierce, as my leg swelled up and throbbed all night. Payback for the swatting, no doubt.

gollygee said...

I'm not afraid of spiders but I HATE when they invade my personal space unexpectedly! I totally understand the plastic bags! :D Are they poisonous?

Anonymous said...

Lisa, recall the words of Hippocrates telling ius not to kill spiders. Why? The catch the vectors of disease- flies and mosquitos. No wonder Scottish tradition sez never kill a spider indoors. Outdoor spaces OK though?

Sheri Earnhart said...

Doing the jump-up-and-down spider dance just looking at the photos!



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