Shielded

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With Autumn coming on hard and fast in these parts—I thought I’d be clever and make an attempt to clean up the weedy garden so that the last of the zucchini and cucumbers and tomatoes could be picked and piled and brought inside one final time. The ground had been soaked the night before so the grass and weeds and spent plants pulled up very easily. I was making great progress and feeling quite pleased with myself. Just as I was about to move to the tomato row and continue on–while the garden was still in shade–a strange thought went through my head.  As clear and distinct as a bell the thought was, “Get some gloves on.”  Well, that wouldn’t be any real big deal except that I didn’t actually have any gloves. So I sat there, not really sure what to do.

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Now understand that I’m a big believer in following impressions, the Spirit, my heart–however you are comfortable putting it. I’ve learned that things always, always turn out better if you listen when you are prompted. But the ground was soft, the shade was perfect and the weeds were willing to come out. I didn’t want to stop. Maybe I could just clear out this first tomato plant. Maybe I could just…I knew better.

Exasperated, I gathered up my tools and trudged into the house. After cleaning up I headed to the store to look for some gloves, but the season was over and there wasn’t even a garden section anymore.  I had to make do with some lame cloth work gloves–but it would be too late in the day to begin again anyway. The weeds would have to wait till tomorrow. Luckily, the ground was still relatively soft the next morning. With my silly work gloves on I was determined to finish the entire section and again, made great time. Clearing every blade of grass and weed away from the tomatoes I moved on to the zucchini, watermelon and pumpkins. Ok, I didn’t quite get to the cucumbers, but dang the garden looked good.

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So good in fact, that when my son-in-law came home from work that evening, I begged him to go clear out to the garden to see my work. Standing on the deck we waited while he walked around admiring the plants he could actually see now. As he leaned down close to the tomatoes, he reached down to pick one, but instead, he hollered, “Bring me a bucket!”

We did.

And this is what he found…

DSC06139A very, very Black Widow

At the base of the first tomato plant that I was trying to weed the day before, without gloves—and the same one that I had meticulously cleared that very day with gloves, sat a big, fat, creeptacular Black Widow. Yeah, I’m pretty sure that 51 year-old ladies really don’t want to get bit by Black Widows. It’s a policy we have. Luckily, the brave knight slew the dreadful Charlotte and all was well again in Zion. But I’ll tell you something–next time, when I hear a whisper,  I won’t argue for a second. I’ll just move.

And so you see, dear reader—that the moral of this story is:

All those good ideas, and epiphanies and warnings and nudges and nagging feelings that we have—all the time…

They are given to us for our own good—but can only help if we listen.

True story.

The End

10 Replies to “Shielded”

  1. Wonderful and scary – all at the same time! You should check out the spider my sister found on her tomato plant!! Her’s wasn’t poisonous – but at a woppin’ 2.5 inches, still scary none-the-less!!

    http://scottnlori.blogspot.com/

    Glad you listened! Glad you’re safe! Glad it’s dead!!

  2. Actually, I don’t run around killing anything that irritates me in the house or in the garden–nor does my family. But, I have sweet toddler grandbabies that are learning the joys of picking fresh produce and eating it right there in the garden and quite frankly, I’m not willing to risk their health or safety on a humanitarian principle. As a rule, we remove and relocate creatures that makes us uncomfortable. But–and I apologize if this offends you–if they are deadly to my babies, I will do what I need to do to keep them safe.

  3. A black widow was sleeping right next to our back door. (they do so hanging upside down in their webs) Yikes, I can’t believe it was so close to coming in!

  4. I have to agree, that at times you must be proactive about your own safety and the safety of those that you love. I like spiders, and much to my wife’s dismay, I didn’t want to get the house sprayed to kill them all off; but since I have 20-month-old twins, who are very curious about the world, when I found three black widows around my house inside of a week, I got the house sprayed.

    Seems odd to say that its not hurting anyone, so leave it alone. Reminds me of the boy who picks up the rattlesnake, because it promised not to bite him. As soon as the boy picks it up, the rattlesnake bites him. They boy cries about how the rattlesnake promised. The rattlesnake replies, “You knew what I was when you picked me up.”

    Anyway, its interesting to see what people choose to concentrate on in comments. This post originally (before I read all the spider comments) reminded me of a conversation I had a few weeks ago. A guy asked, in essence, “How do you know whether a thought just a thought or it is a ‘prompting’?” I questioned whether the source of the thought really mattered. So long as the thought is not completely heinous.

  5. That’s so scary! Good job taking a break when you are on a roll (it’s so hard!) with something you really wanted to finish. We really do need to make sure you always wear gloves, though! As much as I hate having to find some, much less wearing them, the longer I garden the more I realize it’s a smart policy.

  6. It seems like everyone is seeing more Black Widows this year. 😛 Yuck! I don’t really want to find out what it’s like to be bit by one, and I don’t want my baby or the rest of my family to find out either. I’m glad that one is gone.

  7. You absolutely did the right thing Launi. You would have had to relocate it into the mountains to keep it from being a danger to anyone else. It’s disturbing that for some, animal rights take precedence over human safety.

  8. How very wise and blessed you are that first you know how to listen and second you have a sweet someone who would support and back you up when you feel so strongly about something. I need to do more work to be better at the first and can’t imagine how it would feel to have the second.

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