Today is the 18th birthday of one of my biggest fans. He laughs at most of my worst jokes, loves most of my cooking and almost everything I write, and he gives really nice hugs when I’m sad. The nine months I was pregnant with him we lived near the beach in a house with spiders and ants, and I could go to town in my pajamas and be the best-dressed person at the Post Office. Many days it was foggy, but you could hear the surf when the wind was right.
Happy Birthday, Max.
I believe that spiders lead short, furtive lives and should be left alone whenever possible. I like to let the big fat ones build webs on my front porch in the fall, but then when I try to take a picture I remember that I am not patient enough to be a good photographer. Sunday morning I uncovered a spider in the basement when I was doing laundry. I stood and moved away so it could scramble to safety. About an hour later, I was driving on Avondale Road in Redmond, and a young squirrel panicked in my lane as it tried to cross the street. I hit it with my left rear tire, and flattened it. I have never killed a squirrel before and a day or so later I still feel terrible about it.