This week's lessons: My grandson may be crazy and be careful where you step

My phone rang early yesterday morning, the caller ID (and ringtone) alerting me it was Megan. As it was just after 7 a.m. and considering time zones it was even earlier at Megan's place, her early call placed it firmly in the "uh-oh" category of calls that freeze a mother's heart.

I quickly answered with a questioning "Hi...?"

Megan's immediate and breathless response: "We just had the scariest thing happen, Mom."

I knew Preston was out of town, so the we had to mean Megan and my grandsons. Which elicited another early morning heart freeze on my end.

Megan proceeded to tell me about a tarantula. In their house. Right next to my daughter. Right next to my grandsons.

tarantulaNot the one at Megan's -- This one from Pixabay.comThe condensed story: As Megan and the boys were preparing for their day, Megan noticed a praying mantis on their screen door to the back yard. She and the boys gathered around to admire the little green guy on the outside of the screen... when Bubby soon noticed a big, furry guy — said tarantula — on the inside of the screen door.

Freakouts ensued and the glass door was immediately slammed shut. Which trapped the tarantula between the glass door and screen door. So Megan — having to play the part of big, bad, brave parent despite shaking like mad, she said — went out her bedroom sliding door to the patio, rushed over to the door with the trapped tarantula, and flung the screen door open in hopes the tarantula would skitter away.

It didn't.

But... Megan had to get to work (and call her mom), Bubby had to get to class, and Mac had to get to the sitter, so the tarantula was left to stay or go, whatever its choice may be. (Later in the evening, Megan texted evidence that the tarantula's choice had been to stay in the door frame, even hours and hours later.)

No biggie, Megan tried to assure me when I pointed out that, sure, the tarantula may not be in the house anymore, but it clearly now resides in their backyard.

"We live in the desert, Mom. There are tarantulas."

Megan went on to tell me that tarantulas are actually a good thing to have around the house as they eat scorpions — a more common critter in their house, despite monthly sprayings from the bug guy.

In the background, I heard Bubby, who had been listening to our conversation, utter a relieved, "Thank you for that." As in, Shew! Thank you for letting me know there is something bigger and badder than those freakin' scorpions. All tarantulas welcome here! Thank you!

Which, of course, made me think the kid is crazy.

Megan had to get on with her day, as did I, so we chuckled at Bubby's relief at the presence of tarantulas we said our goodbyes.

A bit later, as I walked my dogs, I considered the sheer insanity of life in the desert. Scorpions. Tarantulas. Heat. Javelinas. Why oh why does my daughter continue to live there, raise my grandchildren there?

Just as I finished that thought, I noticed Mickey and Lyla had stepped over an odd-looking rope in the road. I halted them with a tug on their leashes so I could take a closer look at the rope.

Only it wasn't a rope.

It was this:

baby snake 

Startled me a bit, I do admit. But my first instinct wasn't to run, it was to grab my camera (well, iPhone as I didn't have my DSLR along). I was intrigued by the little guy, not afraid. Of course, despite how big it may look in this photo, this baby snake was only as big around as my pinkie.

Which is nothing compared to a tarantula. Which once again affirms my choice to live in the mountains not the desert.

Yes, I'll stick with baby snakes; my crazy grandson can have his scorpion-eating tarantulas.

(Come to think of it, though, that darn tarantula better get busy munching those scorps. I thoroughly expect both sorts of critters to be done and gone by the time I get there for my visit in two weeks.)

Those are my lessons for the week. Let's just say that past lessons that I've shared here on Fridays have made my skin crawl far less. Probably yours, too.

Best wishes for a lovely, critter-free weekend!

Today's fill-in-the-blank:

This week I learned __________________.