Happy New Year to everyone! This means a lot of wine tasting and things brings the following to my mind …

I vividly remember the house my parents and I lived in before they separated and my mom and I moved to the house I grew up in.

I remember the kitchen tile and wallpaper, the green carpet that ran up the stairs and down the long hall, the wooden banister I used to slide down when my mom wasn’t looking and the upstairs bathroom, with its glamorous shell-shaped sink and the Wisteria vines that poked their way through the window screen.

It’s the bathroom I lost my first tooth in and the room that Bradley, one of my more rebellious little friends, almost set on fire while playing with matches one day. It was also the room that attracted the most spiders.

Lots of times there would be one on the ceiling just over the toilet when I went pee first thing in the morning, and if I saw one I would run down the hall to my parent’s bedroom, tiptoe over to my father’s side of the bed and poke him awake.

“There’s a ‘pider in the bafroom, Daddy,” I’d whisper, and I’d follow him back down the hall, watching from the bathroom doorway as he walked over to the toilet and looked up.

He always said the same thing: “Oh, that’s just Fred.” He’d tug open the window, get a folded-up newspaper and I’d watch in amazement as he’d swiftly slip the paper beneath the spider and shake it out the window.

“He just got lost, is all,” he’d say, ruffling my hair as he passed me on his way back to bed. For years afterward, whenever I saw a spider, I’d wonder if it was Fred trying to find his way home.

I’m not a big fan of spiders. I can handle most creepy-crawlies, but spiders really wig me out, especially those teeny tiny striped ones that jump. I’m not ashamed to admit that I still get all sorts of twitchy when I see a spider; I nearly drove into the back of a Ford Bronco one afternoon when I pulled down my sun visor and a rather large one fell into my lap.

It’s been years since I thought about Fred the Spider, but last night while I was brushing my teeth before bed I looked up and saw a big fat spider crouched on the ceiling above the toilet.

Dave wasn’t home and since there was no way in hell I was gonna help it find its way home, I did what any other mature 29-year old mother of two would do: I kept one eye on the sucker while I quickly finished brushing, backed slowly out of the bathroom, ran into my room and jumped under the covers.

As I was lying in bed listening to my heart pound away in my chest I remembered something that happened on Sunday night when I was so sick. I was too ill to keep going to the toilet to be sick so I slept with a bowl beside me.

I’d wake up, get sick, wake Dave up in the process and he’d stumble out of bed, rinse my bowl out and bring it back to me. Just after 2 am I woke up suddenly and wasn’t sure what my stomach was going to do, so I moved the bowl right up close to my head and came face to face with a spider that was sitting on the inside of the bowl.

There was a spider in my bowl. A friggin spider in my puke bowl. Right beside my head.

I want to thank all of you for giving me such a warm welcome back to the blogsphere. Your comments meant a lot to me, as did your get-well wishes and your condolences regarding my uncle’s passing.

I’ll admit it – I was a bit nervous about coming back, but I can’t tell you how awesome it feels to be blogging again and to have the opportunity to share with you pointless, stupid stories like There Was A Spider In My Puke Bowl.

Happy wine tasting and Happy New Year! 2017 will be even better than the former one!