SUMMER MEMORIES… thinking back to a time when we were young, our parents could do anything, we had our youth, our friends, and all the time in the world. And if you were an eight year old Aracnaphob by the name of Colleen, you have a summer memory that will never go away! Growing up in Northern California back in the early seventies, life didn’t get much slower, anymore laid back. During the summer you were out of the house at dawn, and aside of coming home for lunch, you stayed out till dark! Your friends were the neighbor kids, everyone had a bike, and at one time or another, everyone wound up at your house. This was one such time. It was the month of July, and it had to have been eighty degree’s outside. My brothers, the neighbor kids, my sister and myself had been outside all day. I had been riding my bike under and around a huge tree out in the yard. My father was home, the radio was playing in the kitchen. Everyone decided to come into the house for something to drink. “Something to drink ” in our time meant water from the sink! If you were out to impress, you added a couple of ice cubes. There had to have been seven kids sitting around the kitchen table. Everyone had a glass of water. But here, I was different. I had one of my Fathers Beer mugs. It was filled with ice cubes, water, and I had slid my hand through the handle to the point of getting it stuck! Everyone was talking, laughing, when I felt a tickle in my ear. With my free hand, I stuck my finger in my ear and out pops the biggest, blackest spider my eight year old eyes had EVER seen! What happened next took place in what I am sure was only seconds, but felt like slow motion. I saw that I had flicked the spider onto the floor. I began screaming, and with the hand that was stuck in the handle of the beer mug, I began to start swinging my arms. As I did this, everyone at the table was doused in ice water, ice cubes, and this INCLUDED my Fathers radio! Chairs were tipping over as all in the kitchen tried to get away and take cover from the flying ice water. I was screaming hysterically, hand still stuck in the beer mugs handle, teenaged boys diving for cover under the table, a couple of them were falling over each other like puppies as they tried to make for the door. My Father, a former Marine, and NOT afraid of spiders, used swear words that I believe came from a dead language, when out of no where my sister, bare footed, walked over to the spider and stepped on it! She lifted up her foot and said, “See, all gone”. Actually, it wasn’t gone, it was a large black mash spot on the bottom of her foot! There was no one offering words of comfort to me. Just the opposite. I was met with glares, and snide remarks from a kitchen full of wet kids. Needless to say, I wasn’t invited to go along when everyone left to go outside and play. And to this very day, I FREAK when I feel anything tickling my ear! So much for summer memories!