Wunsch Condos, spiders
Wunsch Condos | Jane Boursaw Photo
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The first place on the Old Mission Peninsula that Tim and I ever lived together was the Wunsch Condos. No, these are not the sleek buildings with association fees and gardeners that you’re probably thinking of. They’re cozy little rooms in a tiny strip of a building on the Wunsch farm off Phelps Road.

We loved it there. Sometimes we dream about selling everything and moving back to the condos. Keep a space for us, Josh and Barb. We’re coming back!

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This was the late 1970s and early 1980s, and it was a carefree life of young romance, no worries, and all the time in the world. You know, before we built our own house, got a mortgage and had kids. Before every day brought some new challenge to overcome. Much as we absolutely love our life here on the Old Mission Peninsula, we don’t have a trust fund and every day is a test of our creativity and resourcefulness. But it’s all good.

Anyway, there was a little spider in the corner of the Wunsch Condo window who turned out to be a big ally in our fight for freedom, liberty and justice for all. That spider captured and devoured a variety of pesky bugs, all while saying “make my day” in his best Dirty Harry growl. Thus, his life was spared. He was our best friend.

I’m not so laissez-faire as I was back then, partly because the spiders around here think we’ve built this home especially for them. I don’t know if it’s because of the log construction or the fact that we live in the woods or maybe a combination of things, but the spider population around here is ridiculous. Every day brings some new terror straight out of a Roger Corman movie. They’re basically letting us live here while they’re building an army.

spiders
Spider Condo in Jane’s Living Room | Jane Boursaw Photo

To clarify, there are different classes of spiders here. The one in this photo is somewhat harmless, hangs out in a corner of the living room by the glass slider door (which doesn’t slide, but I’ll save that for a #RealityWednesday post), and generally does his job of catching annoying bugs.

As you can see, though, by the little sack of baby spiders about to pop, there’s a new generation of arachnids on the horizon. I hope this guy has his affairs in order, because right after I hit “publish” on this story, he and his kin are going into the vacuum cleaner.

Another class of spiders are the ones who crawl around the walls, mostly upstairs. Their life mission is to terrify unsuspecting humans minding their own business on the way to the laundry room. The interesting thing about these spiders is they seem to change every year. Like, one year, they’ll be sort of reddish spiders with long legs. Another year, it might be small spiders who travel at the speed of light, like the ones John Goodman battled in “Arachnophobia.”

This year, they’re bigger and way more creepy-crawly than previous years. And they have sort of lobster-like nippers on the front of their frightening bodies. I’d post a photo, but honestly, they creep me out too much. I have this awake-nightmare of poking my head into the attic space and seeing one massive web full of giant spiders like the ones in the woods near Hogwarts. To heck with the vacuum cleaner. Anyone have a hellfire missile I can borrow?

By now, you guys probably think we’re living in the Addams Family house, and you’d be right. A couple times a year, I spring for a professional cleaner to come in here and, well, clean house. The rest of the time, cleaning is generally inspired by some “Oh My Gosh!” moment, like suddenly noticing the impressive web structure of our living room spider.

Who will be gone in approximately 60 seconds.

SUPPORT YOUR INDEPENDENT LOCAL NEWSPAPER: I started Old Mission Gazette in 2015 because I felt a calling to provide the Old Mission Peninsula community with local news. After decades of writing for newspapers and magazines like the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Family Circle and Ladies' Home Journal, I really just wanted to write about my own community where I grew up on a cherry farm and raised my own family. So I started my own newspaper.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Dear Jane,
    I am a former resident of OMP (1943 till 1959). I then traveled westward to California to take a teaching position in Long Beach.. An old friend from Ogdensburg school days, Karen Kroupa Wood, listed my name as a recipient of your webmagazine and I can’t tell you how much I am enjoying my first issue! The articles and pictures are making me very nostalgic. I have heard that as we get older we don’t look to the future as much as to the past and I find myself doing that more and more. What a wonderfully ideallic place to grow up! Your articles remind me of a kinder gentler time when your Uncle-in-law Bryce and his brothers and sisterswere our neighbors and we all attended school together ( Shirley was our babysitter) . My very best friend was Mary Jo Kitchen and a part of my heart died with her. She used to be your babysitter back in the day if I remember correctly. Anyway, thanks for opening up my memory scrapbook . Jan

    • Thanks for the note, Jan! I think I recall my mom (a nurse) saying she used to go down in the hollow to give some type of shots to a Schavey. Would that have been your mom or grandma maybe? Mom lived just north of Mapleton at the time, across from our home barn (my parents – Walter and Mary Johnson).

      Tim (my husband) thinks that his Uncle George was best friends with … Don or Denny Schavey?

      And Mary Jo Kitchen – what’s the relation to Roger and Leona? I know Jo Brown was a Kitchen, but not sure of the connection there either.

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