Mr. Banana Spider? You Were Sweeter Than Bananas.

This is Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle. It’s always a good day when I can talk to you. Actually, it’s always a good day when you can listen to me talk to you. But today, I have something more important to talk about perhaps then other days. I want to tell you about a spider. A banana spider. Mr. Banana Spider that should have had many more days finding bananas in the woods.

Many persons see spiders and are scared.  Many persons see spiders that are big and think that every spider wants to harm them in some way.  But often, I think that these persons think more of themselves than even I do of myself.  And that’s a lot.  I have learned, especially from camping, that the earth and its inhabitants are all just trying to not only to survive, but to enjoy life.  It is when the persons think that they are more important than the little things that life is taken away or life is altered for those just trying to live.

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You see, we do come across many things that can harm us if they wanted to or felt like they had to. Take for example a coral snake that crossed our hiking path the other day.  Yes, yes, we know that this little snake was very poisonous.  But he was just trying to be safe too, and because we did not bother him, he did not bother us.  And that usually seems to be the way to do it.

It is ok, I think to look at many things but not touch.  Um, yeah.  I am talking about me.
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But apparently, there are some who think that seeing something beautiful but scary to them in some way gives them the right…just because they are bigger than something, to harm it for no reason.  And I can’t agree with that.  I can’t justify that.  But I can arrest that.  I am the Sheriff and that is my job.  But my arrest goes further.  Because I never want this to happen again to another.
Mr. Banana Spider was just hanging out, literally, on a chilly day in this Florida place.  Girl Person had seen many spiders here at camp.  But this spider was very beautiful, very large and very spiderish.  Mr. Banana Spider deserved his title because he had earned it.  He had built one of the biggest nests because he was one of the biggest spiders.  And he enjoyed his days of hanging out, eating and being the best Mr. Banana Spider he had been raised to be.
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But little did he know that a group of small campers with big sticks, loud voices and a general disregard for anyone, would decide they had the right to knock him out of his web that he so meticulously took days and days to build.  He thought he was in a safe place.  The campground was often quiet.  And he had a good spot to watch everything.
On a Saturday just like any other Saturday for him, he saw the group of campers walking towards him.  They took notice of him.  No, not because of his beauty.  No, not because they wanted to give Mr. Banana Spider a banana.  No, they simply wanted to feel more important.  They wanted to simply feel like they mattered more than a beautiful spider who had taken so long to build his life, his comfort and his nest.  Instead of simply walking by, they took one of their big sticks and knocked him to the ground and would not let him go.  Mr. Banana Spider gave it all he had.  But he was not to see Sunday.  And we were not to have a dry eye for quite a few hours when we could not find him.
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You see, Girl Person had told Boy Person about Mr. Banana Spider.  And she was taking him over to look at him when her worst fears of what she had heard earlier were indeed true.  And as Boy Person’s face fell, so did their emotions and our tears.  But Boy Person tried to think positively for a moment.  If there was any chance that Mr. Banana Spider had gotten away, he would rebuild his nest.  He would come back.  And they would wait. And they would watch for him.
As the hours went on, the reality was there.  Mr. Banana Spider had not ran to safety.  Mr. Banana Spider was not coming back.  And we were mad.  And sad.  And all of the above and more.  Sometimes, things happen that make no sense, because the people that do them have no sense, as Pappy used to say.
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Were we regretful we had met Mr. Banana Spider?  No, we were not.  Girl Person had gazed on his beauty and I sure he felt appreciation every time we simply just walked by and did not harm him.  We hoped that he knew somehow we had waited for him to come back.  And although many persons may not have understood him, we did.  He was our friend.
Maybe there has been someone in your life that no one understood.  Maybe you had a best friend or a family member that seemed scary to others, but you knew their heart.  I would say that maybe…just maybe…many don’t understand my growls. My demeanor.  My heart.  But you see, everyone of us is just trying to survive, and so often, our guards make others scared.  But there will always be that someone who looks past that and loves us for who we are.  Mr. Banana Spider?
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We loved you for all that you were and you were appreciated when you were here.  We hope you know that not all persons are out to harm others.  But it is up to each one of us to educate others that we

-Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle

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The Freakouts

This is Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle.  Is there anything…anything…more frightening than a shortage of peanut butter?  Is there anything more frightening than a shortage of peanut butter cookies?  Is there anything more scary, or scarier, or whatever the grammar police want to say, than running from a storm named Florence who changed her title from Hurricane to Tropical Storm?  Yes.  Yes.  And Yes.  What is more frightening?  When everyone in this Big Blue Treat Wagon RV freaks out.

If you have ever tried to be strong when you are going thru a dilemma or a problem in life, maybe this has happened to you.  You are strong.  You tell yourself you can do whatever it is you need to do.  And you do it.  But then, one little thing happens, or a big thing like climbing a mountain road in a 37 foot RV with a car attached for seven miles to get to a campground that you don’t even know has a space, and well, you decide that the proper time, and the proper thing to do is not be proper.  Especially since you like run on sentences like the above.  Which is even less proper. I’m not the Queen.

And all of a sudden, your strongness, yeah, that’s a word in my dictionary, is about to be over.  Over.  In our case, the persons found out that when you have no cell service, and you have to work and do stuff everyday, that maybe you should not have read the information online saying that you had cell service up there.  Up a mountain.  Up where anyone with half a supply of peanut butter cookies would know that it did not make any sense.  Just like how every time you try to move from the rain and the storm named Florence with a job title issue follows you.  Literally.  Literally.  Literally.  And so, then, as you hold up your phone to the sky, standing on a pile of rocks with broken beer bottles hoping for one bar of service more than a bar of the best peanut butter fudge around, you look around.  And you realize.  You have no idea what day it is.  How you got here.  Why the storm keeps following you. And now…do you want to go back down that mountain?

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Some things are necessary.  Like eating. Like sleeping.  Like rescuing a pet.  Some things are very unnecessary.  Like the people who decided to name the dinosaurs.  Seriously.  A lot of thought went into that.  Why.  So. Long. 

But what seemed very necessary at the time, after driving through three states in less than a week was that it was a time to freak out.  Boy Person threw his hands in the air.  He gave up.  Girl Person threw her hands in the same air. She gave up.  Deputy Digby rolled in the grass on the side of the road.  And I just was mad. Real mad.  Everyone. Was. Arrested.  Were we going to stay here and deal with this and eat and go to bed, or were we going to have to go back down this crazy mountain and keep driving?  Girl Person? She said she could not do it.  She said that she would drive to tell the fans goodnight.  And they would figure it out in the morning.  And as she drove and found a place to post one photo on the side of the road to our friends and fans, Boy Person snagged a campsite, tried to build an aluminum foil antenna which failed, and I knew it.  They might have freaked out.  But they figured out that when there is nothing you can do.  You do it.  Nothing.  

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After a week of running from the storm, we had had it.  And being strong was no longer an option, because the winds all of a sudden roared in, we had no way to check the weather, and as Boy Person went back up the mountain to see what was happening, we learned that the forecast had changed once again.  Instead of no rain in the forecast, it had turned to 100%. Florence had followed us again.

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Some might say we are fortunate to be able to move our house.  Some might say, like the ones in this house, that things are rough sometimes.  And this was one of those weeks.  So, sometimes, you just give in to the fact that you’re tired.  You give to the fact you are done. And you play the cards you are dealt with and ride out the storm exactly where you are. With no cell service.  And in the rain.  So here we wait until Wednesday when we will try to make our way back towards Asheville, North Carolina!  The Blue Ridge Parkway must be completed! We can do this!  

-Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle

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