We moved here in 1998, it is a modest apartment, two bedrooms, one bath (that's a killer), as I mentioned before upstairs. I loved the complex immediately because it has trees, I'm a tree hugger.
Down stairs directly in front of my neighbors patio was a little palm sprig, with two baby fronds, that was ten years ago, it is now a tree and the big grown up fronds hang over onto my patio.
One night two summers ago, it was unbearably hot so, I decided I was going to sit on my patio for a while. I gathered up my chair, my citronella (as if that really works) and a book I was actually going to try and read by the candle light. The first thing I did was light the candle, here in Southern California our mosquitos carry West Nile, I believe the Nile is in Egypt but they managed to bring it here and, it can be fatal. Next, I sat my chair down where I could get a good look at the moon, oh yes and close to the candle so I could read.
The first bugs out that night were the Kamikazis, you know the ones that fly full speed into your mouth or your eye. I shood them, finally going into the house for bug spray. Next came the crawlers, you know, you think you feel something and when you slap yourself it feels like it is the size of a small child. I sprayed bug spray there too. So now you say, why didn't I get repellent simple really, I am allergic, which wouldn't have made any difference cause it never even crossed my mind.
I settle back down, look around, don't see anything, seems like I've got it well in hand. Until, I see something moving in the dark crevasse of one of the fronds. I sat there and watched, it slowly but surely made it's way to the table, this thing jumped into the light, the BIGGEST spider I have ever seen in my life, understand the smallest spider numbs my mind, this thing was the size of a small fist. Here is where it gets interesting, Mr. spider moved into the light, towards me, I tried to slide my chair back, tipping it, I grabbed the table to keep myself from falling backwards, the hot wax fell on my hand along with..yes you guessed the spider. I jumped up, headed for the door, forgot it had to slide, I grabbed it and snatched it off the rollers, jumped into the livingroom, screaming, doing some type of dance.
No one ever saw the spider but me so my children think I have alzheimers. The ones that were in the living room when I burst in, still tell the story and laugh like idiots. I found out that the whole insect kingdom lived in the fronds of that tree. I have never sat on my patio at night since.