Getting the house ready for a last-minute family get-together is a strange thing. I mean, it’s family. They already know about all the crazy habits and hobbies I’m going to try to hide while I’m cleaning the house.

They already know I have more craft paraphernalia than any other ten women. (Hey, it’s my job!) They know that I have never outgrown my love of games. (I blame my uncle for this; we may be related by marriage, but osmosis was at work or something when I was born ’cause I get it from him. Though, mine is more video and his is more card. Still.) And they know about my fabric hoard and my craft book collection my love of books and my Toot and Puddle collection and my cookie jars and my white pitchers and my strange reluctance to throw away Ikea and Coldwater Creek catalogs.

So why bother to try to hide all that if they know? Maybe they forgot.

So I shoved everything away like a mad woman and hoped no one would look under the bed or lean against the hall closet door too hard; that sucker was packed tight and could blow at the slightest provocation.

And then there are the spiders… we have a spider problem in this neighborhood. I find and destroy spiderwebs daily inside the house. When I don’t move the car for a few days, there will be webs all over it, too. If I head outside, I have to keep a lookout or I’ll walk into a web. They’re not the poisonous kind that bite, but they are scary nonetheless. The entire week leading up to the get-together I worried about the spiders freaking some kid out.

So the family came and I dithered thinking about all the stuff I hid. I tried to be cool and calm about finding a dead spider on the hearth when the house was at its fullest and busiest.

At some point I forgot about the hidden messes and the dead spiders and the dry lunch meat. I just enjoyed my family.

All in all the family shindig Saturday turned out great. Very little politicking. No blood spilling (though that prospect was a bit chancy at one point). Lots of laughing.