TS Annie posted a a pretty picture for wordless Wednesday - poison ivy. It reminded me of a story. Or two. And since I'd rather not talk politics (quite frankly, I'm not ready to talk about the results yet - I'm still numb), these stories will have to do.
When I was about 14, my brother and I spent a couple of weeks at my grandparents' home in central Louisiana. We spent a lot of summers there, some of my greatest memories. This is not one of the greatest. Though it is one of the more memorable.
Being bored teenagers at Grandma's house, having already been to the farm (up at the butt crack of dawn - who invented that phrase? I love it. It should be copyrighted), ridden horses all morning, been to the Belle for biscuits, then back again, we hung out in the front yard. Yep. I think I'd read all of the books on the shelves - the Zane Grey's several times. Grandparents probably taking naps. Lil' Bro and I bored out of our skulls, standing in the yard, waving at passing cars.
The medians in the neighborhood had grown up quite a bit in the summer, I guess, because crews had come by and mowed them down, with big piles of grass, and trimmed the shrubs, with big piles of brush. Then, the day we were standing outside, they'd burned the brush. Smoke rolling through the neighborhood. Us just standing there. Bored. Did I mention we were bored?
By about dinner, my throat started to itch. By bedtime it REALLY itched. In the middle of the night I got up and slept in a chair so I could breathe. My throat was swelling closed. I wasn't bored anymore, but I sure was scared. And I waited till morning to tell my grandpa.
Grandpa - we called him Papaw - took me to the doctor's. The doc said I'd breathed in some burning poison ivy. He wanted to give me a shot. I could barely breathe and I itched like crazy. I wouldn't let him give me a shot. Terrified of needles. I don't think I recall hearing Papaw cuss before that. Didn't matter. I wasn't letting him give me a shot. Took a pill instead. It eventually went away.
Second instance was college, sophomore year, early in the first semester. I was sitting under a tree with some guy I'd just met, on opposite sides of the tree, talking about life, picking at the leaves under the tree, smelling them. Rubbing them on my face, I think. Yeah. You know. It was poison ivy. I wound up in the ER the next morning, face swollen up like a balloon. I'm pretty sure I let them give me the shot that time.
Do you know, I don't think I've had poison ivy even once since then? How bizarre.
Until I write again ...
P.S. Someone sent me this quote this morning and I love it:
I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world, because they'd never expect it.
- Jack Handey