Thursday, November 6, 2008

Stories

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 ...

Flea

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

16 comments:

Mental P Mama said...

You're gonna need an ocean...of calamine lotion...

Now that song is going to be stuck in my head. I can just see you there rubbing poison ivy all over your face, while you bat your eyelashes at your new beau...

Daryl said...

She comes on like a rose but everybody knows
She'll get you in Dutch
You can look but you better not touch

Poison iv-y-y-y-y, poison iv-y-y-y-y
Late at night while you're sleepin' poison ivy comes a'creepin'
Arou-ou-ou-ou-ou-ound

She's pretty as a daisy but look out man she's crazy
She'll really do you in
If you let her under your skin

Poison iv-y-y-y-y, poison iv-y-y-y-y
Late at night while you're sleepin' poison ivy comes a'creepin'
Arou-ou-ou-ou-ou-ound

Measles make you bumpy
And mumps'll make you lumpy
And chicken pox'll make you jump and twitch
A common cold'll fool ya
And whooping cough can cool ya
But poison ivy, Lord'll make you itch!!

You're gonna need an ocean of calamine lotion
You'll be scratchin' like a hound
The minute you start to mess around

Poison iv-y-y-y-y, poison iv-y-y-y-y
Late at night while you're sleepin' poison ivy comes a'creepin'
Arou-ou-ou-ou-ou-ound

Measles make you bumpy
And mumps'll make you lumpy
And chicken pox'll make you jump and twitch
A common cold'll fool ya
And whooping cough can cool ya
But poison ivy, Lord'll make you itch!!

You're gonna need an ocean of calamine lotion
You'll be scratchin' like a hound
The minute you start to mess around

Poison iv-y-y-y-y, poison iv-y-y-y-y
Late at night while you're sleepin' poison ivy comes a'creepin'
Arou-ou-ou-ou-ou-ound


la da la da la da
la da la da la da
la da la da la da
la da la da la da

TSannie said...

OK, now that song is planted permanently in my head.

I crawled through PI with a friend of mine when a kid. He ended up spread eagle on his bed for a week covered in it from head to toe, me, nuthin. NOW, I look at it and get it and it goes systemic and I have to go on steroids and it drives me mad!
Poison Iv-y-y-y!

asthmagirl said...

I think I had an encounter with Poison Oak when we were white water rafting. I itched for two days on the river and had these cool bumps on my arms and chest. But I've never swelled up like that... Poor Flea!

MUD said...

I had it once and I think I have a form of immunity. My daddy could say Poison Ivy and get it. Oh well, MUD

Flash Stitcher said...

I'm with you on this Flea. Rolled naked in it to prove I was not allergic..WRONG!! ER 2 days later.
Talk about Poisin Ivvvvy, it was everywhere.

Song stuck in head all day now.

OHmommy said...

Oh no Flea. How terrible.

Knock on some wood and stay inside today. Im just saying... ;)

Poltzie said...

Sounds like life at your grandparents was awesome (other than the poison ivy that is)!

anglophilefootballfanatic.com said...

You really were THAT scared of the needle? Egads wumman!

Coffee Bean said...

Double Shot got poison ivy on his dinkle doink when he was around 7. Took him awhile to tell us about it. The doctor said that it was actually pretty common because poison ivy doesn't break out on your hands where the skin is a lot tougher... but you can transfer it other places without realizing it. Sometimes I wish I'd taken a picture of that. It was bad! And I am a rotten mom to still be laughing about it!

Ellyn said...

I didn't know you could get poison ivy rash from burning it. But it make sense I guess. Learn something new everyday.


Stay out of that stuff Ok.

Tanya Brown said...

Your first experience sounds terrifying! I'm so glad you didn't die from your breath being cut off. Um, so not to be disrespectful, but what do poison ivy leaves smell like?

My father and I had a wheat allergy, although mine bizarrely seemed to dissipate once I moved to the west coast. Every time the farmer would burn off the wheat fields north of my dad's property, we'd be laid up in bed for a week.

Karen said...

I had no idea that you could get the effects from just breathing it in. Wow.

Karen said...

Ok, itching now. Need lotion, now. Really, I think you should avoid the stuff. Not so good for you.

~ Straight Shooter ~ said...

I think Calamine should be a crayon color. It is a very familiar color to MANY unnamed people...
I think you may have heard the butt crack of dawn from me...I say it all the time.
I understand your contemplation on the election Girl. It took me some time to digest.
God is in control.

dlyn said...

My sister is horribly allegic to poison ivy, but I have never gotten a rash from it. We could walk in the same area and she would get it but I didn't. I'm sorry, but the idea of you rubbing poison ivy on your face made me laugh out loud. I am an evil person, I know.