Monday, June 08, 2015

I still remember my first time...

A resent trip town had us driving in on a cool spring day with the windows open and the sweet breeze blowing in. The air was wet and smelled  strongly of spring rot and  growing foliage. I was enjoying the ride, and the cool air since the air condition is shot in the pickup.  Then I smelled it. Honeysuckle, the bane of my existence. Boy does that bring back memories. Painful, itchy memories. I was about 5 years old when we first discovered I was allergic to poison ivy. I didn't just one itchy patch as a warning.  I had to go for the full body out break.
     We use to live in a little house in town (if you want to call the small collation  of houses and one church a town). It was up on a hill, with woods to the back and a road out front. There was a wall of shrubs along the road, providing some measure of privacy. There was tiger lilies in the ditch and a snowball tree down at the far end of the yard.  And out back there was the shallow puddled that existed over the septic  tank after  it got dug up one exciting month (Visiting family and freezing weather were involved.)
     I remember that spring was wet, and for some reason it cause a wall of  vine that hadn't done any thing for year to erupted in to the most intoxicating wall of honeysuckles I've ever seen. Me and my sister spent all day playing in the wall of flowers... Unfortunately that wasn't the only veining plant growing there.  The details of how fast it took for the blisters to form  are lost to me, but the next few weeks I was covered in chalky pink calamine and oozy sores. I'm sure there are photos of me a swollen up and blistered somewhere in a box.
After that I was banned from going anywhere near the honeysuckles, or anything that had three leaves and  grew on a vine.  Over the years I've had plenty of run ins with the horrid stuff,  some almost as bad as that first day.  Still, forever in my mind  honeysuckles  will be tied in with poison ivy. I haven't picked a honeysuckle since that day.