Traverse City Record-Eagle

Rebecca Lindamood: Foodie With Family

August 24, 2009

Foodie With Family: Poison ivy payback

'What's the big deal about poison ivy? Except for when folks get a secondary infection from it and have to take medicine, I don't understand why they dwell on it so much. Why can't they buck up and deal with it? It's just a little itch."

That's what I thought until last week when, for the first time in my life, I experienced my own poison ivy reaction.

I thought I was immune and I had the attitude to go with it; very little sympathy toward my husband, children and siblings who repeatedly reacted to poison ivy.

Sitting around the campfire on a family camping trip, I felt what seemed like hundreds of little bug bites. I borrowed my dad's calamine gel, took a Benadryl and sat up all night in a hot tent trying not to itch my ankles that felt like they were on fire and gritting my teeth to keep from whining and waking my sleeping husband and kids.

In the morning, my experienced siblings and husband took one look at my puffy red ankles and identified the source of my torture as poison ivy. Ack. Now that's a come-uppance if ever there was one. In one fiery, itchy weekend, I paid for every snide thought I'd ever had about poison ivy.

I sat at the picnic table the next morning watching my kids mill around and thankful that my siblings, dad and husband were taking care of business for me. As we were picking up camp, my sweet nephew Ezra picked up the wooden toy gun my kids had brought to camp. He asked his mom, my sister Jessamine, whether it was a toy gun. She told him it was. He asked, "Mom? Why don't I have a toy gun?" Jessamine said, "Well, Ezra, because guns kill people." My little Aidan, who heard the exchange, yelled, -- ¦ And dinner!" Did I mention my sister is a vegetarian? Thankfully, I was itchy enough that I didn't have the mental capacity to dwell on that one too long.

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