The last time I was in Ky for a long weekend with my mother, one of my brothers came and we went to visit a cousin. On the way back to mom's place we were talking about the turning of the leaves. I looked out and seen some sumac trees in a fence row and commented about how pretty they were. They were flaming red. My brother asked if I remembered he and I getting in to big trouble while playing in the fence row. I said, "oh yes, I remember well!"
So, this one is for you, dear brother!!! I love you!
"Beware of the Sumac"
Our grandparents always had a big, big garden. My mom helped them take care of the garden and in return we got produce. The older brothers also helped. But brother and me, we just did not get to help. So, we had to stay in the fence row close to mom and mamaw so they could keep a watch on us.
We, brother and I made the best of a boring situation. We played. We picked dirt clods and threw them at each other. We would poke each other with sticks. Just whatever our young minds could come up with, we done. All under the watchful eye of momma and mamaw, and of course, four other brothers.
Brother looked up at this beautiful tree full of tiny little berries. He said, “wonder what these are?” I said, “I don't know, lets eat some. Lets rub them all over us. You rub it in my hair, I'll rub it in your hair. Here, let me scrub your arms with the leaves, and while you're at it, eat a few leaves!” I really don't remember if that was the conversation or not, but it very well could have been. Cause that is exactly what we done!!!
When it was time to go to the house for lunch, everywhere we had scrubbed ourselves with leaves and berries, we were stained with big old splotchy brown spots all over us. Mom wanted to know what in the world we had gotten it to now. We shrugged our shoulders and said, “don't know”, and went on about our business.
After lunch it was back to the garden and back to the fence row for brother and me. We done the same stuff after lunch that we had done before lunch. This time we were in the sun, before lunch, the sun had not been an issue. But now, was it ever an issue!!! Both of us turned red as beets, blisters about the size of bb,s popped up all over us. It was in our hair, all over our body, on the soles of our feet and the palms of our hands. It was the itchingist stuff I ever had in my life. We were two pitiful little creatures when it was time to leave the garden.
When my mom seen the shape we were in, she was really afraid for us. She said take me and show me what you got in to! We were scared to death. Not only were we in misery for what we had done, but now, momma ain't happy. Everyone knows, if momma ain't happy, nobody's happy! The tone of voice she used with us, was the tone that she used if she was madder than a wet hen. I did not know till then, but that was her afraid tone also. We showed her what we had gotten in to. Papaw said that it was poison sumac and we would need medicine for it.
When dad got in from work, mom had brother and me as clean as she could get us. We had splotchy stains on us that looked like walnut stains. We had big old blisters and we were scratching worse than a dog with fleas. She met him at the truck and said we need to go to the drug store before it closes. We got there and mom and dad took us in so Doc., the pharmacist, could see us. He knew right off what it was, because we had all the tale tell signs, he just had never seen anyone as covered as we were with poison sumac. Doc said, “This will do the trick, twice a day for two weeks!” Ok, it was painless looking enough. How bad could it taste? We looked at each other and thought we had gotten off pretty good. That's what we get for thinking!!!! He picked up a big box of what we thought we popsicle sticks, and told my mom, “Here, you'll need these.” She said,”What for?” Doc said, “Every blister needs to be scraped and busted twice a day for two weeks.”
Panic and fear set in for both of us. We knew momma was pretty mad by now, because not only had our lives just taken a turn for the worse, but hers had too. Do you know how long it takes to scrape two kids from head to toe with popsicle sticks, my momma does and according to her, its way too long. Please, just beat me, and get it over with. Every time she scraped me with the sticks, she said, “You gonna do this again the next chance you get? If you have any ideas about it, remember this, it just might keep you from doing something else that's not real smart! What on earth possessed the two of you to do such a thing?” Believe me, there was no good explanation and even if there had have been, it wouldn't have been good enough for momma at the time.
That was the most painful two weeks of that summer for all three of us, brother, me, and momma. Remember, “if momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!”(written by:pjg Aug,2013)
Brother, I hope you get a chuckle out of this! I do, every time I think about it. The natural instinct is to start scratching. hahahaha
I hope and pray as y'all have read this story, that you can see yourselves some where in the midst. Sometimes it's a good thing to just go back and remember some of the fun times. As you do remember some of the good days of yesteryear, try to write them down, tell them to someone who will remember them for you, just do something with the good stuff so it doesn't get lost and forgotten. Someone will appreciate it.
As I leave you tonight, I pray that you have a blessed day in the Lord. I have come to realize that yesterday, is in no way as important as today. The only thing that we can do with yesterday, is remember. We are not guaranteed tomorrow. What we do have is today. What have you done today, that someone in your life will remember tomorrow? Have you told someone in you sphere of influence that you love them today? Have you told someone that God loves them and wants to be in a right relationship with them? The Nike ad, "Just do it" comes to mind. God loves you!
Hugs, and goodnight, y'all, Patty