November 24, 2007

Memories of Skin-Enemies

There are notes written to my sister...

1. It's been years since we dealt with fleas! I'd forgotten what that was like... waiting for one to appear because I knew they were lurking invisibly in the carpet, then pinching him from my ankle and stuffing him into a piece of toilet paper to flush him! Or, I'd squeeze one between my fingers under the surface of soapy water and watch them sink to the bottom of the glass. (I never had strong enough fingernails to cut them in two like my mother-in-law could!) There was just no other way to deal with them! They could jump three feet in any direction, a little black spot you can hardly see, and then jump right back onto your vulnerable skin and get all they wanted out of you! You see that they still cause a rise of emotion from me (insanity?). I think my record was 30 in one day!

2. Remember when Dad got upset with us on a camping trip when we were little, and they'd put us to bed in the back of the station wagon? We were horrified that mosquitoes were there with us! We WAY over-reacted, sure, but weren't they basically bloodsuckers?

I learned to pull my blanket all the way up to my nose to expose the least amount of skin. Listening for that special whine that tells me a mosquito is about to land, and sure enough, I feel him tickle my cheek, and then smash him with my waiting hand! (that really makes my sleeping husband jump!) I've killed WAY more animals than HE has! Kathy-Hunter-Woman!

And did I ever tell you the story about my first backpacking trip with Jerry up to Lake Yoran? I had to find a place to potty, but anywhere I went I was soon swarmed. It's hard to squat and swat at the same time! It was so maddening; I ended up zipping myself into the tent and only coming out to wash our dishes in the lake!

3. I haven't suffered with hives for a full year, so I'm comforted. The entire year before last fall I suffered every time sunlight hit my skin. I wore long sleeves and hats and took antihistamines, but still felt my skin "bristle". I hated being a big wimp about it, but I don't like itching and pain even more! I had many times of solitude in the shade...

By last fall (2006) I had resigned myself that being in the African sun during our mission trip was going to be unavoidable; I'd go prepared to be very uncomfortable - while asking for God's grace. Amazingly, I never saw a bit of hive action! And I haven't had them back until this past week. I consider this miraculous, because I had been unable to be in the sun without reacting to it for a full year!

Thank You for healthy-feeling skin, Lord! Oh, thank You!

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