Who knew ammonia cured all?

By Staff
Leada DeVaney, Hartselle Enquirer
Greg, my ever-patient and long-suffering boyfriend, took me home this weekend to visit his family in Mississippi. It was there, sitting in his grandmother's kitchen, that I learned I know absolutely nothing.
Greg's grandmother, Genelle, is in her 80s. She and her husband, Walter, have lived in rural Mississippi – somewhere between Canton and Kosciusko – all of their lives. We were sitting around playing cards when Greg's mother, Mary, said something about the marks on my legs. The lower parts of my legs were covered in red whelps, the result of marching around in the tall grass in shorts and sandals – not exactly hiking attire.
"Do you have anything on them," Genelle asked.
"No, m'am," I replied, tucking them under the table.
"Ammonia," she said. "You should put ammonia on them. It will clear them right up."
Ammonia? On your skin? Just the thought made what little hide I had left tingle.
I tried to change the subject. It didn't work, though I did stop scratching my legs, if only to avoid having household cleaner applied to the sores.
Later, Greg's son, Derek, was stung by a bee just below his knee. We were recounting the story to his grandmother when she asked another question: "Did you put some gasoline on it?"
Gasoline? On a bee sting?
"Takes the pain right out of it," Genelle said.
I didn't know. It turns out I didn't know a lot of things.
I didn't know that you were supposed to wear long pants if you were riding a four-wheeler through the woods.
I didn't know you had to search your skin for ticks when you came in from those same woods.
I didn't know that sandals weren't proper foot attire for muddy ground.
I didn't know the sound I heard at night were locusts, not crickets.
I didn't know the sound a frog makes when its sitting by a pond talking to other frogs.
I didn't know the difference between a turtle and a terrapin.
I didn't know fresh corn and vine-ripe cucumbers could taste that good.
I didn't know the stars would be that bright out in the country.
I didn't – and still don't – know how to can, blanche or freeze much of anything.
I can learn, though and I think I know a few people that will probably teach me.
When we were leaving Greg's family reunion Sunday, Genelle gave me a big hug, the kind only a grandmother can give.
"You come back and see us," she said.
"Oh, I will, I replied. "As long as you promise not to douse me in ammonia."
She just laughed.

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

UPDATE: Child dies after being attacked by dog in Hartselle

Breaking News

Child attacked by dog in Hartselle

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Local legend retires after 34 years at Hartselle Pizza Hut

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Hartselle soccer teams sweep Morgan County Tournament

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Hartselle gears up for future growth: City seeks input for new comprehensive plan 

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Severe weather preparedness sales tax holiday begins tomorrow

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

‘I hope it fuels them’: Hartselle turns focus to next season after Elite Eight loss

At a Glance

Students advance to final round in 3D CAD competition

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Woman accused of pushing Hartselle woman off cliff writes letter to judge 

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Hartselle Drama makes a splash with “The SpongeBob Musical” 

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Hartselle woman marks 28th anniversary of heart transplant 

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Woman killed in Somerville house fire identified

At a Glance

Child Safety Conference set for March 5

Editor's picks

Decatur Morgan Hospital getting Safe Haven Baby Box 

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Annual tree giveaway set for March 6 

At a Glance

Hartselle native joins American Angus Association  

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

FlashFiber celebrates 10,000th customer 

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Alleged shooter in murder-for-hire case to stand trial in October 

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Garbage routes altered for Presidents Day

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

College Street Players to present magical production of Peter Pan Jr.  

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Hundreds dazzle at annual Cinderella Ball 

At a Glance

More I-65 paving planned for next week

Editor's picks

Tiger Paws roar to victory at national championships 

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Key surpasses Pouncey on all-time wins list

x