I will never make fun of ammonia

By Staff
Leada DeVaney, Editor
It's been about a year since I first traveled with Greg to visit his family in Mississippi. It was my first long-term experience with country life and I don't mean the nice, quiet kind of small town life to which I have become accustomed.
This was dirt roads, strange bugs and wild animals roaming around. The nearest mall is more than an hour away and you can't just run down to the grocery store when you want to pick up something.
It was on that first trip that I learned the whole gamut of home remedies employed by Greg's grandmother, such as putting ammonia on a bug bite.
I scoffed at the idea. Who ever heard of such? I would just go to the store and buy some bug spray and one of those little sticks designed to take the sting out of a bite.
Those were my plans. Unfortunately, I never got around to purchasing any of those items. Thankfully, I hadn't needed them on any of our subsequent trips, mainly because I've mastered the art of avoiding any pests or vermin.
I was still in the avoidance phase last weekend when I walked out of Greg's grandmother's house to examine one of her beautiful flowering bushes.
I had just gotten outside the door when I felt a sharp sting on the back of my neck. I wasn't sure what it was but it felt like someone was holding a lit match to the back of my neck. I felt something crawling around and then two more stings further down my back.
The tears started. I called out to Greg to come and rescue me. He ran out the front door and started shaking the back of my shirt to get the offending creature out. He shook my shirt and a small yellow jacket flew away.
I cried. And cried. And sniffled. And sniffled. This hurt – bad.
Right about this time, Greg's grandfather came out of the house, holding some tissue doused with ammonia. I could smell it from three feet away, but didn't run away. I felt the cold liquid dabbed on the bites and, suddenly, the stinging disappeared.
I wiped my eyes. I was going to live.
I walked back in the house, using the side door this time in case the yellow jacket was waiting to attack again. Once I made it safely inside the kitchen, Greg's grandmother wet her finger and dabbed each bite with meat tenderizer. I may not have smelled great, but I sure felt a lot better.
Greg and I have laughed a lot in the last three years about how our life resembles "Green Acres." He's Oliver and I'm Lisa, without the Hungarian accent.
Still, even though she new she'd rather be in New York, even Lisa Douglas learned to adapt to country life.
And I can, too. If I can stand the smell of ammonia and meat tenderizer.

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