So, I went on vacation last week. We went to my husband's family's cabin, where the bugs were in full Minnesota force. Ticks scuttled up my legs. I swatted a few mosquitos. Chigger bites bloomed around my ankles. Deer flies buzzed. A mysterious blistering rash burst out on my shoulder and danced down my arm. There was a lot of debate about how I could have gotten poison ivy there.
I have lived in Minnesota for about 25 years now, and my paranoia about poison ivy has made me a master of woodland plant identification. It has also kept me poison ivy free that whole time. So I was convinced I had contracted it from my son via his rash via the laundry. I was amazed at how painful it was. Then I got home, and got a proper diagnosis: shingles.
On the dock at dusk
Dusk is my favorite time to swim. The boundary between sky and water loses it's edge, the blues of air and water merge. Skinny-dipping in the cool water, I stop itching and lose a bit of myself to the lake.