It’s All A Matter of Perspective

Today was one of the most indulgent days I’ve spent in a while. I have stayed indoors, reading, sleeping, and putting various gels and liquids on my legs. The fire ants of the final and successful beach-yard mowing continue to plague me.

Yesterday started out fine. I packed up, cleaned the beach house, and then I drove back from the beach, unloaded the dogs at the house, and headed out to run some errands. Afterwards, I ended up at Starbucks enjoying a cold frapuccino while visiting with a friend.

My last errand, on the way home, was to stop at the grocery. Along with food for the weekend, I picked up a new version of an old remedy for fire-ant bites– a clear Calamine lotion (now a gel). I knew I would need it.

Twenty-four hours after my having been stung, the ant bites by last evening had taken on the typical red ring around a nasty-looking hard pustule. And they itched. Lord, how they itched.

I spent an uncomfortable night periodically awakening and dousing my lets with the gel. Today I added intermittent splashes of rubbing alcohol to prevent infection, since a number of the pustules had burst. Not a pretty sight, believe me, and not comfortable.

Today I had planned to meet other friends for coffee, but they’d driven to Houston for they day. Free to pamper myself, I simply stayed home.

In between reading about fire-ant bites (the internet really is so handy at finding out about so many things), I napped and re-read some favorite Georgette Heyer novels (now available in e-book form). Transported periodically back to the Regency period, I also thumbed through a couple of magazines — the current Country Living and House Beautiful issues. Texts and phone calls also provided breaks. Yet at no time did I even think about turning on the television. Somehow, I didn’t feel like watching anything.

As it did yesterday evening, rolling thunder periodically threatened to break the heat with cooling rain. Threatened, but did not. Perhaps a few drops fell, but nothing more. Rain would really be refreshing right now.

So today has been tranquil. The dogs and Homer and Romeo kept me company. Right now, Homer, Zsa Zsa, and Gypsy have sacked out around me, leaving me just enough room to lie back down in a bit and read some more before drifting off to sleep.

Of course, I’ll reach for the cooling anti-itch gel that sits on my bedside table. It will relieve me, at least for a while.

Sometimes, days like today are good for me. They remind me that I’m truly fortunate. Though annoying, the bites can be controlled, and if they get infected, I can see my family practitioner easily. And my insurance will pay for most of it.

I’m able to relax at home, in comfort, and not worry about missing work or about having to get out and about.

Facebook this week reminds me of just how fortunate I am. Two friends are in Houston with their baby boy still in NICU at Texas Children’s Hospital; fall term starts soon, and they’ll be commuting and teaching online. We don’t know when the baby will get to come home. He’s been a survivor so far, and his parents are amazing. Another friend is in New Orleans with her granddaughter (who is just a few years old); the granddaughter had a brain tumor, has had surgery, and will begin radiation treatments this week.

My ant bites pale in comparison. I’ll whine, of course, about the discomfort and the itch and the possible scarring. But I know the difference between my indulgent whining and true suffering.

I can’t really do anything for my friends, but I hope they know how much they’re loved and how much any of their friends would be happy to do for them.

Perspectives really are good for us.

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