I don't often get surprised with a free afternoon off work, but yesterday was the exception. Several clients canceled last minute and Voilà, I had a free afternoon with nothing planned. The weather was a perfect 70 degrees, blue skies with a hint of rain in the forecast. I realized what a wonderful blessing this was and headed over to see my horse Chancy with the intent of going for an afternoon ride.
Because of all the recent rain fall, the weeds are knee high around the ranch and unfortunately I had to walk through them to get to my horse trailer where my saddle and tack are. Minutes after trudging through the bush, I had a burning sensation on my knee. I thought "What the heck?" and gave it little much more thought. Then the real pain began, the knee continued to intensify and pain was now running up the back of my leg and toward my buttocks. I grumbled to myself, "What the heck!" and began scratching my leg. I began to panic a little because I'm extremely sensitive and have had serious allergic reactions which drove me to the ER room. I began considering what could be causing the pain and believed it MUST be the weeds that I just pushed through. Frustration that the pain was increasing and fear began to overcome me that I might go into a full anaphylactic shock, stop breathing and fall down in the tall weeds only to be found years later.
I went into survivor mode. I put my horse away, quickly walked to the ranch owner's house and notified her of my status before I ran off to CVS to purchase $120 worth of antibiotics, sprays, and allergy medications. I called my daughter on the way home "just in case" it was the last time I could speak to her and she said, "Mom, maybe you should go to the hospital?" I said I would consider it if the medications I just bought didn't work. I pulled into my garage, ran into the house, removed my clothing, and jumped in the hottest shower I could stand. I began to feel better and noticed the symptoms (burning leg, scratchy eyes and ears) were beginning to dissipate. I thought about something the ranch owner said that I had dismissed, "Sounds like you stepped on a fire ant hill," because I didn't SEE any ants. So I went and pulled my jeans out of the washing machine, gave them a shake and THERE HE WAS! A Fire Ant!
I laughed at myself and sent a text to my daughter to let her know I wasn't going to die, "Dead ant, dead ant, (like pink panther song)." She called and we both laughed at my silliness and reminisced at some of the other things I've been called "clumsy" for. She said now that she has children, she was wondering if she should let them watch "slap-stick" comedy, because she didn't want them laughing at her the way she laughs at me. I told her it is our "legacy" and some of the finest memories she'll be able to share with her children long after I'm gone will be those memories of me trying to do a cartwheel and face-planting or falling down when walking because I tripped over a tree root. She agreed.
I heard a long time ago, "Laughter is the best medicine," and in this case it is also a legacy. If you would like to learn more about building a legacy for your family, call Encouragers today.