Me and poison ivy go back about 15 years. Since I'm not much of a nature girl I never experienced it as a child. It wasn't unil I had a house of my own with a yard to take care of that the two if us got acquainted.
It's not that I don't like nature, in fact I love it. I just prefer to experience it through the large window of a climate controlled and insect free room, that's all.
About 15 years ago I was helping my grandmother with some yard work at her house. She had a beautifully landscaped yard where everything grew so well that she often had to thin it out.
We were thinning ground cover and she told me I could take some home to plant in my yard if I wanted to. Well heck yeah I wanted to! It was pretty and it was free. So I dug up a variety of ground covers, took them home and planted them in my yard.
There were several different varieties and one of them she didn't have very much of so I only took a small section. Yep. I didn't realize it was poison ivy. I planted it in my yard on purpose, I watered it, fertilized it, and nurtured it into a healthy, robust vine. All while I was going to the doctor to try to determine what kind of mysterious rash I had that wouldn't go away. He kept telling me it looked like poison ivy but I kept arguing that it was impossible because I hadn't been anywher near the woods. Ever. I think it was Jayson who finally set me straight.
Since then me and poison ivy have hooked up several times but at least I did learn what it looks like enough to avoid it or anything that resembles it. I rarely come in direct contact with it, but instead I usually touch something that it has touched. That includes air.
That's what happened a few days ago while I was doing some major yard work. I saw the vine growing in a pile of dead branches that I had to move. I carefully cut the vine and discarded it. Problem solved. Except for this next part where I went stupid.
This big pile of dead branches needed to be moved from the side of the house to the curb. It would have taken me dozens of trips back & forth if I'd tried to carry them on my own and that didn't feel like the most efficient way to solve this problem. I thought it would be better if I could somehow drag the mass to the curb. That would mean fewer trips and less stress on the ol' bod since dragging is easier than lifting.
Impressed with my own brilliance I got an old moving blanket from the garage, laid it next to the branch pile and loaded it up with as many branches as I thought I could comfortably drag by pulling the end of the blanket. It worked like a charm and I had the branches cleared in 4 blanket loads.
I was so awed by my own ingenuity that I imagined my neighbors looking at me through the windows of their climate controlled and insect free homes, and saying to each other, "Wow, look how smart she is!" "I would never have thought to drag those branches on a blanket." "That's so amazing!" "She really saved herself a lot of work." "I wish I was a genius like she is."
It never once occurred to me that the little sprig of poison ivy I had carefully disposed of might be part of a larger vine. I never once thought that I might not be able to identify that vine if it had been hidden in the dark under those branches and therefore had no leaves. It didn't cross my mind to keep the blanket away from the area where that hidden, leafless vine was growing. Not once did I consider it a bad idea to gather the empty blanket up in my arms to carry it back to the pile after I had dumped it's load.
I was so impressed with my glorious problem solving skills that I never realized how incredibly stupid and careless I was being around a plant that I am highly sensitive to if not downright allergic. I'm pretty sure that blanket, along with my own ignorance, is the source of my current suffering.
There's a picture reel playing in my head of me rolling a branch loaded blanket on top of the branch pile at the curb then literally laying across the back of that blanket to squash the branches down a little before gathering it up in my arms to return for another load.
Aarrrrggghhh! This is one of those situations where I could really use a time machine. If I could just go back and not be a careless idiot I wouldn't be covered in seeping blisters that would make Job cringe.
No use playing the "if only" game. What's done is done. The problem now is what to do with the Evil Blanket Of Doom and the trash cans I filled up with dead leaves when I raked after the branches were moved. Oh, and the rake itself. I wore gardening gloves the whole time but I did have sense enough to throw them away. I threw away my water bottle just today because I remembered holding it with my gloved hand. I've cleaned all the doorknobs but I can't remember exactly what I was wearing on the day I got it. I've washed all my clothes but those sill need to be washed with a degreaser to remove the poison. Oh, and my shoes! Or rather, Taylor's shoes. Dang, she's not gonna be happy about that. I wore her cute silver sequined flip flops because they have spongy soles that makes them really comfortable. And really porous. May they rest in peace.