Always Enjoy the Good with the Bad

This is a guest post written by Nancy Jo Adams ~ Founder of Ladies in Camo, Shenanigans From the Field. Nancy Jo wrote this last May while I was on vacation but I was having blog issues at the time so we are sharing today…

Jody, The Hunter’s Wife, asked me if I was interested in submitting a guest blog. I didn’t waste any time agreeing. Now, what to write about {scratch-scratch}? Something comical {Scratch} or something off topic {scratch-scratch}? A hot topic? {scratch} Ah….I had an idea and it would take bringing my camera to work the next day {scratch-scratch}. Maybe it will work {Scratch}. As I turn on my laptop the next day, {scratch} the previous story was not on my mind. Matter of fact, NOTHING was on my mind but itching and scratching. {scratch-scratch} Well…there you have it, the idea for my story.

As with most things in life, what you enjoy most often come with not only pleasure or good but also pain or bad. I think that was explained in some sort of Aristotle Philosophy of the good and bad or maybe it was the Chinese Yin-Yang philosophy; of which neither I paid much attention to when learning in school.

For me, this challenging pleasure in which I experience my share of this philosophy is turkey hunting. This season was definitely a photo book season of the good for me only to be trumped with the bad; not in the way of turkey hunting but in the way of the AFTERMATH.

Saturday was my last day of turkey hunting and it was an amazing one, spending time to reflect on the season. I hunted alone in the afternoon and had the joy of playing cat and mouse with a grand old bird for close to an hour. After deciding that this Tom had made it through the entire season and needed to be rewarded by allowing him to once again roost in his favorite tree, I called the hunt. I spent the rest of the afternoon sitting on a serene hillside, backed up against a pine thicket, watching some birds from a distance. I reminisced on my season and my success as well as some of the challenges that made the season so memorable. Shortly before sunset, I walked slowly back to Hank the HuntVe for my final ride out of these turkey woods until next season.

Two Tom’s filmed on opening day of the season…only one roosted that evening. Photo Credit: © 2012 Life in Camo

I was in total bliss—OR SO I THOUGHT! Screech…….as the needle on the record player brashly rakes across the vinyl disk.

Sunday afternoon I noticed an itch in the bend of my elbow. My first thought was of poison ivy. Okay, I can deal with this. Besides it is a little spot and I have dealt with worse. I dabbed a little bit of Benadryl crème on it and was good; for a while.

Later that evening I had a spot on my shoulder that started itching; I thought still controllable, no biggie. I went to bed around 10 p.m. and shortly after midnight I sat bolt upright in bed with my body on high alert–just like the fire alarms where blarring in the house; but they were not. It hit me as soon as I looked in the mirror….CHIGGERS….RED BUGS…MITES FROM HELL…whatever you wanted to call them….I had a bite from each member of the entire army of red bugs that lived on that hillside.

I took the hottest shower I could, even though I had taken two since I had left the field a little over 24 hours ago.

I didn’t have a spot from my waist up that didn’t itch. I would scratch a little here, then a little there, I tried to lie back down and will myself to sleep only to dose long enough to wake myself up scratching and itching. At one point I was near in tears. I look over and there lay Richard, peacefully sleeping…almost angelic, without a clue that I had been going out of my mind over the last 3 hours right there next to him. I wanted to take my pillow and pop him over the head with it…did he not care? Okay, maybe that was not the case, after all, he is a heavy sleeper.

At one point, I coaxed the cat onto my back and talked to him sweetly as he made biscuits on my itchy spots; he got bored. Richard still slept soundly, so relaxed looking. I wanted to trickle water over his head. NOT FAIR!!! I was miserable; I had chills because the histamine in my body was on a level off the chart. How can something so evil have been allowed to exist in a place so peaceful?

By 4 a.m., I had a total of 2 hours of sleep. For the third time, I got out of bed to strategically scratch my back with the closet door jamb when Richard FINALLY woke up. Of course just long enough to ask me what I was doing. I replied “I am infested with red bug bites.” He suggested taking a hot shower. I replied, “I have done that”, the whole time scratching. He then asked, “Did you take Benadryl.” I replied, “Yep! I have done that” as I focus scratching on two bites on top of my shoulders which didn’t exactly work well because I was too busy scratching my back against the door jamb. Richard started to say or ask something else that ended up being inaudible as he drifted off to sleep mid-sentence. Note to self: next time he is fighting an army of chigger bites or poison ivy, pretend to be asleep, even if he tries to shake you awake…pretend to be asleep.

FINE! I will suffer without solace and suffer I did. For three solid days I itched, scratched, clawed, dabbed, took Benadryl and willed my mind (to no avail) to believe “I DO NOT ITCH! I DO NOT ITCH! I DO NOT ITCH!”

It is now four days later and I am finally getting continuous relief of not scratching. At last count I had 34 chigger bites, 6 scratch marks and 2 Guinea Wasp bites….which is a whole new story. Would I do it all over again for a great turkey hunt you ask?

Well, yeah, I believe I would…after all, to experience the good—you usually have to deal with the bad. Crazy, you ask? Yeah, that is questionable but I do love turkey hunting.

18 chigger bites on the good side on day one. Photo by iPhone 4S

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Thank you Nancy Jo and OUCH SCRATCH SCRATCH.

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