Bart and I talked a lot over the last year about where we might want to end up permanently.
Many cities, of course, came up for discussion, particularly those where our family members lived, but we kept returning to Austin. I’ve gone on at length about all the reasons I adore Texas, so I won’t bore you with them again, but you can imagine much of what we talked about as we hashed through every city on the map.
Every time we contemplated Texas, however, Bart would voice his major hesitation: the fire ants.
If you have not had the pleasure of acquainting yourself with a fire ant, you are missing little. They are small, but evil ants that live in the grass, bite you when you least expect it, and then the resulting bite itches like crazy for days (like. . .seven or eight days) before it finally goes away.
Each time, I’d brush off Bart’s concerns, telling him it wasn’t that big of a deal, certainly nothing to keep us from moving somewhere that was, in nearly every other way, an ideal location. Just keep your shoes on when you’re on the grass, etc.
Of course, after all my downplaying of the horrors of red ants over the last many months, it is poetic justice that, within a week of returning to Texas, I was bit by a mysterious red ant (I have no idea where or when this occurred).
And this ant bit me not once, but four times.
On my hand (and arm).
A place that is incredibly hard not to scratch accidentally because YOU ARE USING YOUR HAND ALL THE TIME what with the holding of books, the burping of babies, the cooking of food, and the using of computer mice.
Did I mention this is my right hand? And that I am right handed?
Oh the eating of humble pie, it chokes me.
(Also, it’s really difficult to take a non-blurry picture of your dominant hand when 1) your camera is too heavy for your weak little left arm to stabilize very well and 2) you can’t get your hand far enough away from the lens to get it to focus).
P.S. I know this picture is so horrific that some of you might suggest I might want to get a medical professional to look at it and make sure it’s not infected or that I won’t wake up some morning with my hand on the opposite side of the room from the rest of my body, but let me assure you that one of my friends from church is a nurse and I had her look at it on Sunday. She confirmed that I am not in danger of losing my hand (unless I chop it off to STOP THE ITCHING!).