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the marks of summer

It's wintery cold this morning, but last week had some days where summer was clinging on and on one of them I had a summery experience that I'd so far avoided this year: I got poison ivy.

Some people claim to have no reaction to poison ivy; others are terrified and stay away from any and all leaves to avoid the itchy curse. I definitely have a reaction, but at this point in my life I guess I feel like it's an inevitable part of summer. And while I've definitely had big terrible rashes in my life—as a kid—these days it doesn't hit me so hard. My current exposure dates to last Friday when we were doing trail building. Moving rocks we came upon some yellowing poison ivy leaves, and I donned gloves and a plastic bag over my hands to pull them up. Then I also probably touched the roots when I was scrabbling in the mud around the rocks. I washed my hands well, but didn't get far enough up my arms; maybe Wednesday I came out with the rash on the inside of my forearms.

But as I say it's not so bad. Sometimes it itches, in which case it's pleasant to scratch. Often I forget about it. Given that mild level of severity, I count it as nothing more than a sign of a summer well lived. So it's a good thing I got it in before it was too late! Now bring on the winter!

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