Monday, March 28, 2011

You Can Take a Girl Out of the Country. . .

Saturday morning I donned a springtime dress of wisteria blue with splashes of delicate pink and yellow blossoms.  I draped a  strand of pearls across my neck; matching earrings completed the look.  I placed a medium blue straw hat on my head and covered my feet in some adorable little Mary Jane black flats.  Feeling fresh as a flower from my punkin head to my twinkle toes, I joyfully betook myself to do my weekly shopping at the outdoor farmer's market in Houston, about a 45-minute trip.  I planned to make several other stops, but the farmer's market demanded first place, as I was on a mission to procure pastured pork bacon, a high demand item with a tendency to sell out quickly.  I felt incredibly light-hearted and gay as I perused the vendors' booths.

The first cloud appeared on my horizon when the pastured pork people told me that the only bacon they had left was mostly fat.  Determined not to let it get me down, I opted for ground pork and bratwurst and continued on my merry way.  The bee farm lady greeted me, "Hello, friend!", and I purchased six beeswax tapers, four votives, and a gallon of raw honey from this sweet lady.  I love farmer's market folks.  They're so sociable.

With pork products in one hand, and bee products in the other, I was now comfortably balanced and securely rooted to the ground.  It felt good, similar to what my dear husband does for me, who is serious, focused, and always plans his work and works his plan.  I have a tendency to get so happy that I begin to float.  Then, if I have a plan, I forget it as I ride currents of air wherever they may carry me and sing, "This is the day that the Lord has made.  Let us rejoice and be glad in it!"

I intended to shop some more after I deposited these goods in the car.  However, on my way there, I caught a glimpse of my right foot, and my light heart crashed suddenly to the ground, for behold, from my instep protruded several inches of this woodsy arrangement of oak leaves and pollen pods.  I shuddered.   Instead of an attractively-shod, civilized foot, I had an attractively-shod, savage foot that looked like it was part of a Sasquatch costume!

Dear me!

Humiliation is good for one's soul, I reminded myself as I hurried to the car.  After depositing my purchases in the cooler, I sat down sideways in the driver's seat with my legs out the door and studied the situation on the bottom of my shoe.  It appeared to be a giant oak debris bouquet, glued in place with a massive, moist chicken poop of reddish brown hue, a gift from our home flock.  Turning, I reached for the fast food napkin stash that we have traditionally kept in the glove box.  Egad!  The cupboard was bare.  "Oh, nooooo!" I despaired.  I blamed this nasty situation on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, which required that we completely give up fast food.  And without drive-thru food, one no longer receives a steady supply of emergency napkins.

I searched frantically in crevices, pockets, and pokes for a used napkin or tissue, all the while contorting my body awkwardly as I  dangled the offensive foot out the door.  My efforts produced one small rectangle of a TJMaxx receipt.  I examined it hopefully.  Could it do the job?  Could it separate the unsightly arrangement from my shoe and yet maintain my hygiene so that I might confidently continue my planned itinerary?

I realized I had no real choice.  Grimly, I took a deep breath and ever so gingerly attempted to purge my sole of the wages of chicken contamination.  Immediately, I felt something dampen the index finger of my right hand.  I dropped the receipt, spread my fingers and examined the offended digit.  A reddish brown blob coated half of my finger nail.  Oh, gag!  Deep disgust churned in my delicate stomach.   Retrieving the receipt, I carefully folded it and attempted to remove the poop from my finger.  I succeeded in heavily outlining my nail with manure.  I stared at it in shock, my mouth open.  Feeling queasy, I decided to drive directly home and indulge in applying massive quantities of soap and hot water with a scrub brush.  I tossed the polluted receipt onto the parking lot and closed the car door.

Now, guilt as heavy as a Japanese sumo wrestler sat upon me, squeezing the last bit of lighthearted air from my lungs.  "Don't mess with Texas!" it declared unreasonably, "especially at the farmer's market, you idiot, where all the earth day people shop!"  Totally miserable, I pondered this message.  Slowly, I opened the car door and peered down at the brown-streaked receipt.  Yuck.

Rebelling, I closed the door again.

The sumo wrestler bounced.  "Think of the little children!" he demanded.

Dutifully, I imagined an adorable two-year-old, angelically radiant in his innocense, picking up my refuse and saying with a hurt tone, "Look, Mommy."

"Uncle," I squeaked, miserably.

I grabbed a plastic grocery bag, re-opened the door, leaned out, and snatched up the abandoned slip of poo paper.  I felt no relief, though, because the second I secured it, I felt something moist on my right thumb.

"This could not be happening," I tried to convince myself.

But it was.  I now had a brown thumb in addition to the brown outline on my index finger.

"Waaaaaaaah!" I cried, giving into total frustration for my situation.  I was unclean.

Then I remembered the Whole Foods bathroom, bountifully equipped with water, liquid lavender soap, and paper towels, and less than five minutes away.  I drove there.

 I sighed contentedly as I lavished my hands with the liquid soap and worked it into a mound of sanitizing suds so thick, my hands disappeared completely.  I rinsed and repeated.  I breathed in the intoxicating loveliness of the lavender and joyfully greeted the pink purity of my right hand's thumb and index finger.  My spirits soared heavenward.  Cleanliness is indeed next to godliness.

Resuming my errands, I took a side road through a classy old residential neighborhood in River Oaks, blessed with multitudes of mature shade trees and vast walls of giant azaleas, all abundantly abloom.  I felt the familiar lift of happiness.  As my feet lost contact with the ground, I pulled over and texted Emma excitedly:  "I'm on the azalea trail!  Yippee!"


Kathy said...

So sorry your unfortunate situation provided me with a few minutes of laughter! What a day but it did have a nice ending.

Tom said...

Mrs. Haught kind of flowers are those you have at the top of this post? They are one of my favorites! such a beautiful Simple flower, that deigns to embroider the ugly medions, and junky Parking lots and roadsides of Houston Subarbia and city alike; but still is not out of place in the open fields and fresh breeze of the country. It always lifts one up, forcing a smile and a contented sigh.

Wendy Haught said...


I'm so glad you laughed. That's what I was hoping for!

Wendy Haught said...


I don't know the name of the flower, but I love it too. It's so delicate without being fussy. It's blooming all over our place right now.