Day 340 | Monday, 22 February 2021
Day 340 | Monday, 22 February 2021
From the Church Mouse
John 8:32 (NIV) Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
With spending time this past week thinking about how vital it is that we, as Americans, affirm that we are one America, realization came that we must present a united front to the world. Our safety as a constitutional republic depends on it. Perhaps if you are an eternal optimist, you could be biting off more than you can chew. About one third of Americans are living in an alternative universe, adverse to truth, data, and reality. It seems impervious to any of the above. Somehow, this alternative universe has been created for them, and some prefer to live in it for all sorts of complicated reasons far above my pay grade (as is most everything). It is, however, all around us: in our neighborhoods, our towns, our villages and our cities, in our churches, our businesses, in our media, in our agencies, and in our families. Right now, for starters, I’m praying for everyone. At our ages, we probably can’t do a lot, but we all can do SOMETHING! I’ll start with prayer. If I’m of use, the path will be shown to me.
Now…to my story for today on the theme of a united front. The first thing that came to me was the behavior of ants: Every ant has its duty, and it’s all for one and one for all. Then I remembered high school and reading Leiningen Versus the Ants, a short story by Carl Stephenson. That did not end well….so I thought about honeybees: sweet, great to watch, give us honey and each honeybee has its duty, and it’s all for one and one for all. Great, but no funny story to tell you.
So, it’s on to yellowjackets. “Dolichovespula is a small genus of social wasps distributed widely throughout the Northern Hemisphere. The yellow and black members of the genus are known by the common name yellowjackets in North America, such as Dolichovespula norwegica, along with members of their sister genus Vespula. In a study on the nesting biology of Dolichovespula, a colony of D. maculata with 771 workers was reported as having the largest recorded population count.” Wikipedia. Each yellowjacket has its duty, and it’s one for all and all for one…and I have a funny story.
When I was a young woman, my son, David was old enough to be given a paying job of picking up papers at my Uncle Bob’s landfill. Since he was young enough to require supervision, I went along with him and his sister, Sue, to help him. We were at the base of a huge landfill heap picking up the loose trash. At the very top of the heap was one of my Uncle Bob’s workers in a bulldozer. He had a complete view of us as we worked. I bent down to pick up a large piece of cardboard. Did I mention that yellowjackets build their nests in the ground? Well, they do, and they do not have the best interests of humans at heart.
My kids watched as I slapped my arms, legs, and head in horror as I looked down at what was stinging me. Looking back, I’m sure my macarena dance was surely attracting the attention of the bulldozer driver on the hill, but he wasn’t my focus at the time. I realized that the yellowjackets had found their way up under my loose-fitting summer top. I pulled it over my head and used it to swing away at the wasps doing their duty. I heard my son saying, “Mooooom” as I danced around in my bra. All he could think about was me being seen by the dude at the top of the hill. I replied to him, “I don’t care. I don’t know him.”(This was the same child that called me an idiot years later in France as I waved my arms at the biggest bull we had ever seen.)
I did escape, with my top restored, and with my children, returned home to benedryl and my grandmother’s home remedy: Remove stinger gently with tweezers. Squeeze the venom out with little tools like a credit card or a similar object. Apply ice water or soap on the affected area for 20 mins after the stinger is completely out.
This would help you get rid of the pain and swelling at least for a few hours. Look for a ‘base’. The burning sensation from a sting results from an acidic influx. Still remember chemistry class? You need some “base” here to neutralize the acidic venom. Most common ones you can easily find, include: baking soda, vinegar, or toothpaste. Apply some ice water. Thank the Lord I’m not allergic to bee stings.
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Rev. Douglas Knopp, Pastor Emeritus