Look To The Northern Sky – Florida Tan Tuesday – Part 5

When the doctor was finished with me in our curtained cubicle, seeing how much of me was NOT burned, he left me to get dressed and then met with all of us to hand out a stack of papers; prescriptions, manuals on the care and treatment of second degree burns and pamphlets on reasons to avoid the sun. Good one, doc, where were you yesterday, say, around 10am? Quack!

Once we got comfortably situated back at the trailer, my mother and grandmother headed out once again, this time to a pharmacy about a half hour away to get our prescriptions filled.

Donna was elected to stay behind again and not only did she provide comfort to her badly shaken girlfriend and tote glassful after glassful of ice water to keep us hydrated, but I think she subconsciously tried to put us both out of our misery by way of smoke inhalation when the dinner she was making was pretty much burned beyond recognition.

When we were all reunited about two hours later, medicine was dispensed and the edible remains of dinner were dished out. Miraculously, Linda was able to shuffle to the kitchen while I was unable to get off the sofa. Oh, I should mention here that I’d been transplanted from the cot to the sofa, the tweed upholstered sofa because it was higher and therefore thought to be easier to get on and off of. Well, not so much. I tended to sink into the plush cushions as opposed to laying on a rigidity of stretched canvas and it was more of a challenge to hoist my crisp carcass out of there. Maybe it was subliminal added punishment. As the others silently looked on, I managed to get myself into a sitting position and lowered my feet to the floor. I attempted to push myself up with every ounce of strength I could muster but still could not stand erect enough to move myself into the kitchen. Imagine this position: bent over at the waist, knees bent, upper body just about resting on my thighs (perfect for a slalom) and trying to walk. Go ahead, try it. What was I going to do in the middle of the night if I had to get to the bathroom? Necessity is the mother…of all sorts of things.

Tears streamed down my face when I realized I wasn’t going to make it to the table and my pain was heightened by mother’s continued lecture, in that condescending tone, on stupidity. Well, grandma wasn’t having it, she couldn’t stand seeing me in pain and she brought my dinner to me but I couldn’t stay in this seated position long enough to eat, so I took my last medicine for the day, settled myself on that tweed sofa and drifted off to sleep.

Linda was on the phone with her mother bright and early the next morning and it was decided Linda would fly home. It was also suggested I would fly home also, but I chose to stay in Florida. We got to the airport and got Linda checked in and ascertained there would be a crew standing by to assist her when she had to change planes in South Carolina. We tried to keep the atmosphere as light and jovial as possible, hoping her red, swollen and blistered condition wouldn’t frighten the rest of the passengers on the plane. Finally her flight was called and it was one of those planes you had to board from the ground. The heat was too intense for me to stand outside so I watched from inside until we were ready to go.

So the day wouldn’t be a total loss and since it was just across the highway from the airport, we decided to go to the shopping mall. We had to pick out a gift for my other grandmother who lived in Naples, Florida we were supposed to be going to visit the next day. I found a nice decorative two-tier waterfall design candle in the store Wicks ‘N Sticks. When I went to pay for it, the saleslady at the register took one look at me and said, “Y’all are from the north?” “Yes,” I said, “could you tell by my NJ accent?” “No,” she chuckled, in that friendly southern way, “but most northerners usually end up getting sunburned like that.” I felt…unspecial.

So far, two days into our Florida vacation and we’ve seen such exhilarating sites as the inside of the trailer, the inside of the car, the hospital, the airport and the candle store.

More adventures would await us the next day as we set out on our 2-3 hour trip to Naples.

PS.  After McGinty published yesterday, some new material was added, so you can check that out below.



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