Matching the Eyes

Posted in Eternal Love | 2 comments

With Christmas and  New Years celebrated, Springtime of 1978 had begun for Frank, Scotty, and I in Hubbard, Texas.

All of the trees were putting on new leaves, the bushes were needing trimming, and the grass needed mowing.

Since it was a beautiful Spring day, Frank, Scotty, and I all went outside to spend the day. Frank and I loved to work in our yard, and for the first time, it was actually our yard.  Scotty was busy playing on his swing set in the back yard or riding his hot wheel on the sidewalk in the front yard.  Frank decided to mow the grass first while I worked on cleaning out the flower beds and working the soil in them.

The yard had lots of flower beds which were full of all kinds of flower bulbs. Although I had no idea what these bulbs would grow into, after I  dug them up, Frank and I later spread them out and planted them back into the flower beds.

With the flower beds and mowing done, Frank decided that he would trim the evergreen bushes that were between our home and the neighbor’s house. All we had was one pair of garden hedge shears, so Frank started working on the hedges while I went inside to make us all some sandwiches for lunch.  While walking out on to the screened-in front porch, I heard Frank yell, “Dang it!”

Of course, I was far away, so that might not have been his exact wording. Immediately, I sat the tray of sandwiches down on the table on the porch then ran out to see what had happened. After getting to Frank, I asked him, “Frank, what happened?”

Frank replied, “A wasp bit me right between the eyes!”

When Frank turned to face me, I saw the area above the bridge of his nose and between his eyes was bulging and swelling up. Also, both of Frank’s eyes were profusely watering. I ran back into the house and filled a plastic bag with ice then ran back to Frank.  Frank place the ice bag on his head between his eyes.

Knowing better, I asked, “Frank, do I  need to take you to the ER?”

With all of the restraint that he could muster up speaking slowly, Frank replied, “No, Nancy, you are not taking me to the dang ER.”

Well, that settled that. So I told Frank that he had to come inside the house out of the heat.  Surprisingly Frank agreed to go inside the house, but he mumbled the whole way about killing those dang wasps.  Of course, these were the days before Benadryl tablets and anti-itch cream.  I told Frank to shower quickly then I went to make a paste out of baking soda and water.

After Frank came out of the bathroom, I asked him to sit on a chair in the kitchen, and then I started to apply the baking soda mixture.  Frank looked at me as if I had lost my mind. Then he leaned back in the chair away from me asking, “What the heck is that and what are you fixing to do with it?”

I explained to Frank that it would help draw the poison out of the wasp sting, but he shook his head then said, “Nancy Lou, I don’t know about that, but if you will take one of my cigarettes, get the tobacco out of it, wet it, you can put that on my wasp sting.  I know the tobacco will work.”

To appease him, I did what he asked me to do. There are no correct words to describe how Frank looked after I applied the wet tobacco which looked like a disorganized bird nest to the bulging bump from the wasp sting on the bridge above his nose between his endless watering eyes. I do know that at the time it took all of the restraint inside me to keep a straight face as I turned quickly away from him going to the refrigerator to get more ice for the ice bag. The rest of the evening, I reapplied wet tobacco to Frank’s wasp sting and refilled the ice bag while he stretched out on the sofa.  Finally, by bedtime, Frank’s eyes had stopped watering, and some swelling had gone down.

The next morning, Frank’s bulge was down, but both of his eyes had swollen, especially his left eye, which was also red around the iris.  I casually mention the ER while we were eating breakfast, but when Frank looked at me across the table, I knew we were not going to the ER that day either.  Frank did tell me that if his eyes were not better in a couple of days, he would go to the doctor.

Now I am going to give you some information. At the time, I wore hard contact lenses. In our bathroom, I had a small hand towel holder by the lavatory. In the mornings after washing my hands before putting my contact lenses into my eyes, I used that hand towel to dry my hands. Also, Frank and Scotty used the hand towel to dry their clean hands. It was a habit for me to change out that hand towel every night before going to bed to start the next day with a clean hand towel.

Flash forward two days, and  I woke up with my right eye weeping. When I went into the bathroom, I looked into the mirror at my eye, and then I noticed that my eye was red around the iris, too. Frank walked into the bathroom then came up behind me at the mirror.  Our reflections in the mirror showed that we had matching eyes.

Loudly laughing, Frank said to me, “Wow! Nancy, we look like twins!  We have matching eyes.”

I asked him, “Frank, you’ve just been using the hand towel to dry your clean hands, right?”

Before he could answer, I knew the answer to my question, but I let him tell me anyway.

Still laughing, Frank answered me, “Well, yes, but I have been using it in the morning to pat dry my eyes.”

What did I do?  I started laughing with Frank, but I told him that we were going to the Doctor that day as soon as he could get us into his office to see him.  I called the Doctor’s office, and he told us to come on to the office.  So off we went to the Doctor’s office, Frank, Scotty, and I.

When the Doctor saw us, he laughed out loud. When we told him what had transpired with the wasp sting, He said to us that Frank’s left eye had gotten infected, which he then transferred to the hand towel by wiping his eyes with it.  I had dried my clean hands on the same hand towel then transferring the infection to my contact lense from my hand.

The Doctor thought it was hilarious but then turned to Scotty and asked him if he had used the hand towel too.  Scotty answered, “No, Sir, I wipe my wet hands on my jeans.”

We all laughed at Scotty’s answer, but deep down inside, I was glad that he had not used the hand towel.  The Doctor decided to put some antibiotic ointment in Frank’s left eye and my right eye then he taped a square piece of gauze over our infected eyes. When we left the Doctor’s office, Frank and I both had a square piece of gauze crisscrossed with white surgical tape taped over one of our eyes with instructions to keep putting the ointment in a few times a day and to keep the eyes covered.

Of course, we had to go to the Pharmacy to fill a prescription for more ointment, buy more gauze patches, and white surgical tape.  Frank drove us, and I sat in the front seat as his shotgun.  When we met people as we drove down the road, some heads turned, but we just waved and laughed, we figured between us we had two uncovered good eyes.  The neat thing about Scotty as he sat in the back seat singing to the radio, he never laughed, he just acted like his parents were normal.  We did let him think that until he got old enough to figure it out for himself.

It took about a week for our eyes to get well, but it did bring about a change in the bathroom.  I bought two more small towel racks to hang next to the lavatory in the bathroom.  Everyone had their hand towel on their rack, and I made sure that the hand towels had our names embroidered on them.  Funny how Scotty’s hand towel never looked used.  Smart boy.

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  1. That was quite the experience–one you would never want to repeat.

    • Absolutely not. Lol. We looked so funny in those patches. We couldn’t quit laughing at each other.
      Thank you for commenting Diane.
      God Bless You,

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