Poison Ivy

Three weeks ago, I was going to tell you how difficult I found the prompt of places you have lived. Apparently, I am not finding the prompt of plants any easier as we have not seen a new posting in weeks. There is still time to get the three for the month in so don’t give up hope if you have been struggling also!


When my father left General Foods, our family moved back to my mom’s hometown and started the S&J Hobby Hut. Long before the days of Michael’s and Hobby Lobby. It was a store downtown in a small river town. They had supplies of all kinds from trains to beads to paints. They held classes on macrame, toile painting, wood carving and more. You would think this would have kept both of them quite busy. But she dreamed of living on the river, and he dreamed of being a gentleman farmer.

A house came on the market and it was what they both dreamed. Less that a half mile from her childhood home and 11 acres (mostly hill side) for his farm. He tried a small garden (spoiler: the deer ate it all). He got two cows, 100 chickens (and a coop) and a dozen rabbits. (All of which, over a period of time, we did end up eating, which is another lengthy post in and of itself).

For Father’s Day one year, my mother got him a goat. George the Goat. It was from my brother and I. (Pretty sure not my idea, pretty sure I will never, ever think giving anyone a goat is a good idea). George and I did not like each other. He would butt you with his head any time you came near him. And I was nine years old (or around there). He was MEAN. When it was my turn to feed him, I would fill my water pistol, shoot him in the face to back him up away from his dish, dump the food in the pail and run.

My father and a goat.. but not George (and his grandson, who is not a goat but is fond of goats. Must skip a generation.)

George was frequently not pleased with his accommodations and felt the need to explore the land on which he lived. This became a new game of getting George back to the barn. I also did not enjoy this game.

There was one time when he went exploring that he found poison ivy and ate it. He ate lots of it. And apparently frolicked in it. Thankfully it was not my turn to bring George back from his exploration, it was my dad’s turn (it was HIS goat anyway). Apparently, the goat was covered in the oils of the plant and also insisted on licking/chewing on my father as he brought the goat back to the barn. This gave my dad a gigantic case of poison ivy; the worst he had his whole life.

The Goat/Poison Ivy story was so well known around town that on the tribute wall when my father died, Sue Page posted: Does anyone remember John and the goat that loved poison ivy?  John shared that the goat rubbed his arms and he got a terrible case of poison ivy.  He had a really neat sense of humor about that story.

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