I figured you guys needed a horse photo fix, so here’s one of us taken the end of May just minutes before tacking up the horses for the 2nd Annual Bethlehem Therapeutic Riding Stables Horse Show. My, don’t we look fresh and perky? It’s a far cry from how we all look and feel now during the dog days of this endless South Carolina summer.
I love doing horse therapy. Today I spent another Southern morning amongst sweaty horses and humans. All of us out and about focused on the task at hand. Humans enabling horses to enable Wounded Warriors who in turn enable us all to thank God for this gift of life. Truly, it is a privilege to be part of such a place.
I came home after four and a half hours of such enabling, drenched. Soaked to the bone with non-secretive sweat patches emerging over 90% of my clothing. Not quite a wet T-shirt display, but daringly close to one!
For those of you wondering why most of us wear jeans and boots while it is so hot and humid outside, I ask you to consider how it would feel if a sharp hoof accidentally came thumping down on a flip-flopped foot? Or take a moment to contemplate the silky smoothness of horse snot against bare-fleshed legs in shorts.
Last year’s first summer of working in the great outdoors of the Deep South left me feeling mortified at my inability to control those tell-tale stripes of wet along the center of my T-shirt. Even if it was loose fitting, it flagged out for all to see: this lady is sopped in sweat.
Over time, I’ve come to view this as a badge of honor. Proof of dedication to a job well done.
Interestingly, an artistic yet sweaty representation of Mickey Mouse’s head routinely emerges on one of our guy volunteer’s shirt. Three circles on his chest: two small ones for ears and one big one for the head. Another splash of artistry is seen on a lady volunteer’s shirt which looks like a large boa constrictor wrapping itself around her waist and twisting towards her right shoulder.
Me? Not so artistic. The blotches of wet manifest in my cleavage and in the area above my belly button.
But the fact is: we all look this way.
I’m told by my daughter in Nashville that the female natives in that part of the South do – not – sweat. They don’t even perspire.
Somehow these women of gentility have evolved a gene that allows them to walk about these languid liquid summer days without exuding a single drop of moisture. Non-natives are quickly spotted out as the ones desperately mopping up the flood of H2O dripping down the face.
Meanwhile, back at the barn…I mean back at our little rental home here in Florence, South Carolina, my cousin* Chris and I have discussed this strange phenomenon. She calls the onset of this humid heat induced facial melt as being: The Glisten.
Sounds pretty classy, eh?
*Technically, Chris is my cousin’s wife, but we consider ourselves to be true cousins.