Afternoon Drowsies

What is it about afternoons? There seems to be a switch in my brain that pops on everyday about this time. When it does, my eye lids get very very heavy, and my head tends to jerk back. What it takes to get through this period is mental activity or at least a short nap. If you happen to notice a long series of z’s in the middle of a sentence you will know what happened.

We spent a lovely afternoon with my youngest grand son on Saturday and then with my brother after ward. The grand son is 15 my brother will turn ninety in a couple of weeks. Lucky for me they were in the same state only fifteen minutes apart. All I can say for Michigan is that they are plagued with insects. My son runs a fly factory (he owns horses) and flies abound. My brother was on his summer estate which was the family farm long ago. Now, it is mostly trees, and wilderness. The mosquitoes fly around your head looking for a choice speckle of bare flesh to land on and drill for blood. They all wear a red cross on their backs. The backs of my ears are a mine field of tiny bore holes where they succeeded in sucking some of my delicious red stuff into their tanks.

I was happy to get home to Illinois to escape the high pitched buzzing pests only to learn that they had sent a message from Michigan that I was coming. Every mosquito in Illinois was waiting for me, and anxious to take their due.

I was prepared, however. Before I left int he morning, I snuck out to Home Depot and bought a mosquito fogger. Boy does that thing work. I dressed in long pants, and long sleeves donned a hat, gloves, and used my trusty dust mask from the shop. It was overkill, I’m sure, but I was going to battle and wanted all the battle gear I could muster.

After attaching the propane bottle, and filling the tank with poison, the smoke bomb fired up easily, and before I knew it I was walking around the yard in a white cloud of smoke. My wife came out of the house screaming at me to stay away from her garden. The instructions said to not spray if the wind was over 5 mph. When I began the air was dead still, but after this puppy began spewing smoke there came a breeze that sent smoke everywhere including her garden. I had visions of sleeping with the mosquitoes that night. Normally, the wind comes from the southeast across the yard into the wet-land behind us. For some unknown reason this time the breeze blew from the northwest and headed right for I.’s pickle factory. I. hates anything chemical getting into onto, or near her food and water supply. Shopping with her is a joy, because she has a hard time with English and prefers Lithuanian, Polish or Russian which she speaks, reads, and writes fluently. The trick is to find food stores or deli’s that handle foods from those countries. She reads the labels and trusts all European foods over anything American. Her most favorite vendor is an Amish farmer. It doesn’t matter what state he is from if he is Amish he is an organic farmer.

What is more amazing is how many food stores have popped up that are loaded with goods from Europe, Mid-East, South America, and Central America. We must have had a huge influx of immigrants from those places over the past twenty years and these stores cater to them. The last place we visited had several meat cases stocked with pig parts like, feet, snouts, ears, hocks, and even a whole half baby pig. Next to the pig was a half lamb, and next to that were a pile of skinned rabbits, and a rather large octopus. This place had many foods from Mediterranean countries. The bread aisle is amazing as you will not find brands like Wonder Bread or Silver Cup, but you will find various dark breads from the East European countries. There are also several units of shelves dedicated to honey. I guess bees from the homeland produce honey that has specific curative power for people from those orchards. The coffee aisle is also stocked with very dark coffees from everywhere but here. Next to that is the tea shelf and that one is complicated. Tea cures everything. Just ask a Chinese herbalist.

Another thing I have learned is that many drugs that we need prescriptions for are on the shelf at a European deli. A box of low grade blood pressure medication from Russia sits on a shelf next to Tylenol. Twenty pills from Russia costs about ten dollars, from a pharmacist the same twenty pills is a hundred dollars. No wonder I. avoids American medicine.

I can see that the years we spend together will enlighten me more than it will her. I only hope I am not converted to a new religion or cult.

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