Monday, April 24, 2017

Florida and the Dreaded No-See-Um

Last week I returned from a quickie trip to Florida to visit good friends. They have a place down in Palm Beach Gardens and enticed me with a few magic words. You know the ones – Beach. Sun. Ocean. Oh, and let’s not forget that happy word: Shopping.

I was tempted, but not enough to pack my bags quite yet.

But when they uttered the ever-magical phrase, no dog-walking required, I couldn’t find a flight fast enough.

Did I miss Vince and Maggie Minx and Twinks and Jinx while I was gone? Oh, you betcha – especially Vince. But it was nice to have a few days of downtime. I didn’t have to do a single load of laundry. I didn’t have to worry about doggie poo bags. And best of all, I didn’t have to figure out what to fix for dinner or purchase the fixings or, well, do the actual fixing.

The most taxing thing I had to do was decide which bottle of wine to open for happy hour.

That’s my kind of chore.

I was gone just long enough to recharge my batteries and I left Florida just before Susan and Jeffy rescinded the Welcome mat.

I always remember my mom telling me that guests, like fish, start to smell after three days. Which conjured up a horrible image and I almost missed her point. And while my mother never pretended to be the author of that quote, she said it was a good philosophy to have about being a welcomed guest. Or maybe about being a guest who would be welcomed back.

Of course, with any good battery recharging getaway, there is always the chance of a downside. Like missing your connection. Or getting dragged off an airplane (!) Or arriving just as monsoon season hits.

Fortunately, none of those things happened. No, the worst thing that happened to me was the attack of the dreaded no-see-um. Aptly named.

Because I didn’t see-um.

But my ankles and wrists looked as though I had caught the plague. I had little red welts all over me and, boy, did they itch! For such a little bug, no-see-um bites sure do pack an itchy punch.

Sadly, I realized too late what was happening and by the time I finally applied a little bug spray to my exposed parts, the damage had already been done.

But the good news was that it WAS the last day of my visit and I was heading back home to Ohio’s unpredictable weather. Which meant that all those little red welts would mostly likely be hidden under layers of clothing and no one would be forced to take a cautious step away from me out of fear of catching whatever contagious virus I had.

And even better news is that my husband had a magical fix for my bug bites much like the father in My Big Fat Greek Wedding had with his bottle of Windex.

Except Vince’s potion is Oil of Oregano. Have you heard of this stuff? Let me just say…it stiiiiiinks! I mean, it seriously stinks.

Vince has been using Oil of Oregano for pretty much everything the past couple years. He pats it on his face. He uses it as an antibiotic. I think he even gargles with the stuff, but don’t quote me on that. He may have stopped that practice when I refused to kiss him goodnight because of the smell.

But I’ve gotta give the man his due – he applied that oil of oregano to my no-see-um bites and they never itched again – not even once. Which is amazing because I’m the kind of person who will hang on to an itchy bug bite far longer than the average human.

So anyway. I had a wonderful visit with my friends and I did, indeed, recharge my batteries. So I’m back to walking the dog and carrying doggie poo bags. And I’m back to figuring out what to fix for dinner. But it all seems a little less taxing.

Best of all, I’m back at home with my Vince. Where I should be.

And, happily, those dreaded  no-see-ums didn’t follow me back to Ohio.

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