Friday, August 28, 2015

If Only Mosquitoes Were Edible

Last Friday we put in a 10-hour day at the news office. There hasn't been much of that lately, but sometimes it just works out that way. Alison was working on another publication so we didn't have her help, and that slowed things down.

I left the office about quarter after eight that night. It was rainy and cool, and Emil was waiting for me at the group home.

"I thought you forgot me," he said, laying down his crutches so he could put on his "outside" shoes. (For the benefit of those new to this blog: Emil is my 27-yr-old son who has cerebral palsy and developmental delays.)

I got him and his two bags loaded into the truck and then drove to the store, and he waited while I popped in for a few groceries. The Co-op is open two evenings a week now and it's great; it's about time, too.  Emil loves to go in with me and walk up and down the aisles looking for acquaintances to talk to, but it was late and I was tired and it was rainy and so I convinced him not to, this time. Then we drove slowly home through the dark and wet.

But we got a shock when I parked the truck in the yard and opened the door to get out. The mosquitoes swarmed! And that's not good when you've got Emil. I can outrun them, but he can't. He's slow getting in and out of vehicles and he can't really run, and they were ravenous. I grabbed a few bags and sprinted to the house, then back out with insect repellent to spray Emil before they sucked the poor lad dry. I sprayed myself too, but still they bounced off my face and neck. And when I reached behind the seat to grab the last few grocery bags, I could see hundreds of them swarming around the truck's interior light. Crazy!

When we got into the house — and of course another thousand got in as Emil made his way through the door, because there is no hurrying him — I spent the first half-hour at home swatting mosquitoes when what I really wanted to do was collapse into a chair with a glass of red wine.

To fill several spaces in the newspaper we were working on that day, Rita and I perused several copies of the Wadena News archives from 1915, 1919, 1935 and 1965. You could read these things all day; they are chockful of entertaining stuff. We had several pages with big fancy ads for the town fair this weekend and needed something to go with them, so we thought some scans of old ads and articles about the fair would be perfect.