That's how big the freaking mosquitoes are. And they are so hungry. And there are so many. After my husband took that picture last night, the seemingly dead and smashed insect came back to life and started crawling around. And I've never encountered mosquitoes that are so hard to slap. They move like jet planes. Everything about them is absolutely infuriating. Throw in these tiny ants with their pincers of pain and I'm about to lose my mind.
I went outside and cleaned the hen house and put out fresh hay. I'd sprayed myself with bug repellant so that part wasn't so bad but the heat was overbearing. I told myself to just suck it up and went to pick the garden. I got the cucumbers picked (and there are enough for another canning kettle of pickles, I think) and plucked a few small tomatoes and an eggplant and started in on the green beans and got about halfway down the row and I realized that if I didn't stop and go inside, I was going to have heat stroke.
And I think about those pioneer women I've written about before and how I could not have lasted a month living in Florida under the conditions they lived in. I would have thrown myself into the nearest alligator infested river and prayed for quick end to my misery.
Well, here's what I did pick today.
Or part of it, at least. Can you believe that eggplant? It's a double wide. So glossy and perfect and purple that it doesn't even look real.
And life goes on. We have to take the good with the bad and honestly, with air conditioning and running water and refrigerators, it's mostly good. And there are so many people in Florida who simply stay inside all summer long, paying someone else to do anything that must be done outside, buying their vegetables in Publix where shopping is a pleasure and the air conditioning makes the temperature perfect and the Muzak is not annoying. There was an article in the paper today about how it's the perfect time of year to camp at one of our beautiful state parks and all I could think was, "Yes, if you have a death wish."
I am grateful that I have the choice to brave the outdoors if I want to and the choice to come inside and be in the air conditioning if I don't. I could let the whole damn garden go to seed and shame and no one's life would be endangered.
And of course, there's the river, right down the road where revival and redemption are but a dive into the spring-fed waters away.
Can I get a hallelujah?
Amen, sisters and brothers.