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On the Other Hand
On the Other Hand — The plagues of Michigan PDF Print
Sunday, September 08, 2013 12:00 AM

I know you guys are going to think I’m a big whiner. The last two times I have gone to Michigan, bugs were involved.

We spent Labor Day weekend by the lake and no, it wasn’t fishflies — it was sand fleas.

I know, I know; I shouldn’t be such a baby but I was the only one they bit. I’m serious. I had like a hundred (perhaps a light exaggeration) bites from my knees down and no one else had a single nibble.

I even doused myself with insect repellent and they were still biting me. I put socks on. The little buggers just chewed a ring around my ankles above the socks.

The bites just look like little red dots until you get the skin’s reaction to the sand flea slobber. Yes, I said slobber.

Sunday morning the itching started. I’m not sure how many of you have had poison ivy but the sensation is similar. No matter how much you scratch, you still itch. Itch — scratch. Itch — scratch. It becomes maddening ­— all-consuming.

I can remember a summer from long ago when Kristen Macwhinney Ulm and I were at our cottage with our parents. We took the John boat to the beach a lake over and sunned ourselves and swam and had a wonderful afternoon.

We made our way back to the cottage and had supper and when we were settling in for bed, the itching started. You know, the slobber thing.

Kristen, who is a bit taller than I, had, and this is no exaggeration, more than 100 bites on her legs; we counted them and gave up at more than 100. (We had lain in the sand for hours that afternoon and the sand fleas had a feast!)

I had quite a few, too, but she got it much worse.

Guess where this said cottage was. Give up? Michigan!

This past weekend I put up with the itch and went about celebrating.

On Monday, I was pretty much over the whole thing and ready to set my legs on fire. I showed them to Jill and she pretended to be concerned but I saw the humor in her eyes.

She quickly set about leafing through a file she keeps with helpful hints such as what to put on insect bites. She found one that recommended Crest tooth paste. It didn’t just say tooth paste, it was very specific.

Jill dug around and came up with several travel tubes of the stuff and I quickly slathered up. In no time, the itch was gone. It was replaced with a pleasant tingling and minty freshness. Why had I not said something Sunday?

When we got home Monday I quickly went to the drug store and bought some cortisone cream. Ice packs worked nicely, as well. Monday night after work, I iced the tops of my feet and they haven’t itched since. The rest took a little longer.

I guess the moral of the story is: Michigan bugs have it out for me.

Last Updated on Tuesday, September 10, 2013 2:12 PM
Another year ... PDF Print
Saturday, August 31, 2013 12:26 AM

A birthday gift to myself this year is to rerun this column originally published on Sept. 1, 2012.

Another year has passed and another candle was added to my cake. I don’t mind. I still enjoy birthdays and look forward to them. The alternative is just no good. Not reaching the next birthday, I mean.

On the Other Hand - Supporting each other PDF Print
Sunday, August 25, 2013 12:00 AM

The carpeting came from one store; the furniture another; and the appliances yet another.

When my father owned his business, he made it a practice to shop locally and support those who supported his business.

It was a good practice and still is today and perhaps more important than ever.

Come on down to Marbletown PDF Print
Sunday, August 11, 2013 12:00 AM

I hope many of you are going to mosey on down to Marbletown and see what’s going on today.

The annual Marbletown Festival will have a little something for everyone. Be it a little frog jumping or maybe a Marbletown steak. I don’t think you can go wrong.

I think these kinds of things bring people together and make Delphos a better place to live than many others. A community that comes together to have fun and remember good times from days past is a nice place to be. We learn from history.

Whether you grew up there, are a transplant or come from across town — Marbletown’s the place to be today.

The events on the schedule for today are simple and fun. They will take you back to a much less complicated time when visiting with neighbors was common and everyone knew everyone. The front porch was the place to be after supper and there was always a hand in time of need. The common thread was people.

We are so busy these days and technology races to stay ahead of us. There’s always a faster way to do everything so more things can be done. We don’t take the time to enjoy a conversation or get to know each other anymore. Small talk is tossed around while racing from one place to the next.

The stories will be flying, so you’ll have to pay attention. There are some very funny tales that need to be passed along so they are not forgotten.

Many of you know that my father, Roger Briggs, grew up in Marbletown and his father, Earl Briggs, resided there until he entered a nursing home in his twilight years.

The Briggs homestead was on the corner of Clay and King streets. It was a small home with rolling floors and a huge yard with apple trees and a bountiful garden.

The neighborhood was full of children and we could scare up a game of something or other — whatever we were in the mood for.

So today, I’m just getting back to my roots — in Marbletown.

A star is born in Maryland PDF Print
Sunday, July 28, 2013 12:00 AM

Friday was the usual during the week Jay is in Ocean City, Md. Work, work, work. Get everything done. Then watch Lotus dance on the live feed.


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