My folks and I went down to Texas to visit with old family and see the old Jones homestead. Its been a while since I’ve been to Texas and I must say I miss the people from The Great State. One of the things I do not miss about living in Texas however are the bugs… Solenopsis or fire ants, and most troubling, Trombicula alfreddugesi or chiggers. Both species can lead to particularly painful or itchy experiences and this little trip to Texas reminded me of that. I was walking around in fields and the very old family cemetery where many of our clan is buried dressed in a suit and tie (don’t ask), when a little kid walks up to me after hiding behind a headstone and asks me “aren’t you hot?” I had to laugh a little bit and acknowledge that yes, I was a bit warm walking around in the heat and humidity in a suit and tie, but that I would be OK. What I did not discover until the next morning was how exposed I had become to chiggers from walking through the grass. My legs looks like I had been eaten alive as large portions of flesh were being liquified to feed little insects. It was a price worth paying however, as I had not seen the old Jones homestead in twenty or so years. It’s amazing what time will do to a place with trees growing up right in the middle of a house left abandoned for half a century.

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