It was pouring rain on the Fourth of July…We had a good time anyway…Off to Billy’s today…

The inflorescence is a complex structure that includes the flowers that will develop into fruits. The hanging pink and yellowish protrusions are the flowers. Mother Nature is amazing! This flower grows on a banana tree, and then bananas eventually grow. We watched the progression of this bloom a few doors from us while in Campanario, Madeira, Portugal.

It was a good July 4th, after all. We had a quiet day, and around 4:00 pm, we drove over to Pizza Luce for another delightful time at the bar, sipping on happy hour drinks and fantastic meatballs, pasta sauce, and shaved parmesan cheese (no pasta). We returned to the hotel by 6:30 and settled in for a quiet evening we thoroughly enjoyed.

Today, Friday, we’re heading back to Billy’s at 3:00 pm for the usual Lyman siblings get-together. Today is Mary and Eugene’s 66th wedding anniversary, and we aren’t sure if they will be there today, but Tom suspects they will. Many of their family will arrive with happy anniversary wishes. They have five adult children and nine grandchildren. They are great-grandparents, and we do not know how many they may have.

It’s always a good time at Billy’s and a good thing to do on another rainy day. We’d imagine many Minnesotans were sorely disappointed with the rain on the Fourth of July, a day typically spent boating and engaging in outdoor activities. Many fireworks displays transpired on the night of July 3 when heavy rain was predicted all day on the 4th.

When Tom dropped me at the entrance to Pizza Luce’s front door, I got soaked in the ten steps to the door. He was drenched when he entered the bar after parking the car. In no time, we both shivered a little until we dried off. Not only was it raining, but the temperature was cool.

Since we arrived in Minnesota in early May, it’s rained four or five days each week, often with thunder and lightning. We’ve spent very little time outdoors. Summers are very short in Minnesota. By September, the leaves start to change color, and the temperature drops by the end of the month.

There are many bees and hornets in August and September, and Tom and I are both allergic to them. We always carry an EpiPen with us in the event we are stung. Mosquitos are annoying and can leave big welts. I am bitten by mosquitos and insects more often than Tom, which was always the case when we were in Africa, where getting a mosquito bite is much more serious than in Minnesota, with malaria and Dengue fever being prevalent in many cases.

Since we’ve spent little time outdoors, we’ve yet to wear any repellent or been bitten. Nor have we encountered many insects here when spraying is common on hotel grounds and most public places. Most homeowners in wildlife and metro areas spray for insects, often using toxic chemicals.

That’s not to say we don’t use insect spray. In Africa, we must spray the bedroom at night a few hours before going to bed when mosquitos can be deadly, and other insects may also be venomous. Plus, the annoying sound of insects buzzing around our heads while trying to sleep is awful.

We don’t have any big plans over the weekend. We’re defrosting the Chinese stir fry we made several days ago. We had planned to eat leftovers but went out several times instead. Tom will make white rice, and I’ll make a salad to go with it. Rain is expected over the weekend, so staying in is OK with us.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, July 5, 2014:

This lopsided photo of a steeple in the hills in Sao Vincente evidences that I was standing on a steep hill. Certainly, I could have straightened the camera to adjust, but I was distracted by the views. For more photos, please click here.

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