Sunday, May 18, 2014

The Cost of Limes

I was 16, in Mexico, stuffing my cheeks full of taquitos like a deranged Mexican hamster.

I went to Mexico City with my 9th grade Spainish class and happened to also turn 16 over the trip. I also thought I didn't need a hat or sunscreen or water while I climbed the Mayan temples and also thought it was fine to eat my salmon sandwhich although it had been on the un-air-conditioned bus for 5 hours.

Needless to say, I almost fainted, puked my guts up and had lobster-red arms. I woke up the next day, on my birthday,

So now I don't eat salmon and I love Mexican food. That said, the Mexican cartels are putting a cramp in my style. (As well as bullets in peoples heads, among other really horrible things.) You've probably read lately about how the heavy rains and a bacteria damaged the lime crop but more news worthy the Mexican cartel The Knights Templar have taken over the sale of limes to diversify from their main export: drugs.

Wouldn't it be cool if we, Americans and other countries alike, got so fed up with our lack of limes we rose up, decided to stand no more for the cartels, and found a way to end the corruption, killings and evil all because of limes?

The Mexican government has promised to send military help but until then, we Americans will have to make do with bad margarita mixs and lemons served with our Cuba Libres.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Queen of Kansas

Stella passed away at 105 years old.

This is not poetic license or hyperbole. She really was 105 year old. Born 1908. The Mad Scientist's grandmother passed away last week so we took the 15 hour drive and met with all his family and laid her to rest in the small, nondescript cemetery next to her husband. Married in the beginning of the Great Depression. They sold chickens to pay the land taxes until the war started, when she said her husband found steady work helping the war effort as a machinist, building parts for airplanes.

On her 100th birthday, she was asked what invention was the best in her lifetime. She said, "The refrigerator." Wow.

I asked her about her grandparents once. She told me this: "My grandfather was very sweet to me but he was a sad man... the Civil War will do that to a man." WHAT? Yeah. Her grandfather was a Yankee, captured by the South and put into Andersonville prison until he was traded for other prisoners of war then proceeded to WALK HOME from Georgia. The idea I was speaking with a lady who could tell me second hand stories of the Civil War was really an amazing gift.

She was a stubborn lady who lead a simple life in a small town in Nebraska. She was stylish and funny. She was feisty until the day she died. She was one in a million. I hope to be more like her.

Good night Stella.