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Abilene News

May 12 – What a beautiful spring we are having! The days are very mild-not too hot and not too cold-and the nights are still good for sleeping with a window open and enjoying the night air. Most of the pollen has subsided and we can wash our cars, porches, decks, outdoor furniture, etc. without the dreaded green haze covering them up again.

The trees of the forest are decked out in their leafy green gowns and flowers are blooming everywhere-azaleas, peonies, irises, mock orange, and many more bring such beauty into our lives.

Along with all the beauty, there are some less than pleasant aspects as well such as poison ivy, poison oak, and other plants that can cause allergic reactions in some folks. The creepy crawler and long and slithery members of our community are also putting in an appearance. Through the years, I have come to accept that black snakes are our “friends” but I still don't like them.

And then, there are the ticks, fleas, chiggers, mites, Japanese beetles, stink bugs, lady bugs, etc. that are a nuisance at best and, at worst, can be a danger to our health and the health of our pets.

Ticks, in particular, can be especially dangerous. They carry Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and several other dangerous bacteria. So, if you are going to be working in your garden or simply walking in areas where there is dense vegetation, you should be sure to apply some type of insect repellent and check yourself when you come in and remove any ticks you find. My niece, who works in the ER of a Richmond hospital, tells me that they apply a drop of dishwashing liquid to cover the tick and let it sit for a while; the tick can then be easily removed by using tweezers as close to the skin as possible and pulling straight out.

If you know that you have had a tick on you and you start to run a fever, headaches, fatigue, aches and pains-much like flu-like symptoms-you should see your doctor. Lyme disease is diagnosed based on symptoms, physical findings-like a rash-exposure to infected ticks, and blood tests. Most cases can be treated with a few weeks of antibiotics.

And our pets can suffer the same problems. Last year, my little dog, Sophie, wasn't feeling well so I took her to the Vet and she tested positive for Lyme disease even thought she had the inoculation. So she was on antibiotics for a few weeks.

The ticks that transmit Lyme disease can occasionally transmit other tick-borne diseases as well.

On another subject: Social Security has been in the news a lot of late. The U. S. Social Security system made its first benefit payment in 1937 — for 17 cents. 74 years later, the average monthly benefit is over $1,000 for the 52-plus million Americans who collect Social Security. Considering the increase in the cost of living over the years it doesn't look like we have made much progress.

Friends And Neighbors

I hope that all the Mothers in our community had a wonderful Mother's Day.

On, Sun., May 8th, Mr. and Mrs. Dexter Franklin and their boys visited their Grandmother, Violet Thackston.

Sharon Drinkard and sons, Heath and Braden, of Appomattox, visited their Grandmother, Violet Thackston on Sunday.

Also, on Sun., May 8th, all of the children of Noah Templeton gathered at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Gibson. Violet Thackston joined the family for lunch.

Marolyn Lavra celebrated Mother's Day with her daughter and granddaughter, Cathy and Candy Bissett, by spending the weekend shopping and sight seeing in the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

We are very sorry to hear that Catherine Mylum took a bad fall on Saturday and wish her a very speedy recovery.

The Abilene Homemakers Club will hold their next regular monthly meeting on Tue., May 17th, at 1:00 p.m. at the Abilene Community Center. We will continue working on our raffle quilt. Visitors, guests, and new members are always welcome.

Don't forget, on Saturday, May 21st, at 7:00 p.m., the Abilene Homemakers Club and the Abilene Community Club will co-host a program featuring the Patrick Henry Boys and Girls Plantation Choir. Light refreshments will be served. Plan to attend and bring a neighbor.

Happy birthday wishes go out to Kendall Marston who will celebrate on May 27th, and Millie Bonner of Cullen who will celebrate on the 30th.

If you have any announcements or news that you would like to share, please contact me at 223-2271 or e-mail me at kz5ro@kinex.net.