With the pleasant weather this past weekend, like many others, I spent most of Friday and Saturday night outside around a fire pit.

Isn't it amazing what a group of people can find to talk about when they're sitting next to a roaring fire?

For example, I learned you can keep the flies away simply by hanging plastic bags of water near doors and windows, which apparently is an Amish thing.

Just take a quart size Ziplock bag, fill it a third full of water, press the air out, close it and tape it or hang it near doors and windows.  I was told you don't want to fill them too full or they won't be able to blow around - which apparently is key to their effectiveness.

Supposedly, a fly's vision isn't very sharp, but it's sharp enough to detect motion.  The general thought among the group was that the water filled bags may magnify the reflection and motion, scaring them off.

So, maybe one day, instead of Shell No Pest Strips, some smart marketer will start pushing Dakota Splash Fly Bags.

I also need to mention how much fun it was to see all the lightning bugs.  Both nights, once you got far enough away from the glow of the fire, they were everywhere.

Just seeing the lightning bugs took me back to those warm summer nights of my youth.  I'd be running around the backyard with my empty Mason jar, racing toward the flashing lights all around me.

Lightning bugs were as much a part of summer as fireworks, fresh tomatoes, and big slabs of juicy watermelon.

As one of my friends, who just happens to be a minister, so eloquently put it,

"Lightning bugs are a reminder of a creative God who loves us so much, he painted the rear end of a bug just to see us smile."