Sometimes we try to go on an adventure, break the mold, do something different…
Those days are inevitably epic failures.
Sunday was HOT. I know, I know. People living in the south are scoffing bitterly at that right now. But, it was hot for US. It was in the 80’s or 90’s and very humid. (I honestly don’t know how hot it was, but it was hot enough to make me want to stay in a dark room with the fan on all day. Also, everything over 75* is “too hot”.)
The kids were antsy and sweaty so, I suggested we go to the beach. Everyone was thrilled and packed up their things faster than I have ever seen before. we got in the car and my husband said something stupid.
Living in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula affords us with a special privilege. There are numerous beaches. There are more inland lakes than you can shake a stick at, along with miles and miles of beautiful Lake Superior beach just waiting for a beach blanket and tube of sunscreen. (The sunscreen is more for you than the beach, really. Beaches really don’t care if they get a little too much sun…)
I could have picked our usual beach on Teal Lake. Or I could have picked the most popular swimming spot on Lake Superior, but I got a wild hair and decided to do something different.
Say it with me folks. I never learn.
I instructed my husband to drive out to Little Presque Isle. I had only ventured out there a couple times before for bonfires in college (probably illegal) and for a marching band gathering (definitely illegal). But, I remembered how lovely the beaches were and how calm the water was.
So, we drove and drove and drove. Finally we got there and I was delighted to see the dirt road leading up to the beach was empty. No cars! The beach was virtually empty! I am a genius! Everyone else is crowded together at the popular beaches while we will have this pristine, white sand beach all to ourselves. And it didn’t strike me as odd that no one else was there.
Now, I have to say, if we were slower runners, this would be the part of the story where Mulder and Scully speculate and argue about how our deaths were impossible and there must be some other explanation for the grizzly scene they are witnessing.
We gathered out things and trudged up to the water. Robert was already freaking out because he saw a bug. I told him to just run to the water and the bug would leave him alone.
The bug turned out to be a biting black fly. According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, biting black flies will travel up to ten miles in search of blood. And apparently they did. All of them. I threw down my blanket at looked at Robert, still spazzing out in ankle deep water. His swim trunks were covered in flies and there was a swarm hovering around his face. I looked at Peter and there were about a dozen flies feasting between his shoulder blades where he couldn’t reach. I looked at myself and they were just starting to notice my pasty-white legs. They were coming for me now.
“Run!” I shouted to the boys. Robert grabbed the blanket, Peter may have left his shoes. I didn’t care. It was a zombie-fly Apocalypse. And wwe needed to get out of there.
As we were bolting to the car, Brandon and Aili were just starting down the path to the beach.
“Turn back! Flies!” I gasped, tearing past them.
The swarm that was following us gave up when they saw the tender little target in the pink swimsuit. Aili started screaming and crying as the flies attacked. I dropped what I was carrying and ran to her. She was too scared to move, making her an even easier meal for the flies.
I can honestly say I have never seen so many flies in my life. There were clusters of flies on that poor child the size of golf balls. I swatted them off, picked her up, and ran her to the car. She’s already afraid of bugs so, this was beyond her coping abilities. She was wailing and shaking as we tore through the woods. Another family was just pulling in to the lot as we came screaming and swatting out of the woods. That display didn’t deter them from packing up their stuff and heading down the path to the beach. I have no sympathy for them and will not feel bad at all when I hear they were carried off to the Mother Lair.
We piled in the car frantically and locked the doors. The few flies that made it in were quickly introduced to my flip-flop.
Aili and Robert received the worst treatment from the flies and were still hiding under towels and blankets as we pulled away from the parking area.
Robert eventually popped his head out from the blankets.
“That was awful. Someone should put up a sign,” he growled and then disappeared back in to the blanket.