Wednesday, July 23, 2003

Wherein we are stung by bees

Until today, one of my biggest claims to fame in my own little mind was the fact I'd never been stung by a bee, wasp, hornet or any other of Mother Nature's winged stingy bastards.

I can no longer put that on my resume.

Today we went out, as usual, geocaching. Tanager, I almost called you to see if you wanted to come, but everyone was already in the truck and I was getting bottled water together and just didn't get a chance...

You should be thanking God right now that we didn't.

The first cache we went to was ... great. Great location, great big rocks, a beaver pond with a huge heron's nest way high up in a tree. We liked it. For the most part. It was a multi-step, and we got stumped on the second in-park coordinates. We couldn't find the hiding spot of the coordinates to get to the next step. The entire time we're looking, I know we're standing right on top of it... just can't find the container or the clue. Even Mr. Tenacity himself conceded defeat after a while. I mailed the cache owner, and he tells me exactly where it is -- only it wasn't there.

So I mailed him back. Perhaps it's gone or perhaps we just suck.

After giving up on our attempts to figure it all out, we abandoned and went to another cache. This one looked pretty straightforward, it again was a multi, but the hints on the webpage were very clear and not at all cryptic or anything, the terrain was perfectly flat, lovely, thin trails through a riparian wonderland. We dove right in to the search, hungry to make the find after getting skunked at the last one. Got to the first set of coordinates, and headed to the second with Jessica handling the GPS duties...

when we were ATTACKED by yellow jackets.

Doug said he saw the swarm come out of a tree after Jessica passed it. I saw a few of them floating ahead of us, and then wham -- she took off screaming. I took off after her, seeing yellow jackets on the back of her thighs. I managed to only get stung once, while I was swatting one off the back of her leg in mid sting. We thought we were far enough away from them, but they kept coming. And we opted due to Jessie's hysteria and the continued onslaught of yellow jackets to run back to the truck. Jessie screaming the whole way.

I've never seen me or my kids run that fast. Even Jack managed to get stung. I didn't know I could run like that. I should take up running in non-bee stinging situations.

We stopped at a drugstore and got Benadryl and Benadryl anti-itch cream as all four of us were welting up, itchy and very sad.

Not a banner day, not a red letter day, not our finest hour for Team Screamapillar. Once again, Jessie swears she will never cache again. I beg to differ. Even though we have had a couple stinky experiences (Kinger's leap, StingFest 2003) we'll be back at it. After all, there are easy as pie ones out there in the world... just waiting for us to find them.

I got an email from a lady today who stumbled across the site and wanted to know what it was about. As usual I'm always amazed at the power of the search engine. So M., if you're reading again (I shan't use your name. I value your right to be anonymous) hope you are enjoying the read and what (a)musings has to offer.

What else can I say -- the monkey sightings continue. I'm continually amused. We are still without cable TV, and no antenna on the house, so it's been a very quiet summer inside here at the Way Out Inn. I kinda like it. Except I really miss the Simpsons. Doug is on the phone with his parents right now, trying to pick a time for them to come to visit. My mother comes tomorrow.

I feel as if the summer is just going to whizz right past us. There are pretty much only four more weeks until the kids start school. I'm finding that hard to believe. I think when they go back to school I may have to reevaluate my Baby Ben babysitting commitment. On Fridays I won't be home from his house until excessively late, and I can't have them left alone here in the house. Breaks my heart just thinking about it, but we'll see what the coming weeks bring. That and Geoff is going to be mad as a hatter when he doesn't get to go to Dan's anymore and play his Nintendo64!

Alright -- I need to get dinner started, we all took Benadryl induced naps, and right now I'm feeling balloon hands and drymouth. More later.

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