Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Rivers, Hornets and Maxi Skirts

Okay, I had a heck of a Labor Day Weekend.  So much so that I was out yesterday also, spending the day in a deep, Benedryl-induced sleep.  Today, though, I dragged myself to work and I wore this:



It’s the coolest thing I could find while still keeping my legs covered.  I paired my floral maxi skirt (it used to be a strapless maxi dress from Target, but I cut the top off) with a black tank (Gap), cognac belt (thrifted), black sandals (White Mountain via Macy’s), omnipresent cuff (thrifted) and hoop earrings.  I’m trying to stay cool because it’s supposed to be over 90 all this weekend and I ride home during the hottest part of the day.  And I’m trying to keep my legs covered because I can’t shave them because they’re covered in scratches.

And bruises.  And in some places, hornet stings.  See, what had happened was FB and I decided to take his kids (the FC) to the river on Sunday to cool off.  We drove to the Upper Calapooia River and saw this lovely swimming hole:



We parked, hiked down the hillside and along the river until we got to the place we saw from the road.  It was not an easy hike, especially with a five- and seven-year old, but we managed quite well – with me being the only one who fell in.  The five-year old did lose a flip-flop in the current right as we were reaching our goal, but it was otherwise pretty uneventful.  And absolutely worth the hike:



It was so gorgeous.  We (well, the boys and FB) caught crawdads and minnows and periwinkles.  We also had lunch, did some swimming and I took some photos:




When it was time to go back, FB had to carry the youngest out on his shoulders, but we managed to get back across the river okay and decided to head up to the road immediately instead of hiking along the river.  FB went first, carrying the youngest FC and I followed leading the other FC by the hand.

We had only gone a few feet up the hillside, when the oldest FC began screaming and thrashing about.  He pulled loose from my hand and I spun around looking for a snake.  Instead I felt stinging on my feet and legs and I began looking for stinging nettles, thinking I’d somehow blundered into a patch.  Instead, I saw hornets.  There were dozens of them swarming the FC and myself.

I began slapping the hornets, and I think the FC a few times on accident, and then I grabbed the FC, dragged him through the blackberry bushes and threw him up hill to his father.  By this time, the hornets had also discovered FB and the youngest FC.  We all moved up hill as quickly as we could but I had yanked the oldest FC right out of his flip-flops and it was all we could do to keep him moving.  Finally the hornets stopped chasing us and we struggled the rest of the way to the road.

We must have looked a mess coming up that hillside.  The oldest FC was sobbing uncontrollably, which was understandable as he’d been stung right on his forehead, pulled out of his shoes and forced to run, shoeless, up a blackberry covered hill.  The youngest FC was also crying and calling for his mother.  And three out of four of us were covered in cuts, scratches and stings. 

We were worried about allergic reactions, but luckily the oldest FC ended up being just fine; his stings were already nearly gone by the next day.  And the youngest FC didn’t actually get stung.  However, FB and I weren’t so lucky and by Monday, both of FB’s hands had swollen to near immobility and my right foot and thigh had swollen quite badly as well.  We took Benedryl and I was able to come to work today, but my thigh is still quite swollen and I’m still very much covered in scratches, so I’ll be wearing maxi dresses and skirts for the couple days I’m here this week.

So, that was my Labor Day adventure.  It was bad, but I figure it could have been much worse, and the river really was beautiful.

I hope you all had a fabulous, and less eventful, Labor Day!

Gracey