It's a beautiful summer day and the relatives have arrived for a long-anticipated visit. We have our list of local activities ready to go and they have added to the list some favorites of their own. Today's excursion involves fishing and a picnic! We pile into the minivan - 4 adults, 4 kids, and an assortment of lawn chairs, coolers, and poles. Destination unknown. We cruise along the curving scenic backroads for what seems like hours until suddenly a peaceful sprawling lake comes into view. The excitement in the cramped vehicle rises as we coast into a parking space with just enough view for the non-fishing folks to watch the fun from the comfort of the van. We burst from the car with echoes of laughter and chatter, throwing open the back hatch to grab our things and start down the sandy path to the lake. The conversation quiets as we each get situated for the wait. The late afternoon sun sinks lower and I stroll to the van for a snack. My curious teenage self takes longer than necessary searching the cooler because, of course, the talk topic in the van sounds super interesting. Then one of the moms says offhandedly that it seems to be getting foggy. We squint our eyes and gaze at the lake. Indeed a grey cloud appears to be slowly growing over the lake. A few minutes later the view of the water has all but disappeared beneath the fog. As we stare in disbelief a sudden flash of color appears on the path, then another, and another! Our family of fishers are running at top speed up the path with poles and pails askew. Moments before they arrive at the car the fog envelopes them and a sound like heavy raindrops begins hitting the windows. But....it isn't rain! In fact it is a swarm of heavily laden MOSQUITOES! We launch into action trying to sift the guys and kids and gear into the van without the biting menace. I am put on swatting duty and take my job very seriously, hitting every moving thing with a dishtowel and my wildly swinging hand! As the last person topples into the vehicle we slide the door shut and pull out of our parking space with gravel kicking beneath our tires. My little brother, out of breath and attempting to scratch all the bite wounds on his arms and legs, says, "Hey Dad, be sure to take Lake Blood-Suck-Em OFF the list for next time!" The car erupts in laughter and we drive home reminiscing with greater and more detailed flair the best fishing story ever!
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