I'll back up to the day before our canoeing journey... I mentioned in my last post that Cam bit his lip while he was numb from his cavity filling. He did quite the number on it & it looked terrible! After talking with the dentist, she confirmed I was doing everything I could; ice, medicating for pain & serving easy-to-eat foods.
The water of the springs is a constant 72 degrees so it was super refreshing. Although I was uneasy from the get-go because we had to pull the canoe up into the brush to keep it from washing away down the river. Florida brush = insects. Insects & myself DO NOT MIX. I have no fear of heights or really even public speaking, but it's putting it lightly when I say I am terrified of bugs. As we parked our canoe, I stepped into super squishy sand on the river bottom, carefully trying to avoid the slimy seaweed. Despite it all, I started to settle in to eat & watch Cam swim. Everything came to a screeching halt when a horse-fly the size of my head came out of nowhere. It buzzed all around me, zigzagging around while trying to bite me. When I say I freaked, I'm putting this mildly. This blood sucking, massive fly was relentless, it seriously would not leave me alone. I screeched & flailed while Cam cried that he still wanted to swim. We quickly got back into the boat & set off down the river, leaving the fly behind.
I paddled away, praying I'd seen the last of the horse fly. Unfortunately, the bastard reappeared about an hour later & this time we were mid-river & I was a sitting duck. Again, the massive beast zoomed & buzzed around, relentlessly trying to bite me. I flipped out & in a moment of desperation, I think I tried to jump ship. If you've ever canoed, you know the boat is not very stable & easily flipped. Well, flipped we did & it all happened so quickly. Thank God my kids were in life jackets because the river was over six feet deep at this point. I found myself under the boat & very quickly swam out from underneath, desperately trying to orient myself & figure out where the kids were. Mike had Reese, so when I realized I wasn't strong enough to right the boat, I yanked Cam out from under the boat. I will never forget the panic & fear I saw in his face. And it was all because I spazzed over a bug. I continued to tell the kids that we were going to be okay & they soon calmed down. Cameron really thought he was going to die, he later told me, "I didn't want to go to Heaven today, I wanted to stay here with you." How heartbreaking is that? Thankfully, two nice guys in kayaks helped us to a dock. We were very lucky that the boat flipped in an area of the river with one side lined with homes so we could get out & drain the water from our boat while gathering our strewn belongings.
When we all stood safely on the dock, counting our bleesings, we tried to assess the damage & see what items were still in the water. I had my brand new, Samsung Galaxy Note 4 phone in a ziplock bag in the pocket of the cooler, so I pulled it out & found that I had apparently not sealed the bag well enough because it was all wet. I also realized my nice sunglasses Mike had gotten me for Christmas a few years ago were also lost. If you know me, you'll know that most of the time I am an extremely frugal person. When I do splurge on an item, I take care & protect it. I've never had a cracked or wet cellphone in the past & here I am with the best, new cell I've ever owned & it's ruined & worse, uninsured. In the big picture, this is nothing, I know. Things can be replaced & I thank God that my kids are okay, but I still mentally beat myself up, knowing I had goofed in so many ways. I put my kids in harms way by flipping the boat & I was now out an expensive pair of sunglasses & a very expensive phone because I was careless about sealing the bag.
Worst yet, Cameron re-bit his lip when the boat flipped. It was not a proud moment for me as I stood on that small dock, looking at my soaking children, bloody lip & strewn, lost, ruined belongings. I couldn't get off that river fast enough & we still had twenty more minutes of paddling until we reached our destination.
After camping out in a bag of dry, white rice, we confirmed that my phone was a goner. We also waited for Cameron's lip to get better as the weekend went on, but it never did. He was off school Monday so he stayed with me & then Mike took him back to the dentist yesterday (they were closed Monday) & he was given antibiotics to prevent it from getting infected. He's home with me today & he'll be going back to school tomorrow. On the bright side, his lip is slowly getting better. It's been torture watching him suffer in pain; he's on a mostly liquid diet, can't smile & can barely talk. Yesterday we also found out that the sales guy at T-Mobile put insurance on my phone without Mike's approval. Hallelujah for shady service because he saved us a ton of money! In the meantime, I will not be returning to any nature spots during horse-fly season which happens to be March-November. At least I'll be able to enjoy the beautiful Florida springs from December-February!