There are certain things in this life as a modern farm wife that I’ve simply come to accept. Dirt driveways; phone calls in the middle of the night; two TV channels; dinnertime=moving target; the smell of manure; bellowing moos from up the hill; painfully slow internet; an old farmhouse; living in a town without a Starbucks or a Target; an 80 minute commute to work.
But the things I cannot get used to are the flies.
It’s a fact of life: when you live on a dairy farm in the summer, you share your outdoor space with hundreds of buzzing black flies. There’s something about warm manure pits bubbling in the sun that really gets flies all hot and bothered. Yuck. But the flies do not stay outside. At every opportunity, they sneak into our home to meet their demise at the hand of a flyswatter, lighting fixture, or by drowning in the dog’s bowl.
It seems like every time I open the kitchen slider, at least three flies zoom in. I spend half my life stealthily sneaking up on these pests with a flyswatter in hand. I derive an exorbitant amount of pleasure each time I squash one of the buggers into oblivion. I channel Rambo on a daily basis.
I live amongst the flies. And I do not like it. In fact, it can be downright dangerous. No, really.
This week I was picking up Jersey the dog from the corn field on my way home from work. During corn harvest he gets to hang out in the field with the Dairy Man all day.
I opened my car door to put Jersey in the backseat and cracked the windows to give him a breeze. In so doing, approximately 15 flies made a beeline into my car. I spent the drive home swatting flies away from my face and trying to coax them out the open windows while the pup barked and tried to eat them. By the time I got home, I was convinced we had succeeded.
But I was wrong.
Unbeknownst to me, my car was still buzzing with activity (I crack myself up) when I climbed in the next morning. I was only on the road for a few minutes before they launched an aerial attack: dive-bombing my face, landing on the bare foot pushing the accelerator, and burrowing in my hair. Needless to say, mild panic ensued. My multitasking skills were put to the test as I tried to drive the car, keep my legs in constant motion to prevent flies from landing on them, and open all the windows to create a wind current that would suck out the pests. It was chaos. The car swerved back and forth and I tried to keep it together while squealing “ew, ew, ew!” (in a very dignified fashion).
Eventually the flies exited, but the the emotional trauma remained. Well, not quite trauma. But I was flustered and itchy. Long story short, our dairy will always have flies, but from now on, my windows will always remain up and I will carry a flyswatter in my car.
Bring it on, buggers.
(Enjoy this lovely and threatening picture of me from 2008. Somehow, it just seemed appropriate.)