# Christmas Age Calculation

I base my age on how many Christmas events I have been through. I can remember mom and dad holding us twins in their arms so we could see the lights on the tree. I remember the years my brothers, two older than my twin and I, were getting matchbox cars and us twins only received a plastic toy which made noises. I remember going out with our dad, trucking through the snow to find a spruce or fir. Those days were so hard.

My memory brings me to the time my mother made meat pies for Xmas and I got sick after eating it. I also remember the time my twin and I got Rock-em-sock-em Robots. Boy did we have fun with that. I remember my brother and I receiving baseball gloves from Wilsons Store, the tag still left on them. I recall the Christmas Mom told dad that she couldn’t truck out through the snow anymore, it was getting to be too much for her. Time is changing and I’m doing calculations of my own age.

I must be in my teen years, well my twin too. There is the year that the new tree comes in. There is no smell to the tree. The siblings and I, start touching the tree. The tree kind of looks real but has no smell. Interesting concept, fake Christmas. The gifts are unwrapped this year and my brothers and I received some matching pajamas.

My Dad this year tells mom he is going out to get a real tree this year. The boys all jump in the International Scout we have. My Dad drives up the road and pulls into “Dons Xmas Tree Farm”. The boys and I are not that excited about getting a tree from a farm. This is the first time I noticed that Dad is getting older. The tree hauling is just getting to be too much for him.

Another few years go by and a few meat pies and homemade candy. My oldest brother is now an adult. My age is calculating to be in my late teens. I have realized by this point that all I have to do is look back, dwell upon, checking every Christmas event and I can find my age. I since have dropped my regular birth date because it hasn’t been a good reminder. I wanted really happy moments and Xmas was a good reminder of time.

My mother and father set the tree up again. One sibling is in California and one is in Minnesota. It is only my twin brother and I this year. Mom tells us it is ok not to wear our matching pajama’s this Christmas. Time sure is flying and a lot of tree setup’s for my dad. Mom cannot help with the tree anymore with her being lame all the time.  No meat pies this year or homemade candy.

This year my folks tell us they are moving to Florida in the winter. I’m thinking what no Christmas with us? I was devastated by this announcement but I fully understand. Time is changing, people are aging. I know my age is calculating out to be and adult now. My brothers and I meet back again at the house, our parents are not present. My oldest brother mention’s to the rest of us about going out and cutting down a real tree. We all agreed with his thought. We made it happen and all of us siblings enjoyed the scent of a real tree.

I know my age is getting older, I have children of my own. They are calculating their own age. This program has now been set in motion for all my children’s children. Mom and Dad are not coming home anymore. They have set their own time zone and marked their own calendar’s of life. I have marked my own this year. I started making meat pies now for my own children, candy to be bought. I know the rock-em-sock-em Robots are long tucked away in some open landfill, between tires and old junk cars, at the bottom of the pile.

I am told this year that we have grandchildren to be happy for. I now have a reason to move on with this cycle of life. I will start this week to train the young ones of this new calculation of age. I look back at this great life of mine and know that many Christmases have been etched into my memory bank. I can be happy that I have been witness to a wonderful holiday. I’m very thankful to have family to carry on. I’m glad I don’t have to go out and cut down Christmas trees anymore, electing for a fake one. The smell of the real tree is gone. My son tells me he is going out to cut down a real tree for his own house this season. I know my age is calculating, clicking away, I’m marking the calendar.

D.H.Bilodeau 2015

# Here to Space

A new era in space exploration was tested today. The ship Orion with its massive rocket engines blasted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida . The many hours of building Orion and the engineers and technicians that worked on it must of been peeing in their pants. The rocket blasted into the third orbit which is fifteen times higher than anyone could imagine. It is understood that six astronauts will be able to ride this beast. The three men and three woman have been chosen for the first flight which will take place in 2021. The three girls are in kindergarten at the moment and the three boys are just entering first grade. Their teachers have singled them out because three of the boys can go to the bathroom on their own. This has impressed the teacher so much that she selected them. The three girls were the first of all the class to put ABC block together in order. The teacher, Mrs. Epstein,  is from a school in central New York which was chosen based on scholastic scoring at the school.

We have been informed from the National Weather Company that pockets of atmospheric conditions are going to happen because of the entry into Three Orbit. There is going to be freezing rain here tonight and it is 48 degree’s, certainly  an anomaly for this region. Some other weird thing is happening at the household that I have never seen before. I put two hotdogs on the counter and went into the living room. Upon my return I was astonished to find the hotdogs were completely cooked right there on the counter. I didn’t feel any heat wave or anything out of the abnormal. Something with Orion blasting into no man’s land that we are entering into unchartered regions and maybe this might be the end of the world as we know it. Hotdogs just don’t cook on the counter, this really has me worried if this was a right decision to enter these regions. I was also driving down Route 4 today and saw so much road kill. This is somewhat normal for this region but to drive ten miles and count eighty-six dead animals is unheard of.

I’m happy that NASA and all their research teams are jumping up and down, who wouldn’t be? There has to be some thought about what is at stake for us American’s. Can we afford our life to be affected just for science? I do not know that answer. I will sit here and ponder this question, maybe we should all think about this. What really will we gain by going to Mars, I don’t want to take the long trip. I cannot imagine having to wear a snowmobile suit year round. My spouse certainly would not wear one all the time. She would freeze before wearing one of those.

On a serious note, I’m happy for this endeavor of the Orion space ship and what it has accomplished today. Horah! Five thumbs up.

Bilodeau,D.H. 2014

# Henry Richardson

Bilodeau,D.H. 2014

# Montico Passage

I was stationed on a Cruiser Class Ship, our team of ten was giving orders to go to Montico and capture the wife of the ruthless leader of that Country. He was killing his own people with chemical warfare, dropping barrels of cow manure all over the place. The moss in that region was poisonous if it got beyond five feet in diameter. The manure would speed up the process and would grow at extreme rates. The toxin from the reaction would turn into a vapor and would take over whole communities.

We had been traveling for three days in rough seas when I looked out and could see a land formation. It was a very foggy day and we were traveling at about twenty-two knots straight ahead. Ahoy! My mate responded over the Microphone Paging System. The other sailors and I looked out the port side and realized that it was not land but an enormous blob of  moss. We couldn’t turn quick enough to escape the carnage and slammed into the moss with a crunching sound. The hull of the ship was being ripped apart and we needed to get to life boats in a hurry. I ran to the side of the ship and lowered the life boat. It came crashing down into the sea with a loud crashing sound. Splash! Water came flying up into my face and I shook the water out of my face so I could concentrate on getting people onboard. All the sailors and I made it to the life boat just in time, we looked out, our ship was sinking fast. We had survived but now had to find a way to shore, or wherever shore was.

Drifting out at sea with ten other men was very hard, we all had to conserve on water and food if we were to survive. One man hollered out that he could see land, only this to be an illusion of such. A man’s mind can do funny things with lack of food and water. It was my watch and everyone else was sleeping when I looked out over the horizon and could see land. I could also see lights on the land mass, I woke everyone to let them enjoy the excitement I was feeling.

We made it to shore and there was a man dressed in a uniform of some sort, some kind of official of his land. He replied, where do you people arrive from? We are from the United States Navy and my name is Josh Milfred, how do you do sir? The man was not a very friendly person. I told him about our mission to get to Montico. He replied that there is no Montico on this part of the region, and none in any other maps we have in storage. I was dumbfounded by this information, there had to be such a place. Again, I checked the spelling, and again I was rejected in this origin of Country. This man then told his soldiers to arrest these intruders to his country. ARREST THEM NOW! Was the command, his men responded to carryout these orders.

We had been into a cell for years now. There was water and food delivered daily, this was what kept my men and I alive. The commander of this jail came to my cell to have a discussion. Sir, You have been here now for five years, Yes, I replied. It is of this day that I give you information of the whereabouts of where you and your men reside. This is the Country of Montico.

Bilodeau,D.H. 2014

# Day I Was The Hunted

I was out hunting this morning and heard a sound like no other. It really brought a chill up and down my spine and I almost peed my pants. It was a good thing I remembered to bring my shotgun out this morning. I was just going out to look for sign’s of deer, my brother and I was going out back this weekend. I heard the sound again, this time high in the tree’s. I got down on my knee’s and cocked my head to see what was above. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. A pterodactyl with wings the size of my house. It couldn’t be, those things do not exist, right? I thought they were only in museum’s around the world. I raised my gun and looked through the scope of my 300 savage rifle. I could see the eyes, it was peering down on me like I was the snack he was looking for. I decided to jump back up and run as fast as I could back to the house. I turned and looked up again, in the tops of the tree’s,  looking back down at me was a grey squirrel. I blinked my eyes again, I was sure I saw a pterodactyl. The things one thinks of when being a dreamer. Good Day Folks. Happy Hunting.

Bilodeau,D.H. 2014

# The Pepere’ I Never Knew

Growing up in rural Maine was not an easy life for a young man back in the 20’s. My grandfather Valmore Duguay, one of twelve siblings ,was told by his mother to get out of the house. She replied to the older children, You, You, and You! Get out and find a job I cannot support you kids anymore. Pepere’ one of those children was pushed out to survive on his own. He was living in Canada, Three River region of Quebec. At the time the United States was employing men to work on the railroad so my grandfather chased this chance. In his travels he ended up in Arizona working hard days laying rail. Word was spreading that a man named Hugh Chisholm was building paper mills back in Maine. One of these mills was in his home town of Jay. My grandfather moved back for a chance at working in the mill. He did get employed and worked there for over 40 years also raising his family in this small town.

My mother and her siblings were raised in this small town of Chisholm which was filled with lots of Canadian family’s which migrated from Canada. Hugh Chisholm died in 1912 but the paper mill thrived until 2009, the Otis Mill which was owned by Wausau Paper. I have some small memories of my grandfather, the only grandparent left alive when I was born. Most of the people in this region worked at the mill, myself included, following the legacy of my grandfather and father. I only remember my pepere’ from the Sunday lunches at the house which he would come all dress in his Sunday’s best, after returning from Church. He was a lonely man after my grandmother passed. He spent many day’s  watching the television is his kitchen. He was struck with cancer and had his leg removed and spent the rest of his life in a wheel chair.

I wish I knew more of him. I do know that he was a hard working man and  provided very well for his family. He also was into real estate and was known to own lots of land. There was also a story that he owned land in Arizona, this was never found to be true and no record was ever kept of this. I know that during the depression he helped others in trying to keep their homes from being taking away.

He died when I was around ten years old.  The only other times I remember of him was in a nursing home. The cancer was still in him and they wanted to take away his other leg. I believe in his mind that he didn’t want to live like this and he passed shortly after. The only thing I do know is he loved to work and watch Mutual Omaha. He also would smoke cigarettes and stop about halfway through, taking scissors cutting the end to save the butt for later .

I really missed out on having a grandfather around in my life. I do limited memory of him. I just wish I was born ten years earlier to be of witness to a wonderful man.

Here is a bio of Hugh Chisholm, this guy was very interesting – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugh_J._Chisholm

# Maine As I Know It

Born and raised in the State of Maine. Most people often associate this State with Downeast Maine and the coastal region. Everyone know’s the fact we are quite famous for our lobsters and clams. There is some really great places away from the coast that people do not hear about. This State is beautiful with the country area’s as well. The northern part of the State is where a lot of crops are grown, especially Northern Maine, in the County they say. Towns like Van Buren, Houlton, Caribou, New Sweden. The central part of the State is more populated with local farmers growing crops and tending to their milking cows.

Some of the jobs that I encounter growing up include working in these farms. I picked chickens out of the barns and put them in cages to be shipped out for processing. I also worked for a big company which most of the eggs this part of the country come from. Decoster’s Egg farms. The company has been bought out since. Many of young kids in this area worked these egg farms. I also could be seen working in the local cemetery’s digging graves. We would get two dollars an hour, not bad pay for a young kid.

Maine has a huge history of papermaking. Big companies like Verso, IP, Wausau, Sappi, New Page, Boise Cascade, Champion, Bucksport, Otis Mill, Georgia Pacific. These mills employed many of people throughout history. Loggers, and many of businesses that support these companies.

Shoe shops, woolen mills also were a larger part of the community. Lewiston and its Bates Mill employed thousands. You should do a search on Bates Mill. It was amazing the size of this cooperation during the day. Many of the buildings stand today in Lewiston and are a site to witness.

Maine has many of beautiful rivers and Lakes that pass through the State. You can see many of fisherman along the banks or out in powerboats trying to catch a salmon, brook trout, browns, bass, and many other species of fish. Fly fishing is very big here. LLBean company in Freeport, Maine is one company that has supplied the outdoor enthusiast for many years. Hunting is also very big in this State. Whitetail deer are plentiful also Maine Black bear, and Moose. You have to have a permit for moose. Turkey’s are plentiful also and many of hunters take advantage of this season.

Maine also is a great place in the winter. There is many ski area’s that are very popular. Sugarloaf, Sunday River, and Saddleback Mountain are some . You really can find just about anything to do in this State if you have the time. I have lived here just about all my life and at this moment I couldn’t think of any other place I would rather live. I have traveled to my workplace many times without even meeting one car. I like the easy life and the country. Maine the way life should be. Enjoy your day everyone.

# Just Another Memory

I have thought  often about times as a young child. I’m glad the memories are still tucked away in the older brain of mine. I can remember in the summer the kids and I would take pine branches and construct a tee-pee in the woods. We would spend all day gathering twigs and bowels for the walls. I can still picture the neighborhood boys all crunched up inside the tee-pee so proud of what we had all accomplished.

The pine tree within this patch of woods was a playground for all of us youngsters. Hey Dewey? You think we can climb that one over there? Geez I don’t know Bernie that is a tall one and the limbs are a little sparse. Maybe that one over there, or maybe not. The greatest feeling is when we found a tall pine tree and we climbed to the tippy top. The person who made it all the way to the top would holler down to the other boys. I have made it, Wahoo I’m the king of the mountain! One of my friends during the Estes Rocket days constructed a rocket that had a camera affixed inside the cone. When the rocket made its descend it would snap a picture. One of the lads was in the tree and the rocket took a picture of him atop the big pine.

We were also bad at times in those woods. The kids and I being the young one’s in the neighborhood would dig fox holes and put branches across them and then spread pine needles over the top setting a trap. We would get the older kids pissed off and they would chase us into the woods. We knew exactly where the foxholes were and the big kids would trip and fall. The big kids were very angry with us. What a laugh we had just watching this . Another trick we would play is take kite string and set trip wires. Oh, we were bad little kids.

We also had some bad adventures for ourselves. We had decided that tipping over old rotten tree’s would be so much fun. Hey! Watch this one fall and crash to the ground. The tree would fall and the dust would blow all over the place and the tree would burst apart. The only problem with the old tree’s was it also homed the bee’s and boy didn’t we get our asses whipped by bee stings.

I also remember, wow, my mind is digging here real hard.  The woods was also a place of rest. Meaning this is where we would bury our dead animals. Our cats,dogs,birds, newts, and about any other animal we could think of . We made headstones with rocks we would find in the woods and make crosses out of pine branches. Oh, Fluffy I wish you was still with us.

It is very sad what time can do to memories, but I do want to say that those nice pine tree’s are now probably in someone’s house because all the tree’s were harvested. I guess nothing last forever. My mind will probably be next.  I would really like to hear some of your childhood memories, we are all still kids in our mind right?

# My Great Uncle Emile

Not many people can boast of an honest to goodness hermit in their family but I’ve had one. My great uncle Emile (which we pronounced “e-mill”) Duguay was my maternal grand-fathers brother and born in the late 1800’s. As typical of the day, many French-Canadian catholic families in Maine were very large. My grandfather Valmore Duguay was one of the younger children within his family when their mother died. When Valmore’s father re-married, the new wife arrived home after the wedding and pointed out to the older children “you – you – you and you….Out!” My grandfather Valmore was then young enough to be able to stay home while his older brother Emile was one of the older ones sent out to fend for themselves. As a teen-ager he made his way doing small jobs and ultimately carving out an existence as a lumberjack.

As years went by he remained unmarried and lived this simple life as a man of the woods.

When my own grand-father became more successful as an adult and owned many acres of rural land in Fayette Maine he wanted to help his older brother out and let him live on this land. Emile had a very small shack no larger than the average person’s tool shed in their back yard. My own memories of this tar-paper shack was that it included a small bed a pot-bellied stove a small table and a few hooks around the room to hold his meager wardrobe.

Surprisingly, Emile was a very talented folk artist. He would carve out these wooden doll figures with movable parts. I remember him demonstrating one once where you just turn a crank at its side and it was able to walk. There is a story however that he had life-sized carvings as well situated out by the dirt road that ran past his shack. As the story goes, two young ladies were driving down this dark lonely road at night and became lost. When their headlights came upon these life size figures they became so afraid they drove off the road. As a result, the local town authorities made him remove these figures. I sure wish I could come across ones of these figures today. It would be a real treasure to me.

My father took on the responsibility to checking in on Uncle Emile occasionally. Emile had little visitors out there in the woods so was always eager to show off any accomplishments no matter how small. On one visit, my father brought along myself and my younger twin brothers who where perhaps around four at the time. He was quick to share that he had spent many hours cleaning out his well and lifted the top lid of the well to show my father. My young brothers who where eating apples from one of his many apple trees peered in and quickly threw in their half eaten apple cores. Poor Uncle Emile had little patient with the antics of little boys and threw a fit. My father being the diplomat was able to calm him down quickly enough.

Uncle Emile spent the rest of his days living as a hermit in this little shack. His life was one of simple pleasures but in some ways it’s a life to be envied. He didn’t have the trappings of possessions but never cared to dream outside of what his world was providing for him. It sounds in some ways to have been a sad life but I wonder if his life wasn’t richer than any of us can boast. What I personally remember walking into his abode was on the left when you first walk in there was shelves with many cans of tobacco, Price Albert in a can. I remember they were all red. The remains of this shack are still there, but was modified through the years. It now has two stories but still a shack. Emile was around 83 when he died. I also remember my uncle bringing food to him on occasions.

This story was written by my older brother Steve Guy Bilodeau.

# Old Commercial Ringers

Funny snippets of commercials I remember and embedded into our minds forever. 1.Tony Tiger- There Great! Hey Tony Hey Tony. Interesting fact the same guy who did Tony the Tiger also did the voice of the Grinch. He’s a mean one Mr Grinch. 2. Rice a Roni a San Francisco Treat- Remember the street cars and people hanging out of the cab? 3. How about conjuction, junction what’s your function? Mixing up words and Phrases and clauses. 4. Snap-Crackle-Pop- The cereal treat. Remember the three little guys? 5. Mikey Mikey, Give it to Mikey he will eat anything. Interesting fact that Mikey didn’t stop eating and now is 639 lbs. No just kidding. 6. I’ve falling and I cant get up. The Medical Alert commercial. The old lady calling for help. Interesting fact, She fell and never got up one day. 7. Kit Kat- Give me some of that Kit Kat Bar. 8. Ricola- The guy blowing that horn- Cough drop commercial. 9. Please Don’t Squeeze The Charmin- Mr Whipple. 10. Oscar Mayer- My bologna has a first name and it’s.

If you think at how easy it was to impregnate these ringers in our minds forever, just think about how if a child hears a parent swearing all the time. A child will pick up on this in a second and it will be the language they will never forget. We as children are like a sponge , adults need to be aware of what language comes out of our mouths. My spouse and I was at a restaurant the other day and three young men were swearing like crazy. I look over to the next table and there is a five year old girl sitting with her grandparents. No wonder these children grow up to have dirty language. It is all around them. They become what they think is the norm around them.

If you can think of some good old TV ringers leave a message below. I would love to hear them. Maybe it will jog my memory which needs a good jog once and awhile.  Enjoy the day folks.

# Otis Mill

I could go on into the history of this paper mill but wanted to talk about the history of my forefathers and thereafter. Both my grandparents worked in the Otis Paper Mill or the old International Paper Mill in Jay, Maine. One of my grandfathers worked there for almost 50 years and my own father worked in this mill for 43 years. I worked in this mill as an electrical and instrument tech for 20 years until it closed in 2008.

The community was built upon this industry. The Northern territory or Northern Division was started because of the abundance of tree’s in this state. The paper mills owned and controlled the woodland division and this was what brought people from all over the world to work here. The Italians were the masons and built all the structures around here. They also built building’s for the woolen mills too. This part of the country was an industrial giant back in the day.  Some of the paper mills in this area are still in operation but not running like the booming days from like from the 40’s to 80’s. All industrial facilities are struggling with today’s market prices. Fuel cost has increased and the good ole dollar just doesn’t have much strength anymore in the USA.

My forefathers worked hard for a living to build this community. I have seen good days and bad times in this region. The local shoe shops have all gone away and everyone is struggling to find jobs just like any other part of this country. Small stores have closed shops because of larger compaines. I can understand why because only the bigger companies can survive in today’s industry. We are becoming a poor country- I will not get into any political debate why, but think our country has been sold out to  foreign industries with a better dollar value.

It was sad to see the the Otis Mill close when it did, I have a lot of memories and visions of my forefathers walking the same steps I took. It is only a place of historic events for some writers to talk about. I am the history of this paper mill and will always remember that place.

# Captured Soldier

Surrender! The German soldier was pointing his bayonet at me. He could have squeezed the trigger, I was waiting for it. The day before I was with my battalion working some hedges along the road, in the south of Bastle. I was near the back of the group and we was taking some small arms fire all day. We had taken out some of the enemy and we had lost a few of our own . This was getting to be quite normal around here and to be expected. I remember when in boot camp the leaders telling us to look around the room. He told us that only three guys in this group would survive this war. So I understood the odds of some of us getting killed on a regular basis was to be somewhat normal.

The battalion had settled for the night and our colonel told us that we would have to dig fox holes, two in a hole would guard our defensive positions. My buddy and I had dug for hours and the hole was of good size. The two of us jumped in and took our rifles and ammo that was needed. Jeff my buddy told me that he would be the first to guard and that I could kind of nap out if I wanted to. I replied no problem because I was very tired from walking the hedges all day. I dozed off and was dreaming of home. My mother’s home cooked thanksgiving dinner with all the fixing was on my mind. I was also dreaming of my girlfriend Rayleen who I hadn’t seen for over a year now. I must of been out for awhile and was jolted to my right shoulder. I woke up real fast to see my buddy Ray lying in a pool of blood and he was looking at me. Ray took his last breath and about the same time I heard a shot and it hit just to left of the fox hole with dirt flying all over the place. I jumped out of the way and my helmet fell off my head. I was scurrying about to get my helmet when I looked up and a soldier was telling me to surrender. Hands Up! I thought this was the last person I was going to see and he waved for me to get out of the hole.

The soldier brought me back to his placement and I was put into a chamber of total darkness. I was in a squatting position and after it seemed like two days, finally someone came to the door. A man speaking broken English told me that I am now a prisoner and that I had to talk to his leader about the atrocities I had done to his fellow soldiers and his country. I met with a portly man who also spoke broken English and he was a mean son of a gun. He asked what my name was and I wouldn’t tell him. The man punched me in the stomach, I thought I was going to die right there. He again asked me my name and rank. I still did not reply and this time he took a wooden stick and smashed my right knee. I fell to the ground and then he hit me over the head. I saw stars and then passed out.

I woke up back in the dark room as earlier but this time I was in so much pain. I couldn’t breath without serious pain. Many day and nights had gone by then the soldier came to the door. He gave me food and water, which seemed to bring me back to reality. He told me that I had to speak to this leader again. I was brought back to the portly man and again asked the question. Your name and rank. This time I was not a fool and told him my name. Richard Mulligen and my rank was a private. Mr. Mulligen, you have been bad to our soldiers and country. You are going to pay us back by working on our railroad system. You will need to be strong,  we will provide you with food on a daily basis. You start this project tomorrow and will go early in the morning and come back here at night. It is not going to get you back to your country but you will become one of us.

Time went on and work was hard. Many of us captured was working the lines on the rail. I remember this day like it was yesterday. A United States fighter jet swooped down on this rail yard and starting shooting every soldier in sight. All of us hid in the hedges and when the jet was all done shooting we looked to our left and US Army tanks were coming in one right after another. One stopped in front of where I was hiding and the hatched opened up. The soldier hollered come on you rednecks get your assses over here. We all gathered and behind the tanks were trucks. We all loaded into the back like cattle and then we drove off. We came back to Fort Riley which was way back from the fire line and real far from the enemy camp that I was located. All of us soldiers got out of the truck and were brought back to a bunch of men cheering and clapping for us.

We were finally going home. After the record of men was taken, it was told that we spent 385 days at this prison camp. I had lost 68 pounds and didn’t even look like myself anymore. We were flow back to the states and when I got off the airplane there standing at the tarmac was my beautiful girlfriend Rayleen. It was the most beautiful thing in the world. We hugged for it seemed like hours and kissed.

I will never forget the boys that I was held captive with and I’m sure they will never forget me. All I can say is that war is painful. I still have the scars to prove it. My mind, my body, my soul have been etched forever. I have lived on and the American Flag has so much meaning.

# Quest For Time, Really?

I just cannot seem to get any gump today. Maybe it is the fact that I had worked twelve hour nights and slept for only four hours. It also could be the fact that things are going through my mind faster than a camel in heat. I find that being somewhat of a writer I tend to have stuff brewing all the time. This writing stuff gives me a place to let out some of those feelings or ideas. We who tend to write do it for pleasure and hope that in the end someone else can get satisfaction from our past writings. It took me a long time to accept the idea that I was going to write stuff and leave trail, sort of speaking. When we write stories it is etched into computer world forever and someday hopefully my family will stop for a minute and read some of the stories I have put into this memory chip.

I sit here alone, my dog at my feet and wonder what else would I be doing right at this moment in time if I wasn’t a writer. It’s ok boy? You will be ok, the dog is licking my feet. He gets bored too. I think I became a reader somewhat out of boredom. I was not a racer anymore, nor was I a ballet dancer. The hobbies were far and few between and I needed an outlet. Writing has become this new outlet and I hope that by journaling my mind that people can get a chuckle from time to time or learn something of interest.  I know your hungry dog, you can wait, I’m writing.  This is the only thing that has bothered me about writing is the interruptions. I get into somewhat of a trance when I’m writing and all of a sudden a question is thrown at me. You know your mother is watching Jeopardy every night? Huh? You say something there dear? Or now the dog wants to go outside and do his duties. So writing is really not a priority only a necessity to fulfill my dire needs. Hang on dog, I will be right with you! So interrupted again, now I lost my thought.  No, I don’t want to play with shakey- shake the Frisbee. Good Dog, go lay down. What I find in this writing endeavor is that sometimes people or animals are left out, put out to pasture as to speak. I however only wanted a few minutes of my time to jot something down. I hope people will understand this quest I’m having.

Sometimes you have to go back in time to get yourself out of this gump. It is like resetting yourself. I like to take music for this.  Aztec Two Step. Some Acoustic Therapy- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Omdd_Kz1LgI

Enjoy the day, I can hear the birds chirping, Come on Spring, this Thursday. Ya- hoo. Now the snow can melt anytime.  ©Bilodeau,D.H. 2014

# A Billion Years Ago

A billion years ago I was walking down to the river to get some water. I had walked for many days through the forest. The insects had been biting me all the way and I stepped on a black snake. I think that it bit me on the foot. I found some ginger root and rubbed it on the bite location. The ancient elders had told me that ginger would draw out the poison from the serpent.

I first came to the waters edge and put my sore foot into the water to cool the pain that I’d been having since the bite. I looked out to the other side of the river and out of the corner of my eye I saw a  pack of wild dogs. One of the dogs looked at me and growled, then all of the other dogs looked up at me. The one dog from the back of the pack started swimming across the river, I could see another one downstream doing the same. I could tell that they were trying to surround me, I would become their meal. I had to advise a plan and real fast as to how I would protect myself. I looked to my right and I could see a large club lying on the ground. I picked up this weapon for defense purposes incase these dogs surrounded me. Looking out to the woods, I could see a large tree and I though that if I scurried a little fast that I might get to the tree and climb up. I turned on my bad foot and made a quick trip, hobbling as I went.

I stood in the crotch of the tree limb for a long time and the wild dogs at the bottom of the tree. They were showing their teeth,  drool was dripping from their mouths. I was going to be their meal if I stepped down from this tree. Finally after the sun went down that the dogs started to disperse. I was getting very hungry and tired. I went back to the waters edge and drank some water and cooled my foot, which was still aching. I crossed the river in search of food. I was walking for quite some time when I could smell an awful odor. I looked up ahead and could see an animal lying on the side of the path. It looked like this might have been left over from the wild dogs. The meat was still pink so I grabbed my stick and poked at it to get some chunks of meat apart. I ate for awhile and then I heard an awful screeching sound. I jumped to my feet real fast and hid behind a bush to try and get a visual of what was coming . Tromp, Tromp, Tromp, I could hear in the forest. Screeeeeeeeech! It brought chills to my spine and all the way down to my toes. I looked up, there before me was a giant bear like creature with large fangs. The paws on the animal were the size of my head and it didn’t look very friendly. I could tell that it had my scent and the only way to get rid of this creature was to start throwing some of the meat that I had gathered from beforehand. This seemed to be working, I kept throwing out pieces of meat, as far as I could throw. My arm was starting to hurt from all the tossing, what the heck is this soft thing lying across my face, why am I laying down on a soft square object, where is my club? What is that beeping sound?

# The French In Me

I have often wondered what part of me is the Frenchman. I know a few swear words in French and also a few things around the dinner table. I am full blooded French on both sides of the family. Don’t get me wrong I am French, I know it. I have been carrying a radio for my work places for almost thirty years and wondered how everyone communicated back in the day. The papermaker’s from my community were from French and Italian descent. I remember when I first stated working in the paper mills as a papermaker, that I remember the old timer’s using a lot of hand signal’s. I will give you a vision of a paper machine. It is about the length of a football field or longer and usually around 300 inches wide or more. It is a long way to try and talk to someone on the other end of the machine. I remember if a person wanted to tell someone he was going to bathroom, and to cover his job for a minute, he would raise one arm in the air and move it up and down. The reason this was developed was because in the bathroom above your head you would tug down on a rope and all the waste would flush down a pipe.

Another example was if you wanted the deckle on the machine to shift to the front of back. This is where the whole sheet of paper you are making shift an inch or so to the front or back of the machine. So one guy on the far end would get another coworker’s attention by waving his arms. He would take one hand and point to the right or left. It was called pissing in or pissing out and everyone understood this logic.

I still can catch people in the community using these signals. I saw a guy one day, with his middle finger up in the air. He was pumping his arm up and down then moved it to the right. Ok you want me to piss in a little there? These younger people, they need to make their signals a little more clearer. I once saw a lady in Walmart pumping her arms up and down to her husband in the back of the store. She was trying to tell her husband she had to take a chilopa, or go to the bathroom. He thought she was going to check out. This communication is losing strength around here.

I still however use hand signs and talk with my hands. It must be the French in me. I can count to ten maybe in French. I’m glad my Fire Chief speaks fluent French because we have a lot of Canadian’s that travel here in this part of the country. I been to many accidents that he was the only one that could talk to them. I tried once and only ended up swearing at them. I will keep my mouth shut next time. The lost art of hand signs from the paper industry is going away. Everyone is using radio’s to talk and no one is face to face in communicating anymore. Like SI said from Duck Dynasty, you don’t even smell them anymore. I’m pumping my arm up and down right now, got to go.

# Passing Down The Memorbilia

My old shirt doesn’t fit me anymore. I handed it down. 1981 Rolling Stones Concert Tour, Phoenix Arizona, Sun Devil Stadium. I will never forget that concert. I hung on to this shirt for years, and one day someone was wearing it. I was happy to report that it didn’t fit me, she liked it. Glad to pass the flag.  If you have something you have been hanging on to, just remember you will not outlive it. Pass it on.

# Memes-Meme-or Memere’ is the Question

The generation gap is starting to elude me. I have finally come to realize that I have become my parents. I have tried to stay up with technology and somewhat terms used on the computer but I finally got whopped on a new term. Memes? Here in Maine in the French laiden area’s from where I live Meme is your grandmother. I responded to a young gentleman’s post the other day. It was put out that people are misspelling Memes. I put it out there that it was meme’ or memere. I decided to google this word because I had a feeling that something wasn’t right here. Wikipedia gave the correct explanation- is “an idea, behavior, or style that spreads from person to person within a culture. Here is the full explanation from Wikipedia- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meme

I really have come to the conclusion that I’m falling behind in this technology and word changing world. Maybe that is ok, I will never keep up anyway. I guess it is better now to let the young take over the game. They are our future and a lot smarter than us older folks. How can they not be? They were born with this digital world, I am however a baby boomer. Television was new, no computers, no cell phones, and Meme’s were our grandmother’s. Enjoy the day! Bailing out the snow here in New England again. Shout Out to Luke N. you got me kid. ©2014 Bilodeau,D.H.

# Riding the Gravitron

Spinning things and I do not get along. I remember one fall we had a local fair and my wife and I wanted to take the kids for entertainment. We approached the fair and found parking. I could smell all the food from the venders, oh what a smell that was. We paid the attendant after parking and decided to take the kids through the animal building first. The kids were smiling and petting some of the lambs and all of a sudden, SMOOSH! I stepped my right foot right on animal secreation. I did a Curley Shuffle at that moment and almost lost my stomach. I wiped the stuff off as quick as possible as to not let it sink into the sole of my shoe.

Time to move on so we brought the kids down to the boardwalk where all the guys are hollering at you to spend money so you could get a 20 cent stuffed animal for like two dollars. You can see I’m really enjoying this. I could hear people in the distance laughing so we decided to walk to see what all the noise was all about. There right in front of us was the ride the Gravitron. People were just completing their ride and they were laughing and smiles from ear to ear. I thought, hey that is what I came here for, to have a wonderful time. I look back now at this picture. Do you see any smiling faces?

I bought tickets for this ride and was standing in line looking at this monster of a ride. It had flashing lights all around it and was in the shape of a spaceship. It was making all kinds of noises and music was playing. It was an impressive looking ride. The door was  open and the line was moving forward. I walk into this spaceship thinking what the heck have I done to myself. The attendant tells everyone to get into position on the outside walls of this vessel and put the strap around your chest. In the center of the cylinder is where the guy operates the controls. The center is stays in one place with the outside which is left to spin. I’m in position, I say hello to both people on the sides of me. I can smell lamb poop, I hope no one else can. The loud speaker makes a squelch noise and the attendant tells us over the loud speaker, HERE WE GO. I’m thinking about this for a second. Where the heck are we going? The vessel starts picking up speed and I can now say I want off this ride. I really do not like spinning on anything. It reminds me of the late night drinking events. This things is moving like Mach 10 when all of sudden the floor I was standing on drops out from under foot. Ok, I am having an almost barf moment here. The people to either side are starting to look a little pale. I think I am pale too. I just do not see any enjoyment here. Why was all those people laughing when they came off before I decided to step on the Gravatron? The ride started to slow down and the floor remounted itself and finally it came to a stop. I took the strap off and fell right to the floor. At this moment I took a quick glance around and everyone else was laying down too. No one, and I mean no one at this point knew up from down, left from right, or even how to get out of this vessel. I crawled on my hands and knee’s and finally exited the ship. http://www.nasa.gov/missions/science/hyper.html A link of information on spinning. Some people just live for this.

This was not a laughing matter. I was sick to my stomach, pale, and could smell lamb poop. I look out behind the fence and all the people are laughing. I understand now that it wasn’t the ride dwellers that were laughing it was the parents and other people that were smart enough to stand it out.  So I will never again in my life go on a spinning ride ,thanks to the Gravitron.

I never understood this logic. Two alarm settings on the clock for my spouse to get up early. The first one set and the other 45 minutes away. The only problem I see here is that I do not have to work in the morning and my spouse is sleeping on the main floor on the couch.

This first alarm wakes me up and I go downstairs, start the coffee, cook up some bacon, and start French Toast all before the second alarm goes off. I make sure the spouse is fed good before she goes off to work. I still do not understand this alarm logic. Why set the alarms if you don’t plan on waking up to them. They were not certainly set for me were they?

Our lives are programmed and set and reset by electronic devices. One of these days in the future there will be no alarms so I might as well enjoy the joy of an alarm, right? Beep- Beep- Beep,  time to get up! Oh that was the coffee pot telling me it is ready. Beep- Beep- Beep, that is the neighbor driving by saying hello in the morning. Beep- Beep- Beep, Oh man that is the second alarm. I think I’m going crazy.