Month: April 2014

Fishing Adventure

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The ice was becoming a problem. I was on a 320 foot fishing vessel in the North Atlantic and we were fishing for crab. I was laying in my bunk after a twelve hour stint putting the pots in a line. We were going to let the pots sit for six hours so I had to sleep. The noise was something else and it seemed like the hull was being damaged every time we would hit a chunk of ice. I dozed off again and really was in a deep sleep when all of a sudden I heard a loud crash and felt the ship move to the port side and tip up. I fell out of my bunk and all of a sudden water was gushing all over the place. The alarms were going off which meant all men to stations.

We left out of Burbank and it was a great day. The sun was shining and the gulls were flying around the ship. It really was a great day and I had a smile from ear to ear. I was going fishing for the first time in my life. I was going to be a green-horn and this meant paying attention really close to what the old salty dogs were doing. We traveled for hours and hours to get to our fishing spot. I thought that the first thing I would be taught is the safety stuff and how to get into my gumby suit. I wondered if there was a life raft, no information was giving. I really had concerns about this fishing trip. How was I going to save myself if something happened. I didn’t want to sound like a wussy so I kept my mouth shut. The ship moved forward at thirty-knots of so and was moving along at a pretty good clip. We should arrive to our first fishing spot in due time.

I picked myself up after falling out of the bunk. I hit my head it was bleeding really bad. I grabbed a towel that was on the floor and wrapped it around my head. Boy did I have a pounding headache. I had to get out of here and see if anyone else was injured. I went up topside and didn’t see anyone and looked up to the bridge and couldn’t see the captain. Where had everyone gone? I looked out over portside and way out in the distance I could see a life raft. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Everyone had jumped ship and left me here all by myself.

The ship was listing to one side but the engine’s were still running. I went into the bridge and tried calling SOS on the radio but all I could hear was squelch, or static. I frantically kept trying every channel on the radio and nothing was heard. I had taking some nautical classes in high school and decided that I had to try and get this ship to land somewhere. I looked at the map and plotted a path which took me to the Northern Tip of Canada. I moved the power handle to the Fast position and the ship moved forward a little faster. Several hours had gone by when I looked out over the bow of the ship and I could see land.

I could see a cove of some sort and I felt the only way I was going to get to shore was to beach this vessel. I was within five-hundred feet when I could hear some screeching at the bottom of the ship. I must of been scraping on the reefs bellows. The ship was still moving forward and I could see people at the waters edge in preparation of my crash landing. The ship hurled forward and crashed on the shore. I fell forward and then backward and banged my right knee on something hard. I lifted myself and checked myself for any other injuries. I was safe and on land. I climbed down the ladder and was met by this Canadian man. Bonjour my friend. Nice to see you parking this ship in my lagoon today. I was so happy just to know I was alive.

I waited for word about the rescue of my shipmates. They were never found. I survived this ordeal. Never again will I go out fishing, you never know when your luck will run out.

©Bilodeau,D.H. 2014

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Darn Allergies

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The inventor of allergies is not my friend. He comes knocking at my door anytime of the day or night and usually any season for me. I never was troubled with allergies until older in life. My eyes would be all scratchy and my sinuses felt like they wanted to explode. It is a weird feeling and hard to explain but when I’m having trouble my whole body has a burning feeling and my head feels as though I’m in a cloud sort of speaking.

I went to the allergy doctor years ago. I finally had enough of this misery and wanted to get somewhat better. The doctor told me he was going to inject all different stuff in three rows on my arm. This test would tell if I was allergic. I waited like fifteen minutes or so when a nurse came in and measured the red marks on my arm. I will never forget her words. Oh My God! Every test we injected you with has tested positive for your being allergic. No wonder I was feeling like crap all the time. Ragweed, Mushroom spores, white pine, dogs, cats, and I could on and on.

I had to be taught how to inject the antigen into my body. I was injecting three shots once a week and did this for two years. I did get a lot better and was feeling much better over time. I just got sick of always driving to the doctors to get a new bottle of antigen, they never seemed to run out at the same time. Each bottle I had was a mix of different stuff so it was important to always make sure I had the stuff.

I know today that my problem is an over reactive immune system. Basically it is on turbo speed so any slight things that bothered me before are kicked into overdrive. I have tried taking about every over the counter stuff. This is my method today. First I always make sure I have antihistamine available. I will only take stuff with 10 mg of antihistamine. The reason for this is I can still function and I’m not floored by the medicine. I make sure that I always have Benadryl for when I am totally messed up but will never take this when I’m working because it will make me really sleepy. I do get to the point sometimes when my throat starts to close up and I feel like I’m getting a asthma attack with non stop coughing. The Benadryl will combat this problem for me.

The only problem I feel today and I wonder if allergies have anything to do with it, is my joints ache from time to time. Still to this day I believe it is all the antigens I injected to help me with my allergies. Who knows what was injected or what was mixed to help with my problem. I was told that food has a lot to do with it. I am not one of these health nuts and trying to stop eating and eat like a rabbit is not for me. I know a lot of people are gluten free and it helps them with some of the health issues and they feel better. I just don’t want to be a walking medical test dummy. I am already a test dummy, been that for many years.

To all other people who suffer from allergies, I am with you and know what your going through.  I do carry an epi- pen with me because I’m really  allergic to yellow jackets and swell up like you wont believe. I have never lost my breathing when being stung. The doctor told me every sting is different and you never know what one will cause your throat and tongue to swell. Good Point! Also if I ever have a reaction so bad from my other allergies I have the epi-pen with me. Good day to everyone- I’m hoping this spring and summer is not going to get me too bad. The buds are starting to come out here in Maine and usually when the pine tree’s start putting out pollen, it really messes me up.  The future only knows but I’m hoping for a better year.

©Bilodeau,D.H.

 

 

Old Man Jones

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I was riddled with rock salt from the old man in Jones’s Field. The big kids in the neighborhood told me about this man who lived in a farmhouse next to the pasture not far from my house. One cold and blustery day I decided to take my moto-ski snowmobile into the pasture and with a curiosity I pointed the snow sled toward the edge of where he lived. I looked up ahead on the trail and I was coming up on the dwelling. I just about got to where the trail opened up to his lawn when I heard a pop sound and something stinging in my chest area. The old man had shot rock salt at me to get me off his property. It was a good thing I had my full face helmet , I would of taken the shot into the face without it.

I turned my sled around real fast as to get a quick escape when out of the corner of my eye I see three dogs running full tilt toward me. I was only about twelve years old at the time I am  about crapping my pan’st at this point. Pop! I hear another shot but this time he missed me. I’m thinking in my head this guy is a lunatic and I’m about ready to get eaten by a wolf pack. I looked back for a few seconds and the dogs were right at the back of the sled and I’m punching the throttle right to the pin when it happened. When I was looking back, I forgot to also look forward and I collided into a cement slab that was probably there from where an old silo sat. I went head over tea kettle and landed on the other side of the slab. The dogs stopped right in their tracks and didn’t even come at me. The dogs sensed that I was done in for and walked slowly back to the farm house.

I stood back up, checking myself, when I looked at the damage on the snowmobile. My god, dad was going to kill me, my quest to be a snowmobile racer was never going to happen. I can see my dad now, Son?  YOU WILL NEVER RIDE A SNOWMOBILE AGAIN!  I knew my dad well. He didn’t take equipment failures and stupidity very good. The skis on the sled were in a v-shaped pattern, or snowplow pattern now. I have skied before and you know with snowplow it is a method of slowing you down. I had about eight miles to get back home with this sled. I started up the snow machine ,very slowly limping back to my home. My chest was still stinging from the rock salt attack. I was so afraid to report to my dad of the encounter with the farmer that I had to make up a story.

His eyes lit up when I showed him the damage to the sled. What in the heck happened? Dad, I went around a corner when going through the woods and smacked into a tree. He didn’t need to know the right story, right? I still to this day will have nightmares about being shot at from this old man. It kind of gave me an “Wizard Of Oz feeling”, he was like a character in a movie. The wicked farmer of the East, all the pigs are singing and the horse’s are talking. I come upon his land and I’m walking up a white road, I presume is salt blocks.

Old man Jones passed away a few years back, I wonder what kind of a person could do this to a young child. I certainly was not out to cause harm to this person. I was not there to steal anything. I was only being a twelve year old kids with an inquisitive mind.

©Bilodeau,D.H. 2014

 

 

 

Honey? What Is This Lump Here?

C2-0167__25578_1325295847_1280_1280I cried, she was all I had. We met in high school and had been together for 32 years. Honey? I feel something in my breast can you come here and check this out? I went into the bathroom and felt around her breast in a circular motion and there it was. She had a small lump probably the size of a pea. Do you think it is anything honey? I don’t know but you better go have it checked out.

We arrived at the doctors office a little early because we didn’t want to miss this important visit. We sat in the waiting room for it seemed like hours, it was only minutes, but it seemed like a life hours. Miss, you can come in this way. My husband entered the room with me. The doctor came in and felt around my breast and located the lump we had been feeling. Miss, I’m going to send you for a breast exam. This has to be done today. I’m thinking I have so much to do today and this was not in the plans. The doctor told me that you cannot wait. If this is cancer it could spread very rapidly, time is of the essence. Your appointment will be today at eleven this morning.

We traveled to the local hospital and they put me in those hospital suits, I can never understand why these do not have a backside. I guess one can figure it out. Miss? can you please come in here. I’m going to do a breast exam at this station. Your husband will have to stay in the waiting room. The machine examined my breast for it seemed like more angles than I learned in geometry. The test was performed, she told me I could put my street clothes back on. You can wait in the waiting room and the doctor will call you in awhile to talk of the results.

Miss? You can come in here, we need to discuss the results. What the results showed is that I had breast cancer and that I was going to have to make some decisions soon of what treatment. My husband and I were in disbelief and saddened by the results. We knew that we had a long road ahead of us.

We decided, aggressive as it might seem, to have a total mastectomy. We didn’t want to take any chances of it spreading. The operation was performed and many days were spent in bed. I had to have chemo and radiation therapy for a few months. I went in for another exam to see if anything has spread and if the chemo and radiation was doing its job. What the results showed this time totally floored me. The cancer had spread into my lymph nodes and with further exam it was found to be in my lungs and brain. The doctor told me that this was a fast moving form of cancer and that you better go home and live the last remaining time with your family and friends.

I met my wife in high school, she was the most caring and loving wife anyone could ask for. I’m writing this because my wife passed away last night and I’m sitting in the living room weeping. I understand that people live and people die, but why my beautiful wife.

This story was written in support of breast cancer and screening. I hope that all people realized that early screening can save your life. This story was not true in my family, this is only a story. It can however reflect on many woman in this world that are currently fighting this fight. Husband’s are there to help you through. Please support your local or national breast cancer foundations. Good day- Have your screening today.

©Bilodeau,D.H. 2014

MY PTSD

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Sgt. Richard McCurry was leading his men down a street in Anbar, Afghanistan. He had briefed his men before they walked down the street and informed them to watch all the roof tops. The Taliban would stage up on roof tops and shoot down on the soldiers as they walk down the streets. This was just another day for the soldiers and they moved slowly down the one street watching every corner. I was the third man in this group with Sgt. McCurry walking directly behind me. I had been assigned to WHA- Watch His Ass- This was an important assignment because not only that you had to watch for the enemy, you had to keep your leader safe.

We kept moving forward when all of a sudden gunfire rang out, my heart about exploded with total fear. I looked down the street and lying face down was our point man Jermaine. He was a soldier out of Jacksonville, Florida and was an outstanding athlete in high school. His goal was to sign up for the football draft when he got out of the Army. My worst fear was that Jermaine was not alive. We walked up to him with bullets flying in all directions. It took a few minutes to get up to him and I think I shot a few Taliban along the way. I rolled Jermaine over and he had a smile on his face. He blinked his eyes and said it was a good thing he had his Easter peeps in his pocket. I told him I don’t understand. The bullet hit the package and deflected the bullet. I told him to get up quick and start shooting. We needed to get out of this hot area as soon as possible. Jermaine got up real fast and brought his M16 to firing position and started firing. He took one step forward and another shot rang out and Jermaine fell to the ground again. I walked up to him and there was bleeding coming from his mouth and he was not moving. I could see the color being removed from his face. Jermaine had passed right in front of me. All his hopes and dreams were stopped right at this moment on the streets of Afghanistan. I stood there for a few seconds to reflect what I had just been witness too. I thought to myself, and asked a question. Why am I in this place?  I didn’t have time to answer because out of the corner of my eye I could see a Taliban on the roof top ready to shoot. He was aiming his weapon directly at my Sargent. I brought my M16 up real quick and with rapid fire I took down that enemy.

Our group finally made it to the end of the street and there was a tall cement wall that we all got behind for protection and to access the situation. Sargent McCurry told us that we had to go back down that street and retrieve Jermaine. We never leave another soldier behind. Back down the street and again the shooting started. We shot at them and they shot at us but we retrieved Jermaine and dragged him down the street and behind the wall. Our radio man called for a helicopter to come and bring him back to our base. They brought a Chinook helicopter which brought our whole troop back to base. Sargent McCurry had all of us pay our respects to this soldier we lost today. This is what he said to us. You all fought hard today and you win some and lose some. I just want you to remember this young man today and know that he fought for his country. He gave the ultimate sacrifice and to know that in any situation that I hope you will give that same to save others. We all bowed our head in prayer for Jermaine.

Life moved on and I was in a lot of other firefights but I will never forget this one day we lost Jermaine. It has now been 10 years since I have been back to civilian life. I am having trouble sleeping and every noise I hear outside reminds me of a firefight. I cannot drive down the highway without thinking it is an ambush. How can I forget all this and go back to normal life?  They never told me that my mind would be damaged like this. I have talked with other vets from other wars on how to relieve these horrid memories. They all told me you will never forget. You just have to move on and realize what you have done for this country.

This story is a fictional story, I do not want to have this bring back bad memories for our soldiers, but do want to realize that PTSD is very real. You cannot go through traumatic situations like war and not have some kind of PTSD. Please reach out for help, Like the old soldier replied, you never forget what you have seen. It is the help that redirects some of these thoughts and gives you second chance of life. You do not need to deal with this alone.

©Bilodeau,D.H. 2014

Ketchup Testing Results

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I’ve got to tell you one of my insane cravings that I have had for years. Good ole fashion Ketchup. When I was a young man the kids in the neighborhood would sleep outdoors in sleeping bags right smack on the ground. We had no tents and would swat mosquito’s all night. This one friend of mine would invite us to sleep at his place and his mother would always make a huge breakfast for all the neighborhood kids that were brave enough to sleep outside. The one thing that drove me crazy was the fact that their whole family would put ketchup on their pancakes. Ok, crazy I thought at this very young age and I repeated in my brain the word gross many times. The fact is that these people, my friends, were addicted to ketchup. I thought to myself that never in a million years would I do something as crazy as this.

People can do strange combo’s but this one took the clincher for sure for me. I would never try ketchup on pancakes but I have enjoyed ketchup through the years. I will put ketchup on mashed potatoes, and also on my mac and cheese. I like it on eggs just as much and will sometimes catch myself putting it on a piece of bread. Ok I’m not that bad really but do enjoy the flavor.

The FDICACIA Department has now put Ketchup on the top 100 list of reducing all aging on humans. It has been proven to grow hair in the topical form. Doctors say if you have an erection for more than four hours to go see your nearest doctor. This has been proven with a clinical test performed using fifty men. Other test were done on white lab rats and conclusive results were, not to use white rats again when testing with ketchup. Another test performed was using ketchup as a new tanning application but results show that too many test subjects were getting hives, this test was terminated.

FDIMECIA which is located in Maine has determined that as long as Ketchup is used in moderated doses that it will not cause you to have no teeth.  The next test performed in Maine with Ketchup will be in February 2016. This time half will be female and the other half men. They are looking for any aphrodisiac symptoms in woman this time. The foundation has just come out with ketchup packets and will be dispensing them at your local McDonalds outlets in your community. Stay tuned! Ketchup will now be considered right up there with 5 Hour energy drinks. People are talking about these new finds and  you will hearing a lot more about the health benefits of Ketchup. The only thing they don’t want you using ketchup for is fake blood. Doctors have been fooled in the ER room and don’t want this to be confused with real blood.

Everyone! Get on the Ketchup bandwagon! I’m doing my best to let everyone know.

©Bilodeau,D.H.

 

 

Ice-Cream Man

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Where did that ice-cream truck go? I can hear the music playing coming down the street. The kids in the neighborhood and I are now running toward the ice-cream truck. Ding Ding a Ling, here it comes. The lights are flashing and my mouth is already watering. I cannot keep up with the big kids running and they are kicking up dust in my face. I have on my mind an ice-cream sandwich. You know the one with two chocolate cookies, rectangular in shape with ice-cream in the middle. I love it when the ice-cream gets real soft and starts to dribble down the edges. I’m coming boys and girls and don’t buy all the ice-cream sandwiches. I finally arrived at the window and the man in the truck looks at me and states. Hey squirt, what will it be for ya? Being  a wise ass young man I replied a poop sandwich. Oh, the look on that guys face when an eight year old boy is being a wise ass. Well he deserved it for calling me a squirt, right?

I will never forget this. Words do hurt people, look at me now I’m writing today about this man that called me a squirt and I’m in my fifties. Words do have an impact on your imagination for life. Remember, sticks and stones can break your bones but words will never hurt you. Well, I totally disagree with this statement. Children are being affected everyday by hurtful words. Kids are being bullied in grade schools and this can be real hurtful to a young lad who will never forget. Schools today are taking steps in the right direction about bullying and rightfully so. I just wish that the ice-cream man never made that comment about me being a squirt, I made a comment back to him that today I wish I never said. One thing to remember and I try to stick to this in my life today. Two wrongs do not make a right. If we all make sure to keep our mouths shut, or keep a tight lip, then maybe children will not be resentful later in life.

I’m standing at the window when this man at the window nods his head. How are you doing young man? I replied, great!  Do you have any ice-cream sandwiches? Well yes I do,  this is going to be the best sandwich you will ever have,  he smiled at me. I will never forget that wonderful man.

Here is the song. It will bring back your childhood.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZB6WXDuM1g

©Bilodeau,D.H.

Merchant Ship Isabella

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I was on the merchant ship Isabella and the cargo was a dangerous load of bombs destined for the war in Europe. The day started out in the Portland,Maine dockside loading all day with the stevedore’s, the dock workers who load the ship. It was a warm day with the wind blowing slightly from the north. My coworker and I had the day to explore so we took off into the city of Portland. We walked down Congress Street and was noticing that all the streets were cobblestone. I had never seen streets like this anywhere in the States. The boys and I decided to get a bite to eat and have some mugs of beer. We was talking with this one man inside the bar and asked where he came from. My name is George Thurman, I was a sea captain years ago and I’m retired from working. I spent my entire life working at sea and now I am enjoying staying grounded. How about you boy’s? He replied. I told him that I started a year ago working on the Isabella and I was nineteen years old. We told the old sea captain we had to leave and said our goodbye. Til we meet again boys, bon voyage, and tipped his beer at us.untitled

We loaded ourselves onto the ship and within twenty minutes we were off. It was a sunny day and my buddy and I were on the deck taking in all the scenery around the Portland waterfront. The Isabella was off and we sailed all through the night. The swells were starting to get bigger and the ship was rocking back and fourth. I decided to go check the cargo hold where the bombs were being stored. They were loaded in the front of the ship and stacked like cord wood. I was starting to hear some clanking, like metal to metal, but really couldn’t see anything loose. I went back up topside and reported this to the captain. The captain told me to make regular checks and to keep reporting back to the bridge of the findings.

The sea was getting worse by the moment and now the ship was rolling and moving up and down. My buddy Ricardo and I decided to take another check of the cargo hold. What we found was very concerning. The bombs that were stacked like wood had now tumbled and were all loose. The bombs were being tossed around every time the ship rolled. They would clank against the ships hull. We ran up topside to tell the ships captain when we felt and heard an explosion. I looked up and the whole front of the ship was flying through the air. The bombs had detonated and I was thrown backward and hit my head on the edge of a railing but was still conscious. Ricardo was knocked into the water, I awoke in my daze to realize that I had to try and save Ricardo. MAN OVERBOARD! I hollered this three times and no one came to help. I took a life preserver and tossed it overboard to try and help Ricardo but he was long gone.

The ship stopped moving and I could see the front of the ship starting to go nose down. We were sinking real fast and I had to find something that would float. There was some foam sheets along edge of the railings that I could use. I ripped them off the railing and prepared myself to go overboard in a last attempt to save myself. I couldn’t see if anyone else was trying to get off the ship. I looked up at the bridge and I could see the Captain calling on the radio. I’m sure the communication lieutenant was tapping out Morse Code, SOS-SOS-SOS. Save Our Ship was being repeated. The ship was now listing to port and I could tell that this ship was going down real fast. I had my foam sheet and was prepared to jump into the sea. The captain came out of the bridge and hollered. Abandon Ship! That is all I needed to jump into the cold and salty waters. One-two-three and I jumped.

The coldness of the water took my breath away at first and the salt in my eyes made it hard for me to see anything. I was able to see others jumping off the ship but I had no energy to swim over to help them out. I laid on my sheet of foam and floated away from this area. I took one last look when the ship finally made its last plunge to the depths of the ocean. I floated for hours and with the day being sunny I was able to warm my body. I looked out over the ocean and could not see land anywhere. I had no water or food and I was starting to worry that I would die on this floating device.. I dozed off to the sounds of seagulls.

I woke up and looked out to the horizon and could see land. I was coming up to a beach of some sort and I could see people laying on the sand. I was wondering if maybe they were survivors of another ship wreak. I could see men and woman and children playing in the water. I could see many woman in bikini’s, with their bodies all tanned up from basking in the sun. I could see a Ferris wheel  and could hear music playing in the distance. What is this place I had floated too? Some kind of Utopia, and Circus? I came to rest on the shore, this one young lad comes up to me and kicks sand in my face. Hey Mister? What kind of stupid surfboard is that? I opened my eyes to see this little brat smirking at me. I raised myself and starting looking for other shipmates. I cannot see anyone. I see this very attractive lady in the distance. I walk up to her and ask her where is this place? Her reply is Portland Head Light, Maine.  I had left from Portland, Maine. untitled

I thought about what had happened. The bombs were stacked like wood and with the rolling of the ship there was friction on the surface of the bombs. It only took a jolt up and down and this is what discharged the bombs. There was no other survivors- I wondered now if I was even on a ship or if I was dreaming.

©Bilodeau,D.H. 2014

 

My Firefighter-Medic Life

imagesI read an interesting story about a firefighter who was teased about what he does for work. There was an family get together and this one well to do guy comes up to the firefighter and makes a statement. So how is the checkers games going? The firefighter looks at this guy and was about ready to smash him in the face for this rude comment. The firefighter finally gives him a one-two punch.

I drive down every highway around here with ghost haunting me. I remember this couple that was in an accident where the girl is dead and the boyfriend is pinned in the car. The man keeps asking if his girlfriend is alright. The firefighter/medic responds with. she is being taking care of. The girl is dead and he has to lie to the fellow. I personally have been put in this situation. Is anyone really prepared to be of witness to such horrific incidents without some long term affects. I would need another call to reset my memory from the last horrific incident.

I am not alone in this personal affects of the brain. It is compared to PTSD, many firefighters/medic’s are afflicted with this. Still to this day I remember the accident’s like it happened yesterday. There is crosses in the road which are reminders of the incidents that I witnessed. It is somewhat of a trigger every time I see these on the highways.

Back to the man at the gathering. So the firefighter responds with another one. I was at an accident where the mans head was severed from a flying object off a pulp truck. He was not just a object that got struck. He was a man with a wife and four young children.  The firefighter responds to the yuppie, So, my checkers game is good. It is the only thing that takes my mind off the horrific incidents I see on my job. I don’t just sit around” asshole” playing checkers all the time. I don’t sit behind a desk with smooth hands and wearing a three piece suit. The next time you see a firefighter remember what they have been through. There is moments on the job that we sit around for the next call but the next call might be your love one that needs our help.

Something to ponder about. I have been witness to a lot in my years of public service. This is what I do and very proud to help people in dire need. I am a firefighter on a on-call department. I was an EMT years ago and have worked on the job site as a firefighter-medic-hazmat tech for 25 years in local paper mills. I have witness many things in my life. So the next time you see a paramedic or firefighter please tell them you support everything they do. Good Day Everyone.

©Bilodeau,D.H. 2014

Give Me Some Of That Two Wheel Therapy

2014-04-04 09.45.49Therapy comes in all different types. I always wondered what two- wheeled therapy was. I have found this out all on my own. I didn’t need any therapist or doctors to diagnose my problems. Finally this year, I’ve decided to get me one of those two- wheeled bicycle’s. This one has an added bonus because it came with an engine. Smart people out there that put these engine things on these bikes. It was a cleaver idea because now you don’t even have to pedal.

Deciding upon which direction of travel I wanted to take, and what treatment was needed, I decided to head south on the bicycle. I started up the engine thing, varoom! Wow what a thrill to hear the engine thing start up. It gives me goose bumps and get the nervous system a super charge. My heart is starting to pound a little faster because of all the excitement. I sit myself down upon this seat and can feel vibrations all over my body. This is massaging my legs and my back muscles and I’m starting to feel real good and relaxed.

Turning at the end of the driveway I give it some throttle and the engine really blats out. I’m smiling now and I haven’t even left the driveway yet. Varoom!  I’m off to another place. I can feel the wind blowing in my face and the scenery is amazing through these new sunglasses I bought. I can see pretty good now and my mind is starting to relax. Moving on down the highway, something I noticed, people are out raking their lawns and with the noise from my engine people are lined up in their neighborhoods before I arrive. It felt like I was in a parade. These people are smiling at me and I’m smiling back at them. One guy in his driveway put his rake down and gave me a thumbs up and waved. What the heck is going on around here? I’m getting an overload of therapy today. I keep driving south on Route-4, toward  a place of nowhere. There really is no destination in mind, I’m just out getting my treatment.

You know, I’m starting to think real hard about this two-wheel therapy and I’m really starting to understand that I should have bought me one of these motor bikes a long time ago. I have returned back to the house and back from my hour long appointment with the two wheels and an engine. What a treatment it has been……… I’m going to make sure to schedule another appointment again real soon.  Good day everyone- Go out and find some treatment like I have, You will not be disappointed. Thanks Doctor?

Go Away Mother Nature

2014-04-13 13.07.14

 

 

Really strange around here. Temperatures in the low sixty’s yesterday and snowing today. Mother nature just is not finished with us yet in Maine. You would think that us Mainers would be used to this kind of weather but with a teaser of spring yesterday I just couldn’t get it through my head that winter would follow. It is only thirty-five degree’s at 1200 hours EST.

I decided that a nice warm fire in the woodstove will be real nice about now. What else is there to do when it is crappy outside? The tree’s are budding around here, I just noticed today. Signs of spring are here but really just starting out. The sap season is over now that the tree’s have started budding. What is really bothering me is the amount of snow still in my yard. I drive around just a little south of here and people I have been noticing are raking their lawns. My little town is still hanging onto the clutch of winter.

We will survive this day and will be looking at the much predicted warmer temps tomorrow, like seventy degree’s. Even the dog is confused today, I know this because he pooped right on the driveway instead of traveling to the edges of the lawn. Usually an indication of his not wanting to travel in the snow. It’s ok boy I understand this time. The heat is now started to warm the bones, just what is needed on a cool day like today. Argh, have to get the taxes out tomorrow. I wish one year I wouldn’t have to pay them. Darn it I work hard and I still have to payout.

I will get through this mess today and look forward to a greater future. Lots of car accident around today. The scanner is buzzing and the roads are slippery north of us. To us Mainers, be careful in Phillips-Strong-Avon region. I’m going to stoak the fire and stay out of the pucker-brush. Have a great day everyone. This picture was taking today in my backyard.

©Bilodeau,D.H. 2014

The Haunted House

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Tales of the haunted house. I was only nine years old and the kids in the neighborhood had told me that they heard a piano playing in the haunted house one night. That place is spooky said Nard and Unie, childhood nicknames.

I grew up in a very rural country area where farming was a business or necessity for most of the people. From my backyard, or to the edge of the back of my parents property, was a cow pasture. The kids in the neighborhood and I would play in these fields dodging cow patty’s and pucker brush. In the far distance and too far to see from where I lived was an old broken down house we called the haunted house.

The time is winter and my dad had bought an old snowmobile that required changing the spark plugs all the time because one side or the other was always fouling. This was very normal for sleds back in the day. My dad had taught my brothers and I how to change a plug. You get the tool-kit from out of the back and counterclockwise to loosen. He would always say lefty loosey, righty tighty. The other trick was to pull the pull cord several times to get some gas in the cylinder. He always kept a bic lighter in the back and you would put it over the open cylinder and touch it off. It would burn the old gas and then you would put the new spark plug back on and usually it would run.

One night I was driving by the haunted house and the plug started to foul. I stopped right in front of the haunted house. I was getting the tools out to change the plug when I heard music playing. Someone was playing the most beautiful piano I have ever heard. I then heard something bang within the house like a chair tipping over. My eyes widened and I started to get very scared. I thought someone was going to come out and grab me so I started running down the snowmobile trail as fast as I could run. It was about a mile back to the house and it was pitch dark outside. I was running and looking back and not seeing anything. I heard a howl within the woods. Now I’m really scared shitless and my pace increases like no other. I finally got to the fence line behind my parents house and tears are running down my face. I reached the house and start hollering for my parents.

I reached the porch of the house and my mom and dad came out to see what all the commotion was . What is going on son? I broke down at the haunted house and someone was playing a piano. My dad looks at me and tells me there is no such thing as a haunted house. I’m  looking at him and thinking how can I reply to my dad with an answer that would make him believe. I didn’t have an answer. My dad was not too happy because now he had to go to the haunted house in the morning to retrieve the sled which required him to walk a mile up the trail to get it.

The kids in the neighborhood still talk today about the haunted house and one of my cousins who lived on the street came to visit it a few years back just to see it again. He told me someone bought the property and tore down the old house and had a new home built. I don’t blame them for tearing it down, it really was haunted, I know it.

©Bilodeau,D.H. 2014

My Great Uncle Emile

300113_2259254915879_1230782095_nNot 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.377048_311818555503095_351077047_n

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.386086_311818855503065_1628561557_n

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.377088_310209495664001_1598166910_n

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

©Bilodeau,D.H.2014

200th Post-Yahoo!

New-Year-Dance-Party-Image-Courtesy-123rf_com_Never in a millions years would I ever think I could write this many stories. I look back at it now and believe that even through high school/college  combined, I never wrote that many stories. So I pat myself on the back and give myself congratulations. I was going to wait until tomorrow to make it my 200th post, but why wait.  It has been so enjoyable writing and it really gets my mind churning about. Mrs Smith will you now give me an “A” for effort? Sorry I didn’t put all my brain into writing in High School, I was a little pre-occupied with keeping up the peer life. Sorry Mr Jacobs in college for not putting all my effort either, I was too pre-occupied with the party scene so my head wasn’t always in it.

I will move forward in this writing adventure and who knows, you might see me on a book cover down the road. You never know, right? I have adventures and stories trapped in this head somewhere and someday I will unleash it when I figure out all this publishing stuff.

There will be cake and ice cream later, I know my wife is going to surprise me with this milestone, Ya right! Honey I just wrote my 200th post. Oh, really? Back down the stairs to her crafting. Honey if you come down the stairs can you bring some wood down? Ok, Honey after the swelling of my head goes down. Huh? I had to copy this from WordPress.

You’ve reached 200 posts on “JUST4WHY”

©Bilodeau,D.H. 2014

Mechanism’s of Life

CPRDispatch, Code 99 in progress please respond to 1112 Park Street. This was a call for help and I was the man on duty. I was eating breakfast with my wife and kids when the call came out. I jumped up quick from the table and spilled my coffee. The wife looked at me and couldn’t believe that I would not stop for a minute to clean up the coffee.. Hey, I have to get going in a hurry, someone’s life is on the line.

In the heat of the moment the only thing you can think of is responding and trying to beat the clock of time for this patient. I jumped into my truck and reached in my pocket for the keys and realized that I didn’t have them, they were in my street clothes. Argh!  Back into the house to my wife saying what is the matter? I forgot my keys honey. I rushed up the stairs and retrieved my keys and hurried on back to my truck. I turned on my red light and off I go to try and mitigate, or stop the progression of dying. I’m thinking in my head, ok open the airway, check for signs of circulation, if none start compressions and breathing. I had trained for this so many times and when it is real life you still go back to the basic’s. ABC-Airway-Breathing-Circulation.

The patient was lying prone in the living room and some family members were trying their best to hold their emotions and still try to perform CPR-CardiopulmonaryResuscitation . It is a very hyped up scene when responding to a code 99. We  hope that we can respond in time for the patient. The brain will die in about 6 minutes max,  lactic acid will start destroying the vital organs in a short time thereafter. Because the family was at the home and were instructed from the dispatcher to stay calm and start performing CPR this patient had a chance. Blood flow to the brain and body was continuing.

The medic with me hooked up the twelve- lead monitor and determined this patient needed to be shocked back to life. Clear! Everyone cleared the patient and Six-Hundred Joules were induced across the heart of this patient. We checked the monitor and a good sinus rhythm was now shown on the screen. The paramedic put some drugs into the veins of this patient and everything was looking good. We had stopped the line of progression of life or death.

The family was instructed to meet at the local hospital and that the patient was stable at the moment but not out of the woods. Because of the lactic acid the patient could have liver, or kidney failure, it could be a long-haul in the hospital.

We as responders will try to do everything possible to change the outcome for a patient. Our own family members sometimes never turn on the switch. It really is a switch from going from family function’s to rescue mode. Sometimes we feel like Jekyll and Hyde. No not really, but to switch modes on a dime is the comparison. Honey, I will clean up the coffee, Just give me a minute, Ok?

I do not work for an ambulance. I did at one time back in the 80’s. I do medical work at my workplace and respond via local fire department when called upon. ©Bilodeau,D.H.2014

Where Have The Children Gone?

Children_playing_with_Campbell_Kid_dollsWhere have all the children gone. I really miss the sounds of children playing and laughing. The time has passed so fast and our children grew up way too fast.  I sit in an empty house and remember saying I cannot wait until the children grow up. Well, from experience now, I can say I would like to take back those words. I miss them, going to all their sporting events, or any school functions seemed like a lot of hassles at the time but I would like time to revert back. My days are either playing on the computer or writing short stories. My stories are a fragment of my life in some weird kind of way. There is no way to replace what has been. History has been made and the children were part of that history. They are now into adulthood and  we hope that our raising them has structured them for a wonderful future. Still I sit here now and the only sound I hear is the dog scratching. I don’t hear, Dad? Dad? Come here or there to help them out. Some say it is the empty nest, does it ever really go away. I’m sure we all miss our children in some way. I’m glad to have my wife around because this would be one lonely life without anyone around.

This is an important message to all. Cherish your children, give them all the hugs and kisses. You might have bad days with your children but always remember they are children. They will be all grown up before you know it and you will sitting in front of a computer writing stories to have record of your life, just like me. Go hug your kids right now, it really means a lot.

©Bilodeau,D.H. 2014

Old Commercial Ringers

untitledFunny 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.

©Bilodeau,D.H. 2014

Falling Asleep At The Wheel

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI can remember things now. I was driving down from Lake Tahoe to Sun City Arizona the summer of 1981 to go for a job interview when it all happened. It had been a long drive and I should have slept more before taking off. I had a six pack of Red Bull to keep me awake for the long drive and was going to stay at the Hyatt Hotel when I arrived with the interview being the next morning. I was probably sixty miles out from Sun City when I caught myself getting real sleepy. My head nodded but I caught myself and grabbed a Red Bull to keep me awake. I was still driving and about an hour into the ride after the last episode of falling asleep it happened. Unknown to myself at the time but I feel asleep again and the car and I drove off into la la land. The car traveled into the other lane and we went head-on in a pickup truck driven by a young man and his child.

I was in a induced coma for a week because of the swelling in my brain. I woke up with the worst headache one could imagine. Every bone in my body was sore from the trauma I had sustained. The nurse who was taking care of me was in the room when I woke up. Hey Mr. Henry? About time you woke up. Everything was a little blurry at the moment I opened my eyes but standing in front of me was this nurse. Glad to see you are finally awake. How long have I been out? The nurse replied, one week.  You have been in a coma induced by the doctors here to let your brain heal up a bit. There was swelling on your brain from the impact of your accident. What accident I asked? You fell asleep while driving and collided with a pickup truck. The other driver you hit and his son didn’t survive. I couldn’t believe the words she had just told me. My heart skipped a beat and it was surreal at the time.

I was discharged from the hospital and my brother and his wife picked me up. The nurse wheeled me out of the hospital and placed me into my brothers car. One the way back home I started to remember bits and pieces of the accident. I remember someone holding my hand through the ordeal. I remember someone holding my head to stabilize it incase I fractured my neck. One guy with sunglasses on kept calling my name, Sir Sir , your going to be alright. I can remember now the helicopter ride to the hospital, the rotors making their noise with blades cutting the air. I now remember being wheeled down the hallway of the hospital with people watching from the edges of the hallway as we were passing by.

The conclusion of this story, or the point of it all, is that when you feel your getting tired when driving make sure you pull over and take a short nap. The other thing is to make sure you get some fresh air and drink a coffee or something before venturing out again on the highway. This story could have been written about anyone and we all have friends or even been there before. Drive safe everyone-Also put down the cell phones- No call is worth dying for.