Month: April 2016

Our Camping Adventure-Once Is Good Enough

Tent

 

The wife and I spent some time cruising around the campground looking for the perfect spot to put our tent. We were rounding the corner and right in front of us was a perfect all grass spot. So excited, How could anyone of missed this great spot? I told my wife to walk back to the campground office and tell them we were taking spot 28 in the Gold section. We hadn’t been camping in awhile and certainly setting up this new tent we bought from Wally’s World might be somewhat of a challenge. Neither of the two of us were that mechanically inclined. We pulled out the directions,  first thing you have to do,right?  I was looking at all German section, then Japanese, had to be an English version. Ah!Here it is, located the correct language. We were fan dangling with the the poles and then had the tent upside down but we figured it out and the tent was setup.

The first thing I noticed was the amount of blackflies and mosquito’s. I didn’t notice at first but there was a small stream off to the right of the camping spot. This might be a problem if we get a lot of precipitation. Next thing and don’t forget, beer. This is must have after a long process of setup. Now with the first can down we proceeded to get out some bug spray. Honey! You know where the bug spray is? She didn’t have a clue and neither did I. So back to swatting the critters. I noticed my wife was getting welts all over her body. I never knew this to be a problem with her but on this day she was getting affected in a big way. She was starting to swell like I have never seen before. You might want to go inside the tent for awhile, I  think you are allergic. She proceeded inside and I finished up everything else. I put together a Wally world chair we had bought on the way up. I went to sit down in the new chair and the metal legs folded up , head over tea kettle I went. Glad everyone else camping around us were at the beach.

Things just didn’t seem to get any better as the day progressed. My wife decided to take a nap, or at least that was what I thought. I went inside the tent to wake her up so we can have a little time together, We were camping, right? I shook her, Honey wake up! She didn’t really stir that much and her breathing was somewhat labored. I shook her many times and she just wasn’t waking up. Her lips were swollen and getting blue. It finally clicked in that she was having an anaphylactic reaction to all the bug bites. I remember I had my Epi pen inside the center console of the truck. I pushed the plunger into her thigh. I could tell almost immediately she was improving. She opened her eyes and smiled at me. What’s up? She replied, not knowing what was going on. Oh, Nothing, just waiting for you to get up. I didn’t want to make a big scene so I didn’t tell her, I gave her an injection. I wanted a good retreat for the two of us and spending it at the hospital was not one of them. She got up and we decided to make some dinner.

The cooking was another issue. I forgot to bring the Coleman stove that her mother and father had bought us for Christmas. Honey, no problem I know your a little upset but I will make a campfire. You don’t know how to make a campfire, she replied. I was in the Boy Scouts when I was a kid, I replied. I found some loose paper in my truck, put a few sticks together and lit the fire. Phew, diverted this one when the fire took off. I could hear rumbles of thunder way in the background. I hope it misses us.

We are now sitting in the tent and it is raining cats and dogs. Ruff, Meow! The rating on tent stated it was moisture resistant but not rain proof. The rain was coming down so hard and it was very windy. I started seeing water pooling at the edges of the tent and moving closer to the sleeping bags. We couldn’t stop the rain and we tried everything we knew to try and dam up everything around but the water continued its path eventually soaking everything we owned, including the sleeping bags. The wife and I gave up on the tent and slept the night in the pickup truck. I woke up with a very stiff neck and so did she. It was time to find out how bad the tent handled everything. I unzipped the front and water started pouring out the front door. The sleeping bags were under water. We spent the next day at the dry cleaners getting the bags dried out. The sun had come out this day and we aired everything out. The next night, guess what? Another storm came in. There must of been a reason why no one chose this campsite. After further investigation I noticed the stream had overflowed and we were sitting in the middle of a small pond of water.

This one camping trip ruined us for many years until one day my wife told me about a fully enclosed camper for sale that her friend was selling. It was a no brainer. We were never to go tenting again. I do however know that just because a site looks beautiful at a campground it is not always the best.

D.H.Bilodeau 2016

 

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The Robin Exclusion

 

robin

I just witnessed a group of Robin’s in my backyard all huddled up. I got closer to see or hear what was going on. I overheard one, the larger one of the flock, whispering something, tweeting to the other. Here is what I presume he was saying. Look you guys, I know it has been a long trip from the South, I know Tiny, your wings are sore, we must move on. The map showed this as to be Vacationland, Maine, pictures were divine. The last I checked, temperature is now 28 degrees F. One smaller bird replies, ” I want to go back”. Again the leader tried to gather all of them but it looked from my vantage point that all of the birds were turning their back on their leader. Sad thing, April 3 and so cold in the North. Look fella’s, I know we went through that snow storm this morning but look it’s not snowing right now, correct? Some did looked his way but decided he was hogwash. The other birds decided to take flight and move south again. The little bird with the sore wing came back to the leader. Sir! I will stay with you if you believe it’s going to get warmer around here. We need to find a warm place, have any ideas? Well son, Let me think about this for a moment. I know of a nice place just North of here, You want to go? The little bird puts his head down shaking it back and fourth. Absolutely not Chief, I’m out of here.

D.H.Bilodeau 2016

Sheriff McCoy

 

old sheriff

 

There can be only one man in this town. You need to leave immediately or else. Phoenix 1865, Population 800. This town is now becoming a city, booming with people wanting to live and prosper, a new beginning. Gambling halls have been popping up all over the main street and work is abundant. With gambling comes crime in the newly found city. There is now a group of people controlling every facet of this community. I sit here writing and now can hear gunshots going off in the alley a block away. These men will take everything, including your life if  business owners do not pay a substantial fee for protection of their establishments. The Sheriff in town, Richard McCoy is in the street confronting another man as I can see out through the windows from my room overlooking main street. The other man, a hoodlum of sort in this town, Don Cloak, proprietor of Gully’s the local pub in downtown on 1st street near McDowell and Camelback streets. This man the Sheriff is confronting has been a real problem around here. He thinks he is the governor of the community which he is not. The only man who controls everything around here is Sheriff McCoy. I can now here the men hollering at each other, they both have their pistols out. A shot rings out, both men have fallen to the ground. From the deck of Laurie’s clothing store I can see other men dress in black. I believe these men shot at the two men in the street. I watched the other men disappear around the corner of the building and one man remains, peering out, scanning the area when all of a sudden his eyes are watching me within the upstairs window. I pull myself away, hoping that he didn’t see me.

Some of the locals go out into the street to check on the condition of Sheriff McCoy and the other man. McCoy is still breathing, only a shot in the flank but he will survive. Don Cloak is lifeless. The town is in an uproar as to how the men were shot. Could the Sheriff of shot Don Cloak? It is late at night and there is a knock on my door. I am frightened as to whom may be checking my whereabouts. I am new to this community so I have no friends that would be checking me. Scared to say the least, I back away from the door, I’m shaking ,shivers up and down my spine. Who goes there? No answer. The door now starts to rattle, I’m scared, so scared. The door is smashed in, two men with guns are pointing them at me. I am now tied up to a chair in the middle of the room, men are interrogating me on what I witnessed. One man slapped me hard on the side of my head, I’m crying, real blood is oozing down my face. I didn’t see anything, I kept telling the men. Somehow this has to be a dream, this cannot be happening. A shot rang out , many shots. The two men drop to the ground, blood is pooling around their bodies. I am still shaking. A silhouette of a man is standing at the doorway, gun barrel is still smoking. I tried to scream but nothing comes out, I am too frightened. Are you ok? The man asked me. Who is this man standing at the doorway? Who are you?  I young lady am Sheriff McCoy. I was let loose of the bindings the two men had me in. I explained to the Sheriff what I had witnessed. Lady, justice will be served in this town, I will make sure of it.

The days went on and crime didn’t stop. The town now with a population of over 100 thousand residents had grown so much. I am now an old lady sitting in a long term care center for the elderly. I still reminisce about the first days of Phoenix and the day I almost died. People in my life have come and gone but memories are forever.

D.H.Bilodeau 2016