Travel

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

 

Here to Space

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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

East African Airline Decent

man jail

The pilot Andrew was fumbling with something in his right pocket. I looked over at him and wondered what his real story was . Here was a man in his mid forty’s who never had any family and just pilots around the world. He has no other ambition to do anything else. Flying has overcome him in everyway. I spoke up, Hey Andrew? He turns his head in my direction, You ever been with a woman? I asked. Here he goes again fumbling in his pocket. It happened too quick, Andrew pulled out a bottle of something and sprayed it into my eyes. I started to gag, cough, and was feeling very dizzy. I did the only thing at the moment I could think of. I pushed the levers on the steering and put the plane into a nose dive.

Sounds of people talking, I’m inside some kind of hospital and everyone is speaking a different language than I’m used to hearing. It is not common to hear other languages in different hubs. I am being wheeled around on a gurney of some sort to a different location. I cannot speak, only open my eyes, listening to maybe an answer of my whereabouts. I coughed, oh no, attention to me has been noticed. A woman of East African decent is looking at me with those big brown eyes. Sir, You must lay still! She has demanded me. I will let you know what is going on in a minute, You must be understanding Sir. I give her a  nod in acknowledgement. I’m waiting now inside a small room with bright lights and have to urinate so bad. My arms and legs have shackles on them so it is impossible to move. The woman comes back inside the room and comes to my side. Sir, I’m sorry to report that the plane you were riding in has crashed into our country. Many people, some with babies inside have died because of your equipment failures and for this we have to hold you accountable for your actions. I want to explain what happened if I may. Sir, Your time will come when you meet the City Council, your fate will be worked out there.

I am now in a cell in an East African country. My cell mate is from England. His name is Edward and he was in Africa with his family on vacation. He is coughing real bad and vomiting all the time. Edward, why are you so sick? Has it been something you ate. You have been sick for over two weeks now and should have been better by now. Edward responds, I think I have Ebola. What the heck is that Edward? It is a deadly virus and now you have been in contact. It would be better if you took your life now, there is now cure for this virus. I could tell I didn’t want this virus and I was going to stay real far away from Edward. Time went on and Edward passed only a few days after our conversation. I still have not come down with the disease.

I’m now getting out of my comfy chair in the living room, I look out and both of our children and their loved ones are sitting around the living room. I can smell the remnants of the annual turkey. I must have fallen asleep. Happy Thanksgiving day folks, I’m going to enjoy just being around family.

Bilodeau,D.H. 2014

Highway 95-Gobble Gobble

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I was traveling from Virginia to Central Maine to spend some time with my folks during Thanksgiving. It was raining real hard so driving was becoming very difficult. I was not getting any help on the driving front because my spouse was sleeping. The sky was becoming very dark and I was getting a feeling that things were going to turn sour real fast.

It was the smell of the Turkey, time spent with my siblings that I was thinking about. I really do believe this is the best holiday of any of them. Family getting together and having a great dinner. The folks will be so happy to have their children and grand child for Thanksgiving. The smiles on their faces, the drinks, and football. I heard a screech and the car in front of me is going sideways, fishtailing, roads are getting slippery now.

The road were getting horrendous and I was slowing the vehicle down to keep safe. We were moving into Southern, Maine over the Portsmouth Bridge when the snow was coming down so hard on Highway 95. The traffic was still moving at a clip when off to the side I noticed a speed limit sign. Wow, when did they move the speed limit up to 75 mph? I asked my wife. Can you believe that, people are going to kill themselves going that fast. I nodded and agreed with her. Still moving North and traveling very fast the car in front of me started slipping and crossed the centerline. The vehicle crashed into a semi, blowing the car into pieces, debris flying through the air.

The debris kept flying and smashed my windshield and something hit me hard. The lights went out. I woke up with dust flying through the air. It was the dust from the airbag. I instantly thought of my wife, how she was doing. I look over and only see her starring into nowhere. Her eyes not blinking. The debris had gone through the window striking her in the chest area. I had lost my love, the only one who understood me, my hugger. What was I going to tell my family, it was going to tear me apart.

The ambulance and fire personal came to our assistance. They dragged her out of the car, looking with a sad face, I knew there was nothing they could do. I was brought to a police car to be questioned and checked to see If I had been drinking. No officer, I told you I haven’t had a drink. The officer responds with me having to walk the line to check for sobriety. I think you need to settle down Mr. or I’m going to take you to jail. I guess I didn’t settle down and I was looking between bars in a jail. Where had everything gone wrong? I was alone, no family and in Jail.

I can tell you people and insist that you do not drink and drive this holiday and make other arrangements if the snow make traveling to bad. No person in this world would want to see anything happen to you, Turkey or not. Enjoy the holiday folks, be smart, don’t drink and drive.

Bilodeau,D.H. 2014

Snow Up The Ying Yang

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I was watching the news channel this morning and the reports of all that lake effect snow that has accumulated in upper state New York is the big story. I was amazed at the fact this isn’t even winter yet. People have been literally stopped in their tracks. Major freeway’s with tractor trailer trucks stranded in the middle of a super highway. People opening doors to their houses and nothing but snow completely covering the opening. There is one major factor the news is not reporting. People are stuck in their beds and making love because they cannot do anything else. I really wonder if the population is going to climb from this one single event. Another serious issue is that dogs are peeing and pooping inside the residents houses. I saw one dog trying to go poop in the snow bank, poor thing didn’t know he was pooping on the cat that was below him. It really is terrible all the snow that the Buffalo Region is getting. I wonder where the name Buffalo came from. There must of been herds of Buffalo’s there at one time is all I can figure.

A real serious issue I’m hearing is the fact that snowplow drivers cannot even get out of the barn. Really with a ten foot wall of snow in front of the blades it is impossible to even get out of the gate per say. The ladies of Isabella are not having their Fall walk of the streets this time. They have decided to cancel this event. I can hear sirens going off from over at the Buffalo Fire Department but no one is going anywhere. I see all the firefighters with their turn-out gear on standing looking in awe, mouth’s dropping from what they are seeing. Clyde’s barber shop is closed today too. All the local boys like to hang out there and have coffee. No coffee for the boys today because there is no power.

People really become close in events like this. I saw the whole Balsalmo Family gathered this morning around lodge at Spruce Mountain, Ole Victor is getting out his skis now. I think even Victor is wondering if he is going to be able to hit the slopes with this much snow. Needless to say they can all go into the lodge for the 25 cent hot chocolate and talk about family matters.

I really cannot fathom the amounts of snow that New York has received because I’m looking out my window at only a dusting, I do however feel for them and hope that all that snow is removed in due time.  I have full faith in the Buffalo Public Works department that all this snow will be removed before the weekend. Enjoy your day, I have to go out and find my dog and cat.

Bilodeau,D.H. 2014

Montico Passage

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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

Maine As I Know It

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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. pic 2

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. pic 5

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. pic 4

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. pic 3

©Bilodeau,D.H. 2014

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

 

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?

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.

Within The Forest Of Fire

plane%20crash%20kansas_1382128078871_3629612_ver1_0_640_480I was awakened by the sound of a loud crash. I looked outside and couldn’t see anything because of the darkness. There was a rumble that shook the whole house and I was freaking out. I put my clothes on in a hurry and made quick time downstairs to see if the house was damaged or a wall had come down. There was nothing to witness within the house, out of the corner window I saw a glow in the woods.

It was very cold out so I grabbed my jacket and hat and some gloves. I went to the cupboard and retrieved the flashlight. When I stepped outside the door I could hear a roaring sound with loud pops every minute or so. I walked closer to the glow and I could now smell something burning. I came to an opening in the woods, before my eyes, and strewn all over the place was burning debris for as far as I could see. The tops of the tree’s were on fire and fire throughout the forest for about five-hundred feet in width.

My mind was reeling and still I could not process what could cause such devastation. I started walking around the perimeter and I saw a suitcase, a doll lying on the ground covered in soot. I now understood what this devastation was. It was a jetliner that had crashed. I got on my cell phone and called 911. Here is the call. Hello dispatcher. I am in the woods and I believe a jetliner has crashed into my backyard. Sir, don’t play games with us. We are an emergency dispatch center and it is a crime to make false accusation’s about something of this nature. I am not fooling around miss, there is flames for as far as I can see. You need to send someone out here in a hurry. There might be people lying in the woods still alive. I’m going to walk around and see if I can find any souls. Sir? You are serious about this? Yes, I’m not kidding, send the fire department out right now. Ok, Sir, I will be dispatching the fire and rescue they will be there soon.

It must of been five or ten minutes and it seemed like the whole state had responded to this scene. I ran back to my house to check on my wife and two children. They were standing in the kitchen and understandably shaken by what they were seeing within the woods. Honey, a jetliner has crashed in the woods. My wife looks at me with a worry on her face. Honey? Is there any survivor’s? I do not know that answer dear but I’m sure the fire department will let us know soon.

We waited in the house for it seemed like eight hours and this one fire chief came into the house and told us that one soul had been found and is in critical condition. The person found was a young lady of around twenty-four years of age. Her passport stated she was from Istanbul and she was coming to America to become a chef in a famous New York restaurant .  I asked what hospital they were taking her too. Sir, they will be taking her to Presbyterian Hospital by the Bay. Ok, Thanks chief I appreciate this information.

I walked back out into the woods later when daylight came and was amazed at how much debris was strewn all over the woods. I could see a section of the wing and also the wheels from the jet. There was some things still burning but most of the fires were out. The firefighters had been there all night and were exhausted. The count of souls they found were to be two-hundrend and twenty-five. I started to cry and only had visions of how many families had lost their fathers, mothers, children,brother’s and sister’s. This was going to take me a long time to process and I hugged my family today. We all cried.

©Bilodeau,D.H. 2014

Crying In The Woods

Avalanche_Rescue_Dog_Looking_A_6552172I am part of an elite special search and rescue team out of Ashvielle, Texas. Our major concentration and training has been in Search and Rescue. I am special- qualified in low angel rescue and searching with dogs. Our team was called out to the the State of Maine because a woman had gone missing on the Appalachian Trail a week ago. I had my dog Bert with me and another person on my team was going with a search dog too. I had all my gear in my back pack and flashlights for hiking at night if needed. This woman was hiking alone on the AT when she failed to contact her husband Tony two days before. Her husband new that something wasn’t right and called the authorities.

The day started out with all our team meeting at the local fire station in Apton with our team leader Dean giving us a pre-op and giving us coordinates to search for the day. I looked over the map of the terrain that Bert and I would be canvassing and notice the elevation to be around 3200 feet. I had hiking boots with spikes in the bottom which gave me better traction. One of the firefighters gave me a ride closer to the area I would be searching.

I found out that this lady had an enormous amount of hiking experience and that she was well prepared for hiking in the mountains. I’m sure she just went off trail and got lost and that we would find her in no time. Usually our team found most people that we went looking for and I felt like this was going to be the same. I had been all day searching and calling out her name. Julia! Julia! I hollered for her all day and never heard any response back. I called back to my team leader Dean to tell him I had not found any indication of anyone hiking this area. I could find no foot prints and also looked for turned over rocks, or broken whips on the tree’s. The hike was starting to wear me down so I decided to stop and get some water. There was a big rock and the sun was shinning on it brightly which I felt would give me some warmth. Bert sat down next to me and I brought out some water for the both of us. I was looking at my map and making decisions to change course when I thought I heard someone crying from within the wood line about 100 meters ahead. Sometimes when your looking for someone so bad your mind does strange things and I just thought it was my mind thinking I’d heard a voice within the woods. Again, I could hear someone crying. This time Bert’s ears popped up so I knew that I wasn’t just imagining this sound.images

Bert and I  moved toward the ridge line and into the woods. The crying sound was getting stronger and I know could hear this person calling out, Help! Help!  We were about to cross over this stream and down next to the stream and near a large felled tree I saw a woman. I called out, Are You Julia? Yes, Please help me. I got on my two-way radio and called team leader Dean to give him information of my coordinates and that she had been found. Julia was so happy to see me. Here is a link of a true story that happened in Maine. This woman was never found.  http://appalachiantrail.com/20131214/search-missing-appalachian-trail-hiker-gerry-largay/

I accessed her condition and found that she had two broken legs from a fall she had taking. She had dragged her injured body at least one mile through the woods. She understood that she needed to get to a stream if she was going to be found. Both her hands were cut up as well. I took out my bandages and wrapped them around her hands. I had soft splints in my gear bag and splinted both legs the best I could. The crying from Julia had stopped. She had no more tears to let out. She was very dehydrated. The rest of my search team embarked upon the scene and we were able to carry her back to the fire station to an awaiting ambulance. Her husband was relieved that his Julia had been found.Cave_Rescue_training_12_4in

In the weeks afterward our team was called out to another search and rescue. The Arizona mountains, where a team of sky jumpers could not be located. Bert and I were ready for anything- – – – – – – – – – – –   ©Bilodeau,D.H.

Jetliner Lost?

fvUG-v8AI cannot find my keys. I understand that you can lose small items like keys, How can you lose a jetliner? I’m glad that authorities are still out searching the ocean for ten- thousand square miles. The first problem in this search is they forgot that the earth is round. They should be searching ten thousand round miles first. The next in the equation. How can lose something this big in the first place? I can understand a small items like your wallet, sunglasses can be misplaced, but not a jetliner.

They have the technology to find such things and for the sake of the family’s I hope that the liner is found and the people are safe. I lost my teeth once and had an easy time finding those lodged into a tree limb. I lost my virginity once but found this too. I got lost once and ended up finding my way, except for the time I got lost walking in the city when I was ten years old. A young lady found me and called the police, so this one doesn’t count. I have lost at gambling before, I never found that one back. We can lose things here on planet earth but sometimes we find the items or someone finds them for us.

I sure do hope this jetliner is found, I’m still searching around my neck of the woods but all I have seen is deer, squirrels, and birds. I will keep searching and maybe if everyone on this planet keeps searching we will find this airplane. I know we have the technology, we just have to keep looking.

Embarking On Time

imagesI would rather not admit it but I’m creeping up on time. I know this for the  fact the calendar is reflecting back at me a big number for my upcoming birthday. I can say this in here because there is no hiding the fact anymore of this day. With online posting of birthday’s, it is impossible to hide. I do realize that in not that many years I will be embarking on retirement. I know this is going to sneak up on me real fast because it seemed like yesterday I was putting diapers on our children and now they are adults.

I have often pondered about living in a warmer climate. I’m thinking Virgin Island or Puerto Rico as great destinations. I would like to be a snowbird when I’m older. This dealing with months of cold temperatures does get to one’s mind. To me there is nothing worse than working all night, taking a nap when I get home, then having to go out and snow blow the driveway, or shovel snow. The snow is very pretty for the first month, then it can go away. I’m going to plan our retirement so that my wife and I do not have to battle the weather, at least not in the cold. We are still children of time, but in a short time, we will be seniors of time. st-thomas-wedding-and-honeymoon-attractions-magens-bay-beach

Sometime when I think about how time evolved, it scares me. I don’t want someone digging my grave yet. I dug graves when I was a kid and was always day dreaming about what these people did with their time. I do not have boats, motorcycle’s, camper’s, or even an inner tube for tubing. What I do have is time, family, and a whole lot of dreaming. Good Day Everyone, I’m a little late posting today, I had to pass a little time.

©Bilodeau,D.H.

Hand For You

imagesLVUEGR8IWho was that person who held my hand? I was involved in an auto accident last year and spent six months in the hospital for numerous broken bones. I was driving a semi truck down Route 68 out of Toledo when a small car swerved in too fast into my lane. The only move I could make at the time was to cut the wheel as fast as I could to prevent hitting that small car. I looked out at my mirror and could see my trailer fish tailing. When the trailer came around it took the cab with it. I went down over an embankment and smashed into several larger boulders. The cab exploded and that was the last thing I remember except for the moment someone was holding my hand. I woke from what seemed like hours. I could hear voices, cut the A-post, then the B-post, and remove the roof. Still someone was holding my hand and I could not see anything. This hand holding was what kept me going through this ordeal. The next thing I know was I was lying in a hospital bed. My eyes had been wrapped up because of injuries to my facial region. Someone was holding my hand. I called out, Who goes there? No one answered my call. I could still feel someone grasping my hand as to say hold on, we will make it together.

Time has passed now and I am going crazy as to who that person or being was that held on to my hand the night of the crash , also the hospital bed. Is there someone out there that goes from person to person helping people in need? I want this job, I could do the same thing. You are going to be ok because I have your hand. AHELPINGHAND.COM would be my business. I know that someone was out there that day. I could feel the warmth from their hand. Maybe it was some greater power that is beyond my imagination. Maybe I will never find out. I just want to thank that person for being there for me. This story is a Fictional. I was not in any accident. Good day Everyone. Cool in New England. ©Bilodeau,D.H.

I Won the Powerball

images772GAL4TI have come to understand the meaning of winning the powerball. I made a trip down to the local store and bought my tickets. I sat on a Wednesday night with ticket in hand and I believe I dosed off.

The bells were ringing and necklaces were all around my neck. I was walking down the street with music and trumpet playing.  I quickly noticed that everyone was wearing necklaces. I looked around and everyone was waving at me. Well hello Mr. Gladmere, How are you doing? I nodded my head, then another person, a young lady, was walking with me and telling me that we had an appointment with the Mayor of the city at eleven tonight. She was telling me about the purchase I was going to make in this town. I guess I was buying a whole city block. What? How in the heck was I going to afford this? It is starting to get cloudy right now.

Darn it is hot outside, where in the heck am I? I am feeling air blowing across my body and look up to see two young ladies with palm leaves swishing them back and fourth to keep me cool. It is getting blurry again.

The feeling of water is splashing on my face. I open my eyes and I’m in the sailing vessel I just bought, and I’m off  to Bermuda for the weekend with my wife. The kids are with us and both of their boyfriends and girlfriends. Our granddaughter is also in the wheel house. Pepe? Can I take the wheel for a little. Ok Han, no problem, I hope you enjoy it. This is going to be a wonderful day. I’m starting to fade out again.

Pilot please respond, this is Dallas International Airport and your are on a decent to runway 111, roger? Ok, I’m really liking my new 747 that has been decked to the kilt. Now I can fly all over the world in comfort. I am really enjoying being a Powerball winner. I have everything I ever wanted, wait I need a new car. I will buy something fast when we touchdown in Dallas, maybe tomorrow. Things are fading again.

Dwayne, wake up, Wake Up I said! It is time to go to bed. I look at my tickets and cross them for what is on the screen and not one number is matching. What I’m not a winner? Oh come on. Enjoy the night. Maybe next time.

Nobody Can Hear Us

Rusty-Car-in-Grand-Canyon--44125They found Richard and Aimee in a canyon in Northern California. The rental car they had was a mere speck at the bottom of the canyon. Two young hikers had found them. Richard was barely breathing and pinned under the steering wheel. Both legs were pinned. Aimee was still conscious with a severe broken arm and also two broken legs. The two boys were able to call for help.

I had been waiting for them to arrived the night before. They had called weeks ago and had arranged a vacation to visit me in the High Sierra Mountains. I was worried about them, so the next day when they had not called me, I made a call to California Mountain Patrol. Nothing could be done because it had not been twenty-four hours yet. I called the airport to make sure they got off the plane. They reported they had, and rented a car. I decided to drive in direction of the Reno, Nevada airport, checking every skid mark on the highway. I didn’t see anything. I was getting very worried now.

The two boys made contact with the Mountain Rescue Team. Two men with ropes repelled down to the car. They called back up the road to have a  basket lowered to them. This was going to be a hard rescue. A helicopter was dispatched, and a fire department, to get a rescue tool to cut the roof and doors off the car.  Richard and Aimee were holding on, but for how much longer? They both had lost a substantial amount of blood and the color in their face was not good. Hours went by and finally and within time they were pulled from the wreckage. Both were raised to the helicopter and off to Reno Regional Hospital.

A call was made to my house, it was Richard. He told me about the accident. I almost passed out when he gave me that info. I asked how Aimee was doing. Richard replied; She is in surgery right now to repair the damaged legs. Richard I asked, How are you doing? I had surgery this morning on my legs too. I guess we will not be making it up to your house this vacation. Richard was always joking like that.

I went to the hospital to visit them all that week until a flight was arranged for both of them to fly back to Boston via Air Emergency Service. Their family’s were there when they arrived.

I guess from what I hear,  the accident was caused because Richard had looked down to get a text message and drove right off the cliff. Aimee was asleep at the time. Life can change right before your eyes, in a moment you can disappear. Text messaging when driving is not worth it. Put the phones away, or turn them off and wait until you are stopped, or home, before reading your messages. My friends are better today but walk with limp, a reminder of their vacation.

© 2014Bilodeau,D.H.

The Tahoe Experience

800px-Emerald_BayOne can only imagine how a parent must feel letting their son leave three days out of high school. My brother and I had planned this move at the beginning of our junior year. We both had worked part time to save enough money to move from Maine to California/Nevada region. Lake Tahoe was nestled up north in the Sierra Mountain range. I moved to a town called Kings Beach in California which was a few miles from the Nevada border and only miles from Incline Village, NV.

My brother and I flew to Reno Nevada and our oldest brother had awaited us with a limo ride to Lake Tahoe. This was amazing. I remember looking at the Sierra Mountain range and my brother pointing out the fact that was where I was going to live. Lake Tahoe sits in the mountain range at 6300 foot elevation. A magical place to see for sure. Eighteen years old and in a new part of the world. What an experience of a life time.

My oldest brother hitched me up with a job at a local casino working in the basement where the warehouse was located for the Hyatt Hotel. They had five restaurants and full bakery, and meat department in there. I worked this job for just a little bit, interesting that my boss was from Mass. It didn’t take long and I decided I wanted to work in the casino somewhere. They had a buffet, all you can eat place. I started working there part time and also Valet Parking. Both jobs were interesting and I met a lot of good people. I still have one connection today to a lady I worked with out there.

Life of living in a tourist area did however get to me and it was time to move south. I moved to live with my brother in Phoenix, AZ. I still will not forget the beauty of Lake Tahoe and I’m going to take my wife out there someday. The skiing was incredible also, Squaw Valley, Kirkwood, Northstar, Alpine Meadows, Ski Reno, and Heavenly.  I could ski at Squaw for 10 dollars back then with company discount. Another thing I miss about the Tahoe area was the natural hot springs. One place I would go to cost three dollars and you could stay all day. It was kinda of a weird place because a commune owed the hot spring and they were a very interesting group to say the least. The woman had to shave their heads for a year for purity and stuff like that. Whatever, that was what they were into.

If you have never been to Lake Tahoe area, I repeat, GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! You will not be disappointed. It is gods country, the most beautiful place I have ever been witness too.

©2014 Bilodeau,H.D.

Riding the Gravitron

untitledSpinning 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?gravitron_lg

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.33542main_hyper1

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.

John and Ralph

  untitled They had been planning a trip to Alaska for three years. This was going to be a camping trip like no other. John called Ralph again to make sure he was bringing his 30-30 rifle and enough ammo to last the two weeks they planned in the deep woods. Ralph asked John to make sure he had all the fishing gear and if he had to go to the store for anything. You know, last minute stuff. Looks like we have everything and Ralph told him he was going to pick up John at 0500 hrs. Be ready be square. John was wondering what he meant by be ready be square. Ralph always was making comments like this that totally made no sense. Oh, that was the way he was. A good nights sleep and off for our vacation of a lifetime. The airplane was taking off at 0700 hrs and we better be on time.

Ralph was honking the horn early this morning. John woke up early and had a coffee so he was quite ready. The trip to the airport was non eventful, with Ralph chatting all the way. Some people just talk to much, John had a headache now. The two of them gathered their gear and took them to customs to check it in. The rifle was going to be mailed by Ralphs’ wife and would arrive before they landed in Fairbanks. They both loaded into the airplane with John taking the window seat. images

The trip so far was very long and one can only read the magazines in the back of the seat so many times when you start going a little stir crazy. The plane had been flying for about four hours when suddenly there was a loud bang, a vibration under foot. The plane started gyrating up and down and baggage started falling from the cargo holds. We could hear alarms going off and the oxygen mask had extended. John and Ralph looked at each other and both knew that they were in big trouble. The plane started a decent like no other and the angle inside looked like we were going straight down, nose first. This went on for about a few minutes when the plane felt like it was starting to level off when all of the sudden the whole fuselage exploded. I could see people flying in the air and both John and I were bouncing off the walls of the plane. I hollered for John, and kept hollering. There was smoke bellowing, black, and I could see some fire ahead of us. People were screaming to the top of their lungs. Coughing, this black putrid smoke, to get even a little breath of air. The plane came to a stop and I knew we had crash landed somewhere. images

Ralph, Ralph ? Yes, I am right here John, you going to be ok? I don’t think so I’m coughing up blood and my right arm is severed. Please tell my wife I loved her, nonsense John, you are going to make it. Remember we are going on this camping trip together. We are going to walk right out of here and continue with our trip. Ralph? I’m not going to make it, you are my best friend, Tell my children I was the best daddy and I loved them. At that moment Johns’ color changed and he was gone. Ralph was devastated, his best friend was gone. imagesYL59QIUJ

Ralph had to figure out how to get out of the airplane. The smoke was choking him so badly that he had to escape now. He could see people gathering to the right side. This must be where the exit is located. Ralph made his way to the doorway and jumped. A slide was deployed upon impact so that emergency rescue was possible. Ralph slid all the way down to the bottom not knowing where he was in the first place. It was daylight, that he could tell through the black smoke. When he finally was able to get his feet underneath himself he took a look around to see where they might of landed. Certain things stated to look familiar, scents around him smelled like coffee. He could hear a bark in the distance and someone next to him where he was standing. Oh god where am I ? A voice, so gentle and pretty had  spoken. Honey! I made you breakfast, and made sure that all your bathroom supplies are packed. I wanted to make sure you was ready for the trip.imagesYZXJ2I7C

©2014 Dwayne Bilodeau