Camping Extravaganza #1 (First Responders): The Respiratory Therapist and the Social Worker

My parents used to drag us camping and fishing every weekend. Misery.
However, I just wrote a camping novella and needed description of how it smells, tastes, and feels to be in the woods. What’s a girl to do? Should I venture forth into the mosquitoes and pine needles? But Jews don’t camp, and I try to avoid it myself.
I asked my friends for help, and so many of them came through, with such glorious, thick descriptions, that I decided to do a camping blog series where I describe a little about my friends and let their words speak for themselves.
First up, Tracy VanDalen Bradley, a respiratory therapist at the Cornwall Community Hospital. Not only is Tracy an excellent RT who can handle everything from crash intubations to chronic diseases, but she helped rally us to the SPCA fundraiser, she’s quite hilarious at the Christmas party (you know what I’m talking ‘bout), she devours books, she’s a mom, and she used to be a hairdresser! I know the last sounds like a non-sequitur, but one day I was admiring her braids, and she was like, yeah, I used to do this for a living, and I was like, all this, and a hair whiz too? No way!
Tracy wrote,
Scratching of raccoons and squirrels, cracking of wood branches,buzzing of fireflies and Mosquitos and snap crackle pop of the camp fires.
Smells great out there. Like fresh water, pine, and camp fire.

We have fireflies around our house, and they always seemed pretty silent to me, but Tracy assures me,

Fireflies sound like the buzz in you hear around high power electricity (high pitch humming).


I don't have any good pics of me and Tracy. Better bring my camera to the Christmas party!

Here’s a picture of Anastasia and Jake graduating from “school readiness.” Our babies are off to school. (This picture has nothing to do with camping. Confusing, eh?) I don’t have any good pics of me and Tracy. Better bring my camera to the Christmas party!

Right on! My other first responder was Kandy Gray, a social worker and carpenter whose son Jake is the same age as Anastasia, so we’re mommy friends. You’ll notice that Kandy has dyslexia and I didn’t correct her spelling and grammar.

september tenth: means that you will be pritty much alone in any provincial park (every one packs up after labor day), but the animals are still adapted to people and come out more because there are less people and you can get quite close (i have a pic of a momma deer trying to eat my engagement ring with a fawn beside her) hot enough in the day to swim in the lakes but COLD at night, so you cuddle up to the camp fire with a blanket and a heat reflector behind your chair. in september there are less bugs. it smells so fresh! not the hot summer smell of wet green, but the cool early fall smell of drying green things. the shady bits smell much greener than open areas that are starting to dry out. it only starts to worm up around 10am so you have to wair layers if hiking, because it worms up in the afternoon them cools down again around 4pm so you are constantly taking off and putting on cloths. make shore she brings a hat! preferably a Tilly… they rock. morning and evening canoeing rock in september! not too hot and lovely smells of lake and trees. i could go on and on! its my favourite time to camp. call me over for tee and i will fill your notebook if you want.

Kandy remembers a teacher telling her mom, in front of her, “Don’t be surprised if she doesn’t go on to higher education, because some kids just don’t have the potential.”
Kandy went back and showed that teacher her Dean’s list letters as well as her TTS diploma (CÉGEP). “You don’t have the potential to teach children. You should stop.”
Not trying to start a war here, but as Kandy concluded, “Dyslexia doesn’t mean anything except you have trouble spelling. That’s all.”
Tomorrow’s guest will be Lorina Stephens, who wrote a glorious prose poem.