Q is for Quit yelling at me! – or – We’d be running from Sleestaks if my dad hadn’t saved us.

Growing up in the northeast corner of Oklahoma, Dad took us camping at Grand Lake just about every weekend.

I've been camping and fishing for most of my life. Stop the madness!

I’ve been camping and fishing for most of my life.  Not a fan.

I love the lake but camping isn’t my favorite unless it’s in a stunning hotel with maid service and a champagne brunch. This was not an available option at Gray’s Ranch.  We had a van.

We've got it going on, y'all!

Yes, there are curtains on the windows.  I know – fancy!

It was super ugly creepy  fabulous.  Not that we got to sleep in it, kids slept in the tent, which was always set up over the only patch of boulders within a mile radius and what I think was a tree stump.

There's a lot going on in this picture...that's a grill made out of a trash barrel.

There’s a lot going on in this picture…that’s a grill made out of a trash barrel.

But we had the lake…and rain. Why does it only rain on weekends during the summer?

Side note:  My dad has been married to his current wife for almost 30 years, she is amazing!  Before he met her, he spent a few years married to a different kind of woman.  Let’s just say that she had some “issues”.  This story is about her

On this particular camping weekend o’fun, I was washing dishes in the rain with my friend Stacey while my step-monster-mother yelled at us like a Drill Sergeant, “Get them dry!  We’re not doing anything else until every dish is DRY!”   She was a nurse, so I’m sure she had to take at least one science class and at some point, someone had to mention that you can’t make water evaporate during a rainstorm with a wet towel and sheer determination.  Maybe she skipped class that day.

Meanwhile, my dad had gone to check that the boat was tied properly and wasn’t going to get loose during the storm.

A snake bit him on the leg while he was in the water.  Seriously.  True story.

We all got into the van to take dad to the hospital.  It was still raining and we were on a winding road with no shoulder or guard rails and to the side there was some kind of cliff that dropped off into infinity.  My dad was calmly sitting in the passenger seat while his NURSE wife was full on freaking out – gagging and screaming while driving.  Then she started complaining about being dizzy and how she couldn’t handle the sight of  blood – it’s not like my dad had an open wound, y’all.  It was a TINY snake bite.  Did I mention that she was a nurse?  Jeez.

Nurse Crazy screamed something about needing to get out of the van and slammed on the brakes.  The next thing that happened has never made any sense to anyone who witnessed it – the nurse opened the door and jumped the fuck out.  She jumped out of a van full of children and her injured husband.  Jumped.  In the midst of her visit to crazy town, she neglected put the van into park.  Remember the cliffs and the drop off – I wasn’t exaggerating.

i couldn't find a picture so I tried my best to illustrate what was happening.  You're welcome.

I couldn’t find a picture (everyone was too busy screaming to capture any of this on film) so I tried my best to illustrate what was happening.  That says “oblivion” not “old ivion”

We started to roll and were headed straight into Land of the Lost territory, when my dad dove head first over the console and slammed his face onto the break, stopping us just in time.  He yelled to the nurse to get back in (I would have left her ass there) and drove himself to the hospital.  He was fine.  The snake wasn’t poisonous and his face didn’t even need stitches.  Looking back, this may have been the beginning of the end.  That was a doomed relationship.  I don’t think she even liked camping.


American German – language lesson #45

Jenseits des Tales standen ihre Zelte. (yen-zites des tails stan-den ear-a zel-ta) Across the valley were their tents.  It’s a German folk song.  It may have something to do with Sleestaks but I’m not entirely sure.



  1. Adventures in camping, oh my! The most memorable one my brother and I had was watching our parents attempt to put up a tent (uncle failed to include the poles). We ended up in a hotel.

  2. Oh my god! Can you imagine her every time they brought a patient in?
    Where was she nursing, at ‘Loonies R Us’ for the criminally insane?
    Great pictures by the way. 🙂
    Lily recently posted…A-Z Challenge – R is for Resume..My Profile

    • julieyoujest says:

      No kidding! She was an EMERGENCY ROOM nurse for a while, then she worked for a podiatrist. There’s gonna be blood either way!

  3. Wow … and she was a nurse? Where did she work, a doll hospital?

  4. Samantha says:

    Ah, yes…She Who Shall Not Be Named….I remember her very well from our junior high days together! You were always a easy going kid, except for the stuff she pulled – her stunts made you go postal, before the federal workers even thought of going postal! Thanks for the memories.xoxo

    • julieyoujest says:

      That is THE perfect name! I’m going to start using that reference when I tell stories about her – and boy do I have some stories. That woman was bat shit crazy! I have yet to meet another person (ok, maybe one) that could make me flip out as much as she did.

  5. Wow, that is quite a story. We had to go tent camping too. HATE IT!!! Every time my fiance mentions camping I just pretend to be interested until something takes his attention away from it. After six years, I still haven’t had to go. Soon, I know.

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