Carol Tondreau

Being near, on, or in the water ( maybe Saugatuck) would be a big part of the perfect day for Carol. Followed by getting cleaned up, going to a bar and having a few drinks – and not having to worry about driving home. She thinks the many lakes of Michigan offer good opportunity to do exactly that.

Carol was born in Providence, Rhode Island, but grew up in Pawtucket where she and friends attended games of the Pawtucket Red Sox, often sneaking into the stadium. She has stayed on the right side of the law since.

Carol and her future husband, Al, met when they were teenagers working at Pawtucket Memorial Hospital. She went on to earn two Associate degrees in Business and Nursing. This was followed by a varied career working as a medical secretary and for an engineering firm and, later, a job in real estate. She has been a nurse for the past 34 years and is currently at St. Joe’s Hospital where she works in the Electrophysiology Department. This involves working with doctors who implant defibrillators and pace makers, and perform ablations. Carol says she is usually the person in charge of administering “conscious sedation” which allows the patient to remain in a relaxed, but conscious state throughout the procedure.

Pickle ball became part of Carol’s life when an old friend from Rhode Island called and encouraged her to see where she could play around this area. Carol found out about pickle ball at Scarlett and started playing there on Fridays, but soon began coming to MLM. She’s been playing about 14 months now and is “hooked.” In fact, she sometimes wakes up at night dreaming about the sound of the ball hitting the paddle. Her arm then jerks into position as if preparing to hit a shot. Dangerous woman! She describes playing the game as a good social experience. The most difficult part of the game for her is trying to think ahead in order to hit away from people instead of just reacting by hitting the ball back so it can be easily returned. She looks forward to hearing the “sound of the game” – that impact of ball on paddle – every time she walks into MLM.

Right now, Carol is not anticipating retiring for a few more years. She laughs when she describes herself as “the oldest person in my department,” but says she still feels good and really enjoys the work. She works three twelve hour shifts each week which allows ample time for pickle ball.

Carol and Al moved to Michigan in 2000 after having lived in Perrysburg, Ohio and Fayetteville, N.C. Al is employed by Davco Technology in Saline. They have three grown children. When she and Al decide to retire, they would like to “do the Panama Canal all the way” and also cruise the islands of Hawaii. Al is currently studying Spanish, so a trip to Spain is also likely.

When I asked her “what is the one thing you have most regretted buying”? (the first of some different questions for these interviews) Carol thought for a moment and said “most of it was bought by my husband, Al – the elliptical, the tread mill, things for the boat. Then it is up to me to eventually get rid of it.”

My next question (also new) was “what is the one thing you believe everyone should have regardless of cost?” Carol quickly said “a comfortable bed.”

Other questions I’ve not previously asked:
Your greatest achievement? “My children.”
Living person most admired? “My sister, Paula.’
Trait in yourself you most dislike? “I make faces, unintentionally, which convey wrong impressions of me.”
What makes you happy? “Friends, family, music, good food, my dogs, working in the yard, and camping near Lake Michigan – and the sound of pickle ball.”

Carol has a ready laugh and conveys enthusiasm and humor. She will be 62 years old on December 2nd.

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