C minus 14 but who is counting…trying my stuff out.

When I was a little girl, coming home from shopping meant trying everything on again to show dad. Today was my  “try it on day”.  So, Dad what do you think?

It’s important to me to know what Dad thinks. Shortly before he passed away in December Dad reminded me. “Carol do what you want to do while you can.  Don’t wait and then have regrets”.  

I take those words to heart and put them into action. Glad for his blessing  I keep dreaming, planning, adventuring.  In this race against time I am a head in front of Mr Parkinsons.  Coming down the backstretch I hope to beat him by lengths.
Trying stuff out.  
Everything I take on the Camino has to be tried and true. So there has been need to replace some of my travel gear.  Shopping online is such fun!! Waiting for the goods is not.

The woman who delivers the mail has been bringing me lots of packages.  She makes me happy. I’ve excitedly met her at the door or in the driveway or I have even scrambled out to greet her at the road. 

I gleefully take the package and sing ” it’s Christmas again it’s Christmas again.”  She is a friendly person and smiles and laughs with me but probably wonders. Today I happened  to be out by the mailbox when she pulled in with the package from Amazon. Retuning  from my practice hike  I am wearing  new clothes, my full  pack, with trekking poles in hand and dripping sweat.  She doesn’t eask.  Do postal workers have a code of ethics?  Are they sworn to secrecy.? Did they take a vow  of a confidentiality?   Yesterday I missed her delivery of my daily package. Stuffed iin the mailbox was an REI envelope containing  bargains  from the outlet: A new Sahara shirt and a base layer top  Oh do I love new things.   Thank you postal worker .

A little about today’s walk
My clothes from my pack were spread all over. On the Camino I will need to be better about keeping things in their place.   The items were easily stuffed  back  inside and maybe ended up where they actually belong.  Socks and boots are no question  for me.  I am set there.  Yet I need to consider how long it takes to do any taping and get the toe socks on. No issues with my trekking poles.  I decided to try out a selfie stick.  though I  not sure I’m going to take it. It was kind of fun to figure it out. I filled a big water bottle and stuck it in the proper pocket and didn’t even make me off balance ( which tells me something  else is off balance in my pack.)  

Off I went across the street, down the sidewalk, past the hospital and up the Butte.  The Butte is the only hill around here.  Inside ithe basalt dome is the city’s water tank.  It’s more if asthetic  now that ithey took the ugly reservoir off the top and buried it there in the basalt. The Butte is covered with trails. some with  pretty steep pitches and others are just gentle grades. Today I walked over as fast as I could and took several of the grades up and down especially “down” where I realized I haven’t been doing enough down because going down my knees started a litany of complaints. Ignoring the pain,   I hauled back home quite fast. 
I’m sprawled out on my bedroom floor again, resting. This time I’m not leaving a huge puddle outlining my sweaty body. Immediately upon entering the house my boots were removed.  Sweaty hiking clothes were peeled off.  I walked directly into the shower.  Clean and cool now it feels good to be sprawled out.  

My mom once told me the world is the biggest classroom. Travel and learn.  My dad encouraged me to go now when I can, while  I am physically and mentally able.  
Travel enriches me on so many different levels.  But what about the Parkinson’s?  What about the back pain.?  
 I can and do have the same issues wherever I am in the world.  So why not travel? 
Two weeks from today I will fly to Paris!

Published by Carol Clupny, author The Ribbon of Road Ahead: One Woman's Remarkable Journey with Parkinson's Disease

I am a middle aged woman with Parkinson's Disease. When I was first diagnosed I spent a lot of time researching the disease. Seeing a video of a man in the advanced stages of the disease attempting to get out of his chair and then "freezing" as he tried to walk across the room got me off my butt and moving. Great adventures on the Camino de Santiago and with TEAM Pedaling for Parkinson's across IOWA, as well as the day to day adventures of life have lead me to writing. My first novel, a memoir, was published early 2019. It is called, you got it THE RIBBON OF ROAD AHEAD. Living with the degenerative neurological disease Parkinson's, ULTREIA is a word that guides me. I have chosen it as the name of my business ULTREIA BOOKS. It comes from Latin and old French and means "unfailing courage". In the old days, pilgrims would call "Ultreïa" to each other as encouragement "Go up, go further!" Nowadays we would say "You can do this thing". It takes courage to live with Parkinson's. May I face each day with unfailing courage. Ab Here is more about me; I was living an active lifestyle riding horses, hiking, climbing and snow skiing when at age fifty I was diagnosed with Parkinsons. Retiring from my career as a speech-language pathologist I decided to “take to the road” to battle the disease. My first steps, walking out her door to the mailbox, lead to trekking over 1000 miles of pilgrimage trails on the Camino de Santiago in France and Spain. A dusty bike discovered in the garage resulted in four rides on the Des Moines Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa with the Pedaling for Parkinsons Team. These adventures inspired me to write a memoir The Ribbon of Road Ahead: One Woman’s Remarkable Journey with Parkinson’s Disease. I blogs about my everyday life as a middle-aged woman in the mid-stages of Parkinson’s disease. My honest, humorous, and casual narrative style brings the reader to an intimate understanding of my resilience and acceptance. My blog, sharing the name of my book ”The Ribbon of Road Ahead” can be found at www.ultreiablog.org After completing a Masters of Science in Speech Pathology from Eastern Washington University I received certification in School Leadership and Administration from Lewis and Clark College. I provided speech pathology services and later became a program director completing 32 years in the wide geographic expanse of eastern Oregon. Active in the Oregon Speech-Language and Hearing Association I received honors of the association and the presidential award for work on recruitment and retention of speech and hearing professionals. Il presented numerous papers and projects at local, state and regional professional conferences. I was appointed by Governor Ted Kulongoski to two terms of the Oregon Board of Examiners of Speech Pathology and Audiology, the state’s licensing and consumer protection agency. Since my diagnosis in 2008, I has become active in the Parkinson’s community as an advocate, an Ambassador for the Davis Phinney Foundation and support group facilitator for Parkinson's Resources of Oregon. I was appointed the regional patient representative for the Parkinson's Foundation’s Women with PD TALK study. In September of 2019 the Michael J Fox Foundation selected me to participate in the Parkinson’s Policy Forum in Washington DC. As an attendee at the World Parkinson Congress in 2016 in Portand, Oregon, I presnted a poster session examining the decision making process for patients considering deep brain stimulation. At the 2019 WPC in Kyoto, Japan I presented a poster on vision concerns of women with PD and lead small group discussions. Myr book The Ribbon of Road Ahead has provided many speaking opportunities for Carol. In 2019 and early 2020 she visited 24 support groups in Washington, Idaho, Oregon and California to share her thoughts on living well with the disease. In addition, she has presented talks for The Center on Aging in San Francisco, Parkinson's Place in Las Vegas, Northwest Parkinson's Foundation in Richland WA and virtually through their HOPE online program. In late 2020 I rejuvenated her voice and narrated her book. It became available as an audio book in 2021. As part of this project I read stories over the airwaves on RadioParkies Australia with DJ Madonna and in Great Britain with DJ Johnny Parky. She and her husband Charlie have two adult sons. They live on a small hobby farm in eastern Oregon. Contact Information: Carol Clupny PO BOX 128, Hermiston, OR 97838 caclupny@gmail.com (541) 720-4256

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