The Little Fox House

Are you wondering what I am up to today?   I awoke before the alarm from a dream about chasing pigs off  Maryhelen Peterson ‘s porch.   After a luxurious hot shower  I headed to the bus station for tranporttation to a place  where I would still need to walk 18 km.   Just by chance the information office was open at that early hour.  I asked there and found an afternoon bus to the exact location I needed.  (Or so I thought). Now what to do with my time!    I went to a bar where I was served a cafe con leche grande, a small honey covered croissant and a shot of OJ.   It cost 1 Euro! !!!  I walked about 4 blocks from the bus station to the Camino…About 10:30 who should I see but Carol Lundeen and Ann on a fast pace to the Catherdral.  There was a quick exchange of greetings and well wishes and we promised to meet up  Friday.     Now I wait for a bus!.  Ease dropping on the women sitting behind me I heard a variety of American accents.  Southern, Western, Minnesotan.  I inquired if they were headed home.  As we talked I checked out their hiking boots. The condition of one’s boots tell a lot.  These boots looked in good shape, almost new.   The woman nearest me explained they had met up in Lisbon for a reunion of Peace Corps workers and decided to walk a little on the Portuguese  route. The conversation was cut short by their bus arriving.  One thing for sure, they had enjoyed shopping.  They juggled  several bags along with their packs. I longed for some non pilgrim clothes..

The bus driver nodded yes when I showed him the name of the town where I thought I needed to be….I had written it on my hand for lack of paper.  I sat right in the front so I could see the countryside and get off at the proper place. It s very nice of the Spanish to have a sign to identify the town when you enter and exit. I did not recognize any of these names.  
The bus  carried workers and people who had been grocery shopping.  No other pilgrim looking person was on board.  One woman had 10 plastic grocery bags of items she had selected from the store. The ride became quite curvy as we wound our way through river valleys and over passes, occasionally stopping alongside the highway when someone flagged the bus down, or pulled the cord to tell the driver they wanted to get off.  Soon the bus was empty of all passengers except me.  The driver glanced at me with twinkly eyes and a grin and cranked up the radio.  We boogied along as if the big bus was actually a sports car. He slowed and stopped near the entrance of a town.  “Vimezeo” he said.  That sounded Italian.  Was this the wrong Bus?  If so it was really really wrong. I had to trust.   Two women sat in the small park  near the bus stop.  I showed them the address of The Little Fox House, thinking I was in the correct town.   They shook their heads and gestured “far far away”. Ahah!  I asked if a taxi was necessary and the older woman nodded yes.    Across the street someone’s grandmother was standing in a doorway.  She stared gesturing to me. And as I understood it she was telling  me ” go down this street and take the first right .” I followed her gestured directions and I entered  a bar.  It made perfect sense to find the taxi driver in a bar. Yikes! Actually  It was siesta time the mentoring nearby  hung out and the women went home to prepare lunch for the children . I walked in the bar in full pack with my walking sticks.  I must admit I was confused when all the men looked at my boots. We’re the checking to see how many miles. I walked?  We’re they embarrassed for me? “Taxi?” I asked sheepishly.  “Is there a taxi driver here?”  The bartender came around the corner just then and told me to go back to the bus stop where the taxis were parked.   He assured me that a driver would be along soon. I walked out the door and back up the street.  I gave the grandmotherly woman across the street a thumbs up and she smiled.   Soon enough a man appeared at the taxi stand.  While he was taking the sun visor off the windshield I tried to ask in Spanish but I could not think or the word for “fox” and all I could think of was Casa de Ratone.    “Casa de Tracey Saunders?” I asked.  In perfect English he responded “The Little Fox House”.  “Yes. Across from the white church”. “Of course”  he responded and off we went to a tiny hamlet about 7 km away.  After a short drive I arrived!   Arriving where you are supposed to arrive is a good feeling.  It was especially nice to arrive at this place.

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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