Countdown to DBS 8 days French Fries, Pi, Doves and Love

French Fries, Pi, Doves and Love

Last night these beautiful, intelligent women held a pre-lecture discussion group at Hales.  Topics presented for  review included the story line of the book we were to hear about tonight, the most recent travel logs of all in attendance, a review of health status of party members and their parents, spouses and pets, and most importantly could the group order and consume french fries before it was time to attend the presentation.  The french fries arrived in a timely manner and each took a dainty amount onto their  personal plates while choosing from the array of  dipping sauces provided.  One  plate of Hales french fries is sufficient for 5 women.  Yet Ford Bonney, owner and auctioneer of great skill,  prepared a another plate of fries and delivered them his very self. The second plate was placed directly in front of the person to my left. Be sure to notice those french fries are NOT in front of me. I want everyone to know I consumed only one french fry, and I took 25 minutes to eat it.  I also want everyone to know I sometimes fib.

I have known each member of this group for many years.  Seated at this table were professional colleagues I have held in high esteem.  They  were also backpacking buddies who dared to tread into the high country of Eastern Oregon in late August for the annual “last wilderness adventure before the school year” got into full swing.   We had great times!

I am glad I was included in this gathering.

The discussion, the lack of wine drinking, the french fries and the friendships renewed were compliemtned by the lecture sponsored by Altrusa International of Hermiston. Isn’t that what we gathered for anyway?

As I was leaving one member of this party gave a warm hug, held me for an extra second and offered very sincere well wishes for my upcoming surgery. This person gave me my first job, wrote a recommendation for adoption of a child and encouraged me to stretch and grow in my profession much further than I ever imagined.  I can’t describe the love and support exchanged in that brief moment.

Another moment such as this occurred this afternoon.  A fellow perigrina came to visit. She and her   husband had traveled some distance to see me before my surgery. And they brought Pi, I mean Pie. 3.14 , wasn’t that yesterday?  Pie is Pie even if it was made yesterday!!  Anyway, we walked together on the Camino de Santiago in September.  Two seconds after sitting down we were into stories while the husbands jumped into their own conversations about man stuff. Five hours was not enough time to catch up.  We grabbed on to each other and hugged hard as she wished me well. I  promised next time I see her I will be  different in some way…but not in my love for her.

My phone had a message from a friend who had moved away a few years ago.  We have had a few contacts since she left, but an ocean of events in both our lives have gone uncrossed because of distance.  At the end of the message was “I love you Carol”.

The house was quiet this evening.  Luke was at practice and Charlie was teaching CPR.  I sat by the big picture window playing my guitar.  Outside I saw that blue blue sky with puffy clouds chasing each other away from the sunset.  A lone dove landed on the phone wires  that reach across our driveway.  Last week we found the remains of another dove in our lawn, perhaps this bird’s partner.  The lone dove looked west as it rested on the wire.  It made me think about the inner quiet I feel when I watch the sun set into the horizon and the peacefulness as the dark night slowly creeps from the east.  I thought about last night and today, and these long time friends who brought me love and support.

Another dove flew by…then came back.  It was a little darker than the bird on the wire, maybe younger.  It did not stop to rest on the wire.  The lone dove left its roost,  with the backdrop of blue blue sky and clouds racing away from the sunset, and joined the darker feathered bird in its flight.

We need each other. We need to show our love and tell our love much more than we do.

French fries, Pi, Doves and Love.  My heart feels full.

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 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 (541) 720-4256

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