Whisperings May 10. Seven days to programming session 2

“This used to be a wheat field ” I said to myself as I sat on a garden chair shaded by mature oak trees.  This winery wasn’t here when I rode my horse along Berney Drive as a kid.  Leonetti’s was just a little bit up the road from the white ranch style  house where I was raised.   My brother Tim and I were wine tasting during the  annual  Walla Walla Valley  “release ” weekend. He had just asked “Where are the pea fields? Do they grow peas here anymore ?”  I said I thought they often rotated with wheat, but now I see many of the old wheat fields have  grapes. Red grapes: Merlot grapes and Syrah grapes and Cabernet grapes. Tim remembered the pea vines (no grapes back then)  falling off the truck as it rounded the corner near our house. We  devoured them  which horrified our mother.  I also remember riding through the rolling hills of peas and reaching down from the saddle to pull up some plants abundant with pods.  I split the pods with my teeth and sucked the sweet young peas out. Our pea gathering techniques were expressed differently, but in the event we shared a common memory, unusual for our difference in age.

A warm wind whispered in the trees. Some flower petals dropped on the pavement nearby. A young girl in a brightly colored frock brought clean glasses to the tasting room.  It whispered spring!

My brother recognized my fatigue and left me to sit.  He found the wine tasting room and returned with  a generous  portion of the winery ‘s famous Merlot.   I smelled the familiar fragrance of this wine just holding the glass in my hand.  When I brought it to my lips the taste brought back so many memories of special occasions, or even quiet dinners at home with my dad.  These memories whispered in my ear  “Remember when?”  Dad  would say “Charlie, why don’t you go down to the basement and bring up a bottle of wine”.”What kind?”  “Oh get some Leonetti’s Merlot “. An expensive choice for a quiet Sunday afternoon.   It whispered “content”

The voices around me were subdued.  This was a members only tasting.  The attendees may have been a bit more well mannered than the costumed crew we saw tumble out of the van at the last winery. Conversations were all around me. As the wine tasters
exchanged  dignified verbiage I imagined  whispers of the first time  they tasted Leonetti’s. Special occasions or occasions made special by good wine and food and family and friends. First times should always be spoken about in whispers, don’t you think?

Tim came back with sliders from the BBQ.  The meat was excellent. The sauce superb. We sat quietly people watching. An acoustic duo sang  folk songs of the 70’s.  Savoring each sip and eating the sliders slowly….one of  those rare times …It whispered   “perfect”.

In 7 days I will have the second programming of the neurostimulator.  Charlie and I will get up early Tuesday morning and drive through the beautiful Columbia Gorge.  Its a lovely drive, oh so very green in spring with the white water snow runoff cascading down the basalt cliffs. 

This moment I look ahead to that drive and the results of the visit to Oregon Health and Sciences University.

I want to shout   SPRING!  to the hillsides and wildflowers and waterfalls.

I want to shout CONTENT! to my husband of so many years
And to the doctor at  the completion of the programming I want to shout …PERFECT!

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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