What’s In the Ditch: more views from the stoker

What’s in the ditch?
In my book “The Ribbon of Road Ahead” I wrote about what I did to entertain myself while riding in the “stokers” seat on the tandem bike. I think I built a car and ran it on whiskey fumes from items found in the ditch on Despain Gulch Road, but you will have to read the book to be sure Being in back has its benefits, one is I always know where Charlie is. The second, because I cannot see around him, I spend a fair amount of time looking at what’s on the side of the road.
The original title of this post was “Shoe shopping on Edwards Road”. I only saw one pair of shoes next to the road on that ride. Although I was glad it was a pair or someone would spend their whole day looking for their one missing shoe, the shoes had no laces and honestly, were not in retail condition.
I thought my story would be called “Shoes and socks” when I saw something white going by on the left.
But what I spotted was a little girl’s white fleece glove. This was on the trail near the flooded park. Had it come downstream with the waters as they spilled over the banks and undercut the path? I think not. The white glove appeared to have been out in the weather, but not in a flood. Without its partner anywhere nearby I could only suppose it dropped out of a pocket when she reached inside for that last bit of the brownie she had brought home from the school’s party that day. Without its partner and a good cleaning, it was not in condition for retail resale.
The hat I spotted was out in the road near the sign “END of 30 MPH ZONE” and had not yet been smashed by a passing car. My thought was that a farmer had taken it off and set it on the cab of his pickup while he kissed his wife goodbye for the day. He did not notice the missing hat until the linger of the kiss was gone from his lips. I looked at the hat with its sweat-stained band and faded emblem, and thought “no, not worth stopping for” as it has no retail value.
There wasn’t a lot to see out there in the ditches today. I didn’t collect anything of any retail value. I didn’t sell a book to the man throwing a ball to his beautiful red dog, or the guys getting ready to pour a foundation for a new house.
What I did collect was sunshine, a soft cool breeze, a couple hours of bicycling and the undivided attention of my husband.
Much more valuable and I didn’t have to go into a ditch to find it!

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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