When I’m 64

I have a birthday most people  remember.  Its February 14th, Valentine’s Day. As long as I remember, my dad handpicked chocolates from Brights Candy in Walla Walla and placed them in a special heart shaped box.   Mom made heart shaped cookies or a cake.  In good times and in bad times, they always tried to do something memorable.

Mom and dad have been gone awhile now.  I have the cookie cutters and the cake pans at my house. There really is no reason for Charlie to drive to Walla Walla to get my favorite chocolates, but making my  birthday memorable, that is something he observed my parents doing and picked right up on it.

On my 16th birthday my brother John had his first acoustic guitar send to me.  I played that guitar until it was unplayable.  And I still have it.

 When I had my 29th birthday, Mary Kinsch proclaimed it to be St. Carol’s Day. I am not a saint by any measure.  It was always nice though to have someone proclaim it.

On my 50th birthday Charlie filled the cafeteria at Hermiston high school with friends and colleagues who roasted and toasted me.  And that year I received a welcoming into the elite group if  1 million people in the US  who have Parkinson’s disease.

Charlie dreamed up a birthday surprise that had me laughing from the get-go.  He told me to get dressed up so I sort of did.  Although  there are many friends I would love to have join me in the celebration, Charlie chose two excellent individuals to represent everyone: Erick and Nancy Peterson.  We met this couple last summer and we hit it off all around.  When I saw them walk into our front door tonight, I was exuberant.

Charlie announced we were going to a progressive dinner.  He proceeded to drive to the Ice Harbor Brewery in Pasco, WA where we had appetizers and I had a cocktail.  We entertained each other with stories and jokes until 7:20 pm.  Loaded back into the pickup (guys in front and girls in the back seat)  Charlie drove us directly to the Cameo, which is a special event  venue built into a hillside amongst the vineyards and alfalfa fields of the Walla Walla valley.   A bumpy gravel road took us over railroad tracks, across the Walla Walla River and past a heard of grazing deer to the restaurant portion of the Cameo.  Erick provided a commentary about the axe murderers we were going to meet.   Nancy and I got out of the truck wielding our canes and ready for any attack.  We weren’t disappointed to be met by a pleasant wait staff who attended to us through out a 7-course meal.  I must admit I haven’t been drinking for quite some time so tonight bottle of wine caused quite the sense of silliness. Let’s see how I feel in the morning.

I am tired as I end this story…

            Charlie delivered us home safely. 

Hugs and kisses were exchanged in gratitude for the terrific night out.

And folks  that it in a nutshell.  I had an early birthday celebration. 

AND…it was great. 

waiting for a pro

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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