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(Like so many pieces of laundry, morning thoughts aren’t usually organized.)

JUNE 9 – 15, 2019

Living with Parkinson’s

Phyllis and Sam Turner ©2019

APDA: American Parkinson Disease Association
BBC: Bisbee Breakfast Club
CH: Cynthia Holmes, Ph.D. Neurology
CPAP: Continuous Positive Airway Pressure mask (for Sleep Apnea).
DBS: Deep Brain Stimulation (much improved since Michael J. Fox!)
HEH: Happily Ever After!
HS: Harvey Stanbrough Pro-writer and mentor(
IBS: Irritable Bowel Syndrome (often associated with PD)
MJFF: Michael J. Fox Foundation
PSG: Parkinson’s Support Group(s)
PD: Parkinson’s Disease
PMD: PARKINSON & Movement Disorder Alliance
PJ: Phyllis – my wife: SWOMBO (She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed) A contributor and #1 editor.
PT: Personal trainer Tresha,  including daily in-home exercise assignments for PD
TC: Tai Chi Chuan for balance and body health once a week
TCF: The Compassionate Friends (For parents who have experienced the death of a child or sibling.)
WIP: Work in Progress (32º North)  I write every chance I get.  Writing is my vacation!
YISKA: Navajo for Darkness has passed.  (also the name of Sara’s Navajo Sheepdog who barks in Navajo!)

We get letters:

Sheila Bender <>

And how nice to see the photo of Phyllis and Virginia!Happy belated birthday to Phyllis!
And how full of life this newsletter is!
And wonderful dialog!

Kurt and I are in Italy post my teaching here. Leaving Rome tomorrow for Seattle.
Our nine days of travel from Florence to Orvieto to Rome are ending today with a meander to the Spanish Steps and Trivi fountain and a stop to buy Italian coffee and biscotti to bring back for my mom.
SET:  Umm. Biscotti!

06.09.19: I’m working on THE BENCH a little each day.

Several of you have asked how my (our) writing is going.  For those who may be interested, some days I can type; some days, I have to use Dragon for dictation.

You see, It’s not ALL Parkinson’s.  Some days I wouldn’t suspect anything was out of the ordinary; other days, PD is at the top of the list. Aside from IBS, I’m doing fine today.

Phyllis and I did something unusual this Sunday: we, along with the congregation, signed a Declaration of Inclusion to support an open church. Basically, it says that if you are a living, breathing human being, and come to our church, you are welcome.

This next site comes from the bottom of the Maytag washing machine, from May 11.  Glass blowing. I finally got one to work!  That’s PJ’s sister blowing her glass.  It lasts about 30 seconds:

There were fourteen in our group.  Once they discovered they could make 16oz. beer glasses, most of the group decided on that. Since Swombo and I only have Blue Moon beer, (once every Blue Moon), we opted for the ice cream bowl.

See? I’m gradually catching up with some of last month’s work.  Enjoy.

Jupiter is near Scorpius by 2000 hrs (8:00 pm).  Binocs will show the moons, and with a little more power, you should see the cloud bands.  I may have to get out my scope.  The problem is: Tucson has clouds right now.

From Bobbie S.

Salivating reading about your peach smoothie.  YUM

Thanks, Bobbie, for reminding me.  I think we’ll get one tomorrow when we have Pauletta over to view South Pacific with Reba  .

1700: I got material for The Bench.  We’ll watch the Tony Awards this evening.  We only saw a third of it and had to go to bed. (Many interruptions.)

View from The Brett Bench.

06.10.19: 0530: Even more clouds!  It looks like it might… possibly… maybe… even rain! (We had a light sprinkle in the late afternoon.) Ida came at noon and did Swombo’s and my hair. 1400: Pauletta arrived. We watched South Pacific, crying at the appropriate times. We finished watching the recorded TONY awards. Much of it we didn’t understand.  Why?  I don’t know. Too modern?

06.11.19: 0530: Clear skies today.  But last night was too cloudy to view Jupiter. Tonight maybe. We have our Quail Run Writing Group this morning.  All six of the group will attend Bev’s. Rumor is that she will have deviled eggs.  That’s a good thing.

Sharon presented an update on Burma Shave signs. (If you don’t know what those are, ask your parents.) Here’s a sample of Sharon’s signs:

Got a dawg an’ a truck

And that’s all I’ll need

To write that hit song

Soon’s I larn ta read.

What a delightful way to start our writing group.

Flo presented two short memoirs: A Fond, Anxiety Provoking Memory (involving a roll-over in a Model-T); Earl: A Memorial (as a high school sophomore, being smitten by a new boy, ending up going steady.)

Pauletta shared her experience visiting St. Anthony’s Greek Orthodox Monastery (located 10 miles east of Florence, Arizona) entitled A MONK’S LIFE.

Phyllis shared her appreciation for the birds and animals that visit our back yard.

Bev continued her drama/mystery of Maggie and Marissa dealing with amnesia.

Sam presented a few pages of dialogue from his WIP (Thirty-Two Degrees North)  between Kenneth and Ayasia who are adjusting to each other’s idiosyncrasies.

Swombo rested for the afternoon.  I ran errands picking up prescriptions and stopped  at the bank. We finished the stir-fry leftover. Tomorrow, I’ll bake a squash. Clouds prevented a view of Jupiter.  Maybe  tomorrow night.

06.12.19: 0430: Just couldn’t sleep anymore. 0630: Awoke Swombo for our exercise class with Tresha @0730. Then, she has PT for an hour; next to her bridge group at the Hilton East with her friends. I have one errand.

06.13.19: 0415: The idea was to place The Bench (Now called The Brett Bench in honor of Brett Brower who gave it to me.) in front of the inner garden facing west.  The birds thought it was a good idea and immediately put deposits on ownership.  It needed sanding and Teak Wood oil.  I moved it under the eves facing north toward the inner garden.  Suddenly realized I forgot to buy thinner for clean up.  Ace opens at 0730.  I have an hour. (I only work in watercolor, and I don’t need thinner for oils.)

Guy, Sam, Larry (above) Phyllis and Carl (below) All members of The Compassionate Friends so many years ago.

06.14.19: 0500: 74º under clear skies. 0730:Took the Buick for general maintenance plus new windshield wipers. Thanks to Tucson’s chuckholes, I now have new shocks.

1300: Practiced archery at the club.  Shot thirty arrows. This was the first practice in five days.  I’ve been Battling (PD) IBS, which is finally settling into a healthy range.

I didn’t realize that the League had started last Monday. Turns out I can make up the missed day by shooting tonight, then Monday, then next Friday. The league meets Mondays and Fridays. I am only required to shoot one of those days, which gives me a way to make up missed days.  I’ll probably go twice more to put some time in “the bank.” in case I have interruptions in my schedule.  Mondays will be my regular time to shoot, after June 21.  I plunked down my $89.00 registration fee and joined the league for my first experience in competitive shooting since 1957. The score accumulates over eight to ten weeks. Each meeting, we shoot thirty arrows (Three arrows = one end) We shoot five ends at a low target and five ends at a high target; all at twenty yards. A perfect score for the evening is 300. I shot 138/300, which is a start. (If the goal were to write 3000 words in two hours, then I would have written 1380 words in two hours.) Just as in writing, I accomplished the goal of entering and shooting. At no point is this score (for me) a failure. I am “failing on the way to success.” There are twelve members in this League.  Many have been shooting for several years.  Most are shooting in the 275-300 range.

06.15.19: 0500: 0715: After writing the above, I stepped into our back yard and shot six ends @20 yards while it’s still cool. o800: Breakfast, and then we will go to the gym.

06.16.19: Today is our wedding anniversary – 62 years.

We were married on the South Rim of Grand Canyon at the old Shrine of the Ages site, marked by a 250-million-year-old rock altar of Kaibab limestone and an ancient, bark-covered juniper cross.  Twenty guests sit on benches plus another thirty who happened by on the walking path, including a couple on a motorcycle who parked and watched the service. We stood on ancient fossils – shells of undersea creatures millions of years ago.  Phyllis in her white ballerina wedding dress and I held hands as our Methodist Minister, Rev. Hilka Green, led us through our marriage vows.  We stood, overlooking the Bright Angel Trail, where we heard the mule trains clomping their way, echoing off the Canyon walls a thousand feet below us.  Red dust from their clomping rose above our ledge drifting northward across the Tonto Plateau.

The El Tovar Hotel stood in majestic solitude across the chasm.  Past that, we could just make out the silhouette, thirty miles to the east, of the Desert View Hopi Watch Tower. Best Men, Fred Morgan, George Mechner, and George Pepperdine, Jr., stood with me.  PJ’s sister, Ruth Slocum, Francis Zadrick and Lucy Northcutt stood with Phyllis.  PJ’s parents, Olive and Harold, and my recently widowed mother, Eloise, plus two aunts, Pete and Sis, filled the front row seating.  Janice and Larry Benatz (Sis’s children) were flower and ring bearers.  Lucy and PJ were roommates while attending the U. of A. Lucy stood next to a pinon tree thirty yards back in the forest and sang – acapella (from Kismet) “And This is my Beloved.”   My cousin, Shirley, played a portable pedal organ.  A squadron of pygmy nuthatches fluttered their way through the pinon pine branches, wishing us a happy future.  The little birds didn’t need formal invitations.  The Spirits of our ancestors were certainly present.  Ours was an audio/visual experience filled with the sounds of Nature, sounds of Life, and the Spirit of Love.


Happy Father’s Day, everyone. Blessings.

Sam and Phyllis

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