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

Sept.-15-22,  2019

Living with Parkinson’s

Sam & Phyllis Turner ©2019


We are trying a slightly changed format: Codes: At the end of this letter.

Is it better at the end, or should we keep them at the beginning?

09.15.19: 0500:

Ana F.: My dad took this picture in 1962, on the west side of Drachman school. I was 8. Lucy was 5. School had not started yet, so I was about to meet you {for the first time} on the playground! {Yes. We lined up for the pledge to the Flag.}

 Ana: This would have been my third (or fourth) year of teaching at Drachman Elementary school.  Who would have guessed that Ana would remain in touch with me 60 years later? What a story we have about our lives. SET

Nancy M.

Wonderful. I am writing memoir here in Omaha; different sections; Bio, travel,spiritual overall, Nancy

Good for you and your family, Nancy. Enjoy the experience.  SET

Ruth C. (Our sign Language Teacher)


Good writing. Yes, I skipped parts. You two are amazing!!!!!

Love,  Ruth

Thanks, Ruth. Have you seen Jeanne Robertson’s stand-up comedy on her husband (she calls him Left Brain) who took sign language, but only holds his hands facing him?  She is a hoot! Which parts did you skip? SET

Jeanne G.

Thanks for all the help and instruction in past years, both in classes and Quail Run Writing Group. When my voice aged and my singing career ended at age 75, writing filled the void. On March 2, 2018, you suggested I keep a journal, and that is when I started. I write every night in the Journal and also continue to write fiction, memoirs, or whatever inspires me. It is my passion. I enjoy hearing about your life and hope and pray for physical improvement for both you and Phyllis.

Thanks, Jeanne in Austin, Texas. Phyllis and I have fond memories from the Eater’s Digest Book Club, on through our writing experiences. You have a young granddaughter who is on the road to writing. Maybe she’ll become an opera singer, too. Won’t that be fun? SET


Leonard H.

Thank goodness your leg is movable again after a good sleep. And yes, I certainly recall the IRC at Wasatch, which was a big passion of mine in those days. I don’t remember the Nebraska event, but in the senior year, I attended a big IRC convention at a college in Milwaukee. Two BYU teachers took me along with him to Milwaukee and back by car: What an adventure!! Another IRC memory was that I was able to get Congressman Doug Stringfellow to come to W.A. to give an address to the student body. Big deal at the time, but Stringfellow ultimately left Congress in disgrace over an event involving the Korean War.

Thanks, Len in Darmstadt.  You have a better memory than I. Don’t know whether you ever kept a journal. Maybe writing for the Stars and Stripes (European Edition) satisfies that “assignment.” I would imagine that you have plenty of back material stashed away in your own office. SET

Harvey S.

GREAT MM this time, Sam. They’re always good, but this one was wonderful.

I agree with you in recommending writing down your thoughts/events/occasions daily if possible, or weekly or at other regular intervals. Even if those thoughts are only kept on a computer, they will be a treasure to descendants once we pass. (If we make advance plans to leave passwords, etc. behind.) I recommend reading M.L. Buchman’s Estate Planning for Authors. There’s a lot in there about a “final letter” in which you leave instructions to loved ones.

* * *

I only write when I’m inspired, so I see to it that I’m inspired every morning at 3 a.m. — my author website — my instructive Daily Journal

* * *

Thanks, Harvey. I ordered  Buchman’s book. Yes: By all means: Leave the passwords behind! Mount and frame them and hang them on the wall. SET


0800: 72 degrees – light rain dripping. 1400: Broken clouds. I’m all caught up with mail (for the next ten minutes).  Think I’ll take a break and watch CBS Sunday Morning.  By the way: Arizona over Texas Tech: 28-14 Football of course.

09.16.19: 0500: Up and writing. 0800: Breakfast and off to class.1500: Practiced for 30 minutes. League tonight at 1800. I shot 193/300 (close but no cigar.) When I break 200, I’ll type the score in bold. Three more weeks of League.

Came home to find PJ watching Dancing with the Stars. It’s that time of year, now. This is the 28th season of that program. I think we started about season three or four. That means The Voice will be starting soon. Ken Burns is running 13 or 14 episodes on the history of Country Music on Sunday nights. Then, there’s Victoria and Outlander coming in 2020.

In celebration for the temperature dropping below 100º, Phyllis made chicken vegetable soup this evening. She may be rushing the colder weather a little, but the soup was excellent and tasty.

09.17.19: 0530: A cool 78° makes for a good start this morning. We should have a relaxed morning with our first appointment at 1315 when we pick up Sharon L. for our Parkinson’s Support Group this afternoon. 1030: Practiced at the club for thirty minutes. 1400: PD support group: About 14 present not counting caregivers who meet in a separate room. Much of the conversation focused on balance and falling – planning ahead before the fall – what you want your body to do if you feel yourself going down. One member was an ex-paratrooper. He spoke of the “planned” roll or skid on the ground. Another subject: Depression for the single person –  feeling alonethe need for company – the need for a caregiver or a companion. {In past meetings, this need has been mentioned. Two ladies worked out a companionship/caregiving agreement that was enthusiastically received by some members of our group. But I don’t think this couple has ever shown up again. I’m sure that Cynthia H. knows.}


09.18.19: 0600: Up and writing.  0715: Left for PT training with Tresha. We are working on our posture. 1100: PJ had her Red Hat Luncheon. I worked on my WIP. I had a few moments of inspiration that moved the story right along. It’s exciting when the idea comes and the block of time is available to be able to sit down and pound out the story. ‘Course, I didn’t pound because I’m using Dragon. I’m becoming more comfortable with this program plus I’ve been reading the help sections. (Finally.) 


Here’s an example:

 REMEMBER: Dragon hears everything!

Never forget that unless you tell Dragon to stop listening, it will record everything it hears, including:

  • Your dog barking.
  • Your end of a phone conversation, or discussion with your coworker (In this case, SWOMBO!).
  • Words you mutter under your breath. (such as Day-um!)
  • Chewing noises when you snack at your desk.


 I have to remember these things.

1400:PJ returned with part of her dessert from BJ’s Restaurant all for me. I fixed some edits that she suggested on the last three pages of my WIP. I have some choices as to which character I want to follow for the next few pages. The neat thing is: I’ve got some options. I’ll let them “cook” for a little while and see what happens. Going to stop now and watch some news and/or finish Episode #2 of History of Country Music.

 PARKINSON’S Cognitive problems. a good discussion with doctors. Some of you are interested:

WEBINAR “What’s on Your Mind? Thinking and Memory Problems in Parkinson’s LINK:


Relax now, and enjoy our granddaughter, Bekah, enjoying lunch at the Slurp Slurp Café  in Chicago.

1115: We had our first PD session at the Sheraton Hotel with two Massage Therapists.  I was interested in seeing how similar this session would be compared to a personal therapist who has worked on me several times.  (The jury is still out.) We have been drinking glasses of water – an important thing to do after a massage – and we are tired, as would be expected.

We stopped at I-Hop after for an ersatz chicken salad.  Then, Costco for a month’s supply of items. I bought a case of computer paper which should keep me supplied for a few years. Ha!

1700: Time for us to watch the news. We had the last of PJ’s soup and finished Episode 2 of History of Country Music.



From Ian L.

Thanks much. I think I mentioned  to you once that I have diaries and journals dating back to when I was a young boy eleven years old.

What’s the age of your youngest descendant? He/she may be the one who will appreciate those journals – along with your other 100 or so descendants.(!) Do  you ever go back and read them? Pick a date like today and read what happened ten or twenty years ago.  It may surprise you. I had a lady in one of my memoir classes do that. She had an old diary from 1940.  (She said, “Oh nothing ever happens, but I’ll read this.”) Turned out on that page, she surprised herself when she described walking up the stairs to her apartment when her water broke! -SET-

09.20.19: 0500: Up and trying to wake Dragon. Have to shut it off and reload it.  Strange day, today. League shoot was not impressive: 173/300.09.21.19: 0515: Al and Dexter Dog and I were visiting just after sunrise when Casey drove up in her 1993 Chevrolet Suburban. She’s been back East. She’s about three or four weeks late because of towing-trailer problems. $11,000. worth of towing problems and truck rentals. It’s a great story.         

Al suggested an excellent title:©

She got the trailer

I got the bill!

I’ll get with Casey and have her tell me the story again. Three weeks of car trouble.

(We have been watching The History of Country Music obviously.)

Harvey: The Estate Planning for Authors arrived.  Looks good. Thanks for the suggestion.

We went to bed by 2030 – both tired.

09.22.19: 0500: No church today. Both of us are worn out. We had to return an item to Costco this morning. We came home and took a nap. No more today @1500 hrs.


Codes: At the end of this letter.  Is that better? Or do you still want to begin at the top? Send me a note one word: top or bottom.



ALOHA: Adult Loss of Hearing Association      
APDA: American Parkinson Disease Association
BSC: Bristol Stool Chart
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!
HOH: Hard of Hearing         
HS: Harvey Stanbrough Pro-writer and mentor (
IBS: Irritable Bowel Syndrome (often associated with PD)
MJFF: Michael J. Fox Foundation
NAMASTE: The Spirit within me honors the Spirit within you.
PSG: Parkinson’s Support Group(s)
PD: Parkinson’s Disease
PMD: PARKINSON & Movement Disorder Alliance
P.J.: 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
RWA: Romance Writers of America
TAODW: The Art of Dying Well-A practical Guide to a Good End of Life, by Katy Butler
TCF: The Compassionate Friends (For parents who have experienced the death of a child or sibling.)
WIP: Work in Progress (Hiker Man) or (32º North) Title undecided. Writing is my vacation!
YISKA: Navajo for Darkness has passed.  (Also the name of a Navajo Border Collie who barks in Navajo!)

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