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Lodi, California - 2011

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Saturday, July 16, 2011: We've arrived in Lodi, California to help my parents while my Father has health issues. Fortunately, they have a large driveway and we can park near them to help on a daily basis. We are likely to be here for a while so plugging into their 20 amp service used for the washing machine will not serve our needs. Our holding tanks will survive a month before needing to be dumped (we've learned conservation techniques from our desert living). There is a "clean-out" at the rear of the house so with enough sewer house, I can dump the tanks once each month.
I've done some serious wiring in a past life so it was easy to add a 50 amp RV service to the house panel. This is an old house but someone added to the original electrical panel by putting a subpanel on the back of the house. Maybe when they upgraded the heating and air conditioning system or added an electric range, the new panel was added. It was not very professionally done and was a mess to deal with but still plenty of empty spaces to add the double 50 amp breaker needed for the RV circuit. Click the photo to see the panel. I just need to secure the ground wire, replace the panel cover and I'm done with the circuit. The job took 3 hours and cost $225 in parts. New 50 amp service for the RV
Grab bar installed in my Father's bathroom Sunday, July 17, 2011: This was a day to be with my Father since my Mother took the day to attend church and socialize with her church friends. It was well deserved since she is on-call 24 hours each day. Care-giving is new for me but I'm learning slowly. When I was visiting northern Indiana and the Amish community, it was interesting to me to see the Amish focus on family and community. Indeed, their refusal to accept most modern conveniences and machines is to keep the focus on family and community unity. So they are involved intimately and dependent upon each other for life. Compare to our culture where our focus is on individual accomplishment and self support; independence and competition. I'm learning that independence may work OK most of the time in our culture but if one gets to an age where walking from the easy chair to the lunch table is as big a challenge as walking a quarter mile for the rest of us, independence gives way to dependence on others, sometimes for the most personal needs. Where the Amish are involved and dependent upon others for life, it's a learning
experience for me of how to be the most help and how to become involved in another person's personal needs. Today I helped my Father get dressed, count accomplishments during his physical therapy exercises, discuss the placement of the new grab bar in his bathroom, discuss the repairs needed for a handrail into the garage, and how to wash the truck when Lodi has an every-other-day water policy and yesterday was our day. I measured the length of sewer hose needed to reach the clean-out and only 40 feet was needed in addition to what I already own. I purchased hose from Wal-mart and tested the system. It worked just fine so now we have "full hook-ups" at the house. Parking only a few feet from the house means being involved in every moment of my parents lives where I've not been involved in every moment since I was 18. That's another change in our lifestyle. Again, compare to the Amish lifestyle where the individual is involved in every moment of the family and community for life.
Monday, July 18, 2011: No photos today. After a morning bike ride plus a couple of repairs around my parents house, I drove my Mother to the post office, bank, grocery store, ATT cell phone store to replace her cell phone, WalMart to return some wrong size medical stockings and finally to another grocery store for some fresh green beans at 99¢ per pound. Gwen fixed a wonderful dinner of green chili stuffed chicken for all. It was a exhausting day. Tomorrow the occupational and physical therapists pay a visit to my Father.
Tuesday, July 19, 2011: This was an exhausting day for my Father he was visited by a physical therapist and occupational therapist for about two hours each. He has to show both how he got around using his walker, how he sat down at the kitchen table and how he got in and out of bed. It doesn't sound like much but for someone with very limited mobility, it was a struggle. We were sure how an occupational therapist would help us but we learned it was her job to find ways the physical environment could be improved to help my Father improve. The goal of each of the therapists is to help my Father become more "independent". Again, interesting to compare the goal of the Amish ... to become more DEPENDENT upon each other. Of course, we are anxious for my Father to get back to the lifestyle he is use to, independence.
Wednesday, July 20, 2011: I got a short break today so I talked Gwen into having lunch with me in downtown Lodi. We chose the Lodi Beer and Restaurant. It was a very pleasant atmosphere overlooking School Street in downtown Lodi just across from the Post Office. Neither of us had beer. I would return with my sisters for beer (Gwen does not drink beer) but we were both disappointed with the meal. They were expensive and should have been outstanding but nothing spectacular here. We would not return for food. This was a day for visiting for my Father. My Father is 88 and today had lunch with a 90 year old friend. It was interesting listening to these two men talk with each other, both are hearing impaired so there were lots of repeated sentences. Each had their own lunch items and each shared with the other. Mean-while, the wife's took off for a social meeting with church friends. At 3 pm, the pastor of my parents church came to visit. Following that visit, another friend came to visit hoping to see the two Golden Retrievers now living with my parents (Morgan and my sister's Golden). My project for the day was to make major changes in my Father's bathroom. To me, there were too many potential accidents in the bathroom just waiting for a time to happen. I'll detail the changes at a later post. Lunch at Lodi Beer
My courageous Father working back to health

Thursday, July 21, 2011: My Father is courageous and making tough but good progress. He is working with Thomas, his physical therapist. Every step is a struggle for my Dad but he continues to follow the instructions given him from Thomas. Because of his hard work and positive attitude, Dad has made improvements and is doing better than he was doing a week ago. I've learned that the belt around Dad's midsection is called a gait belt and is used as a handle by the therapist. to help give support. Dad keeps up a busy schedule of exercises and visits from friends and health care workers.

This evening, I have moved to Reno only for the weekend to help my som prepare as a nursery for my grandson to be born in September. I'll be returning to Lodi on Monday.

I can climb this too. Chloe is a swinger
We enjoyed the park together I like sand too
Friday, July 22, 2011: What fun! I got to spend nearly two hours with Chloe at the park! She likes to do everything from swings, slides, climbing and digging in the sand. We didn't have a big breakfast so Chloe is snacking most of the time as she plays. Click any of the photos for another view.
Saturday, July 23, 2011: Chloe gets a new bicycle today and gives it a try on her deck. This is a new experience for Chloe. It's a German made bike given to Chloe by a friend. There are no pedals, Chloe must learn to push with her feet then coast while sitting on the saddle. She also must learn to balance the bicycle. This will all help her when she switches to a bicycle with pedals, she'll already know how to balance and won't need training wheels. Click the photo to see another view. Chloe tries out her new bike
Remodel a bedroom for baby brother I'm visiting Reno to help my son Ben remodel a bedroom for Chloe's little brother who will arrive in a few weeks. We painted the room in two colors with a chair rail between the two. We've added shelving above the closet plus nursery furniture. Ben had a "chop saw" which made the angles we cut for the chair rail easy. I have a pneumatic brad nailer which made installing the chair rail quick and easy. Don't blame Chloe for her hair, she just got up from her afternoon nap. Ben and I had been waiting for her to wake so we could continue with our remodel without the worry of waking her from the nap. We finished our remodel later in the day and Ben still had the strength to barbeque some steak for dinner. Tomorrow will be a day of fun with Chloe. Click the photo for another view.
Sunday, July 24, 2011: Today was a play day after the finish of all our bedroom remodel work. We decided to head to a nearby lake for a picnic. I rode in the backseat with Chloe, we played with a stuffed bear and ate snacks all the way to the lake. Click the photo for another view. Chloe and I ride in the back seat on the way to Stampead reservoir
Standing in Stampead Reservoir We found a private location to enjoy the lake. It was busy with ski boats and jet skis. We had a nice picnic lunch in the sand and rocks at the edge of the lake. Chloe played with the rocks, sticks and waded in the water. We took a short hike on the lake shore and found a lizard. Chloe is always interested in animals. She never tired of playing with her shovel in the sand or wading in the water. She was eating a good lunch for the two hours we stayed on the beach. Click the photo for another view.

Monday, July 25, 2011: Today is travel day for me. I'm finished in Reno helping Ben and Kim change the guest bedroom into a nursery. The queen bed from the guest bedroom needs a storage location and my parents guest bedroom desperately needs a new queen bed for guests. So .... it's loaded into my truck and I hauled it down Interstate 80 for 3 hours to Lodi. This solves both problems. When Ben and Kim want the bed returned, I'll be hauling it the other direction.

I arrived in Lodi in time to learn from the Occupational Therapist working with my Father. She is mostly concerned with the equipment my Father uses to help him get around. Today we made a final decision on the style of wheel chair which would be most helpful.

Moving a queen bed from Reno, NV to Lodi, CA
Gwen gives my Dad a professional haircut Tuesday, July 26, 2011: Gwen is MY barber but today she also became my Father's barber. My Father has a lot more hair than I have so she was able to do much MORE for him than she can do for me. He got the best haircut and he likes what Gwen did with his hair. Nothing could have pleased my Father more today than this haircut. It's interesting how special something as simple as a haircut can help my Father to feel much better. He also spent much of the afternoon in study and practice of the six exercises given to him by the Occupational Therapist yesterday.
Wednesday, July 27, 2011: While traveling with Janet and Ralph earlier this year, we were taught the card game, Eight Handed Marvin. We played with them many travel nights. Tonight we taught my Father, Mother and Sister how to play the game. It's a memory card game where each player must remember four cards in their hand. I've decided there is something not fair about the game because my Mother often forgot her four cards but won the game. My Sister and Father tied for second only two points from Mom. Gwen and I did awful with lots of points. This was a good family time with Dad. Playing Eight Handed Marvin after dinner

Dad exercising with the Occupational Therapist


Thursday, July 28, 2011: Our day began with a visit from Lorraine, Dad's Occupational Therapist. Besides checking Dad's environment for grab bars and things which might trip him, she teaches him how to exercise his upper body. This was also a day to visit a doctor specifically to check his medication dosage and get new prescriptions. My sister and I accompanied my Father. This was a doctor in the same office as the doctor he met for a second in the rehab center. That doctor was not available until October. This doctor was a Vietnamese woman. I've never been more unimpressed. This doctor would not be able to pick my Father from a lineup with two wheel chair patients. She looked at the swelling in his legs, otherwise spent the rest of the time reading his hospital reports and typing in the computer. Her diagnosis was questionable but we got the prescriptions we were looking for. I question the entire medical practice at this office.

Friday, July 29, 2011: A good day for Dad. He was more mobile than usual this morning, tried new "scrubbing" tricks in the shower and helped to dress himself. He had enough energy to walk outside, sit in the sun while waiting for Thomas, his Physical Therapist. As it turned out, we stayed outside for the exercise session. The afternoon was spent "resting" by all of us ... it has been a tough week and we all needed the rest. Gwen and I watched "Source Code" later, exciting movie.

Planning and building a short fence with a gate, digging the post holes.

Saturday, July 30, 2011: This is a project weekend. My sister Sandy and her husband Ed arrived to help. Ed is an experienced fence builder. We only have a short fence to build, 16 feet but my Dad wants a gate in the fence, that will complicate the design, at least for me. At first, I thought this would be and easy one day project but that wasn't the case. My Dad came along to act as the supervisor.

Sunday, July 31, 2011: I had purchased only ONE bag of cement but Ed corrected me by saying we needed TWO bags per hole and we needed a different kind of cement. Back to Lowe's we went for more supplies. It was 2 hours work to dig the four holes we needed. We dropped the posts and cement into the holes and it didn't take long for the posts to be solid. When cutting the 2x4s for the fence cross supports, we learned none of the blades on Dad's tools would cut butter so that meant another trip to Lowe's for new blades. I used my brad nailer to hold the fence boards in place for screws. We finished most of the fence except for the gate on Saturday. I completed the gate using the hardware Ed chose on Sunday. You can see more of the fence by clicking on any of the photos for additional views. Note the ladder against the far fence? I used it to look at how the neighbors fence was built.

The fence is up Dale poses with the last screw into the gate
Jeron visits and plays with Morgan and Amika Monday, August 1, 2011: My sister Dorana came to visit and brought an out-of-town guest, Jeroen. Jeroen is ten, so about to go into the fifth grade. What a fun time we all had with him. He is full of energy and talks without stopping for a breath. His family is visiting my sister for a week before he must return to Arizona to begin school. He immediately took to my Father and tried to help him get around as best he could. We all decided to teach Jeroen Eight Handed Marvin, the card game we just taught my parents and sister. Jeroen caught on immediately and was winning the game until the last two hands. Jeroen was refreshingly frank and stated how he was expecting "to be bored stiff with having to visit with OLD PEOPLE but figured he could play with the dogs." However, he was enjoying his visit SO MUCH, he "couldn't believe how much FUN we were and that we would play a game with him rather than watch TV." He did not want the evening to end and wants to come back as soon as Dorana will bring him. Jeroen was the life of the party and we all enjoyed having ten-year-old-energy in the house. Jeroen also helped with the dishes without being asked to do so.
Tuesday, August 2, 2011: I needed to stay around the trailer today to meet the insurance adjuster who was to give an estimate of the cost to repair the damage to our trailer from our Nevada blow-out. However, I rode off early on my bike to look for boxes. I need several large boxes to start cleaning out my parent's garage. A "keep" box, a "garage sale box", and a "what-to-do-with-it" box. Finding boxes in Lodi is much harder than it looks. I quickly learned to look at smaller store trash bins because all the large stores have box recycle machines and strap all boxes together for recycle. Someone in this store has just installed several large ceiling fans so they have some really good size boxes. I noticed all the nearby garbage cans were at the street so the garbage man may be on his way. I scurried back home, changed shoes and jumped into the truck without changing from my bike riding clothes. I now have six good boxes to sort stored items. I bought "contractor trash bags" to fill with items for disposal. As soon as I have a truck load, I'll take a load to the dump. Meanwhile, I'll get the garage organized. How hard can it be to find a box in Lodi?
The beatup recliner Wednesday, August 3, 2011: This beat-up recliner came from the "sun room". It has been useful for 40 years but it was time to move it to the curb to make room for a twin bed we may use for an "exercise table". We already had the experience of paying at the dump to dispose of a 50 year old king bed where it cost $45 to dump the bed. This chair looks in bad shape with torn arms and stained upholstery but the frame and reclining mechanism are in good shape. We thought we'd get rid of it with a "FREE" sign on a busy road but after 24 hours, the chair was still sitting on the curb. So I listed the chair with this photo on craigslist and freecycle giving only the address of where to find it, no phone numbers or email addresses since I didn't want to be answering the "do you still have it?" inquiries. After the listing, I took my Mother shopping but we returned in less than an hour. The chair was gone when we returned. That saved us grief and the disposal cost. Unfortunately, they took the "FREE" sign too ... I know we'll need that again.
Thursday, August 4, 2011: My Father has been a docent at Lodi Lake since 1987 and my sister, Dorana joined him this year. Today a special group formed to tour the nature area around Lodi Lake and Dad introduced the tour from his car seat. He had a prop sitting in his walker, a California Indian mortar and pestle. Dad explained how the Indians used it to grind grains into a powder. He also explained some of the trees and plants the group would see. Dorana took the group on down the nature trail for the tour. This got Dad out of the house and lots of exercise and he didn't even know it was exercise (he doesn't like doing his exercises). Pass your pointer through the photo to see the group from another angle. Dad teaches a nature class at Lodi Lake from a car.
Ralph, Julia, Josh and Janet Friday, August 5, 2011: Ralph and Janet couldn't stand being away from their grandchildren any longer so have flown into California to visit them. The grand kids are not too far from Lodi so we joined them for lunch and back-to-school shopping in Tracy today. What fun it was to bring Ralph and Janet up-to-date on what's happening with us and to hear the tales of their adventures in South Dakota (including the hail that destroyed a solar panel, their awning and put nearly $4,000 of dents into their truck). Julia and Josh were also great fun. They gave us practice at shopping with grand kids for school clothes. Julia was quick to choose several nice outfits but Josh was very carefully to find just the right pants which had to be "soft and fuzzy". At this age, price was no object, only the usefulness and characters on the clothes mattered. So we passed up the "clearance sale" racks because they weren't the right styles. Before leaving them, we filled the kids up with frozen yogurt and gummy bears so I hope Ralph and Janet don't suffer the consequences.
Saturday, August 6, 2011: My opinion of the medical people we have seen so far in Lodi is NOT high, especially of the physician Dad visited. However, after challenging the doctor to order the correct blood tests, we picked up the order several days after the visit. (She ordered five tests, none were correct before the challenge.) Today I took my Father to the lab to have his blood drawn for the tests. When the phlebotomist walked in with the rack of test tubes you see to the right, I asked, "surely those aren't all for my Father." After answering that they weren't, she told us the story of a doctor who ordered tests which would have required 35 tubes of blood. She called the doctor and the order was changed. My Father's tests took only 3 tubes of blood. He didn't complain about the procedure but the trip to the lab and back was all the exercise he needed for today. The lab won't give me the results for 15 days and I would have to bring my Father back to personally give permission to get the results to me. I was told I could get the result next Tuesday from his doctor. We'll see how that goes. Time for a blood test
It's International Dinner night at Temple Baptist Church gym Sunday, August 7, 2011: Our goal is to get Dad moving so tonight he had to use his walker to get out of the house and into the car. Then he had to get out of the car and into his wheelchair so we could tour the international food booths. We all had tickets to International Food Night at Temple Baptist Church in Lodi. Dad toured each booth investigating the food of each nation. This was his first outing in nearly two months of rehabilitation so he had many friends stop by to say "hello". We sat through and enjoyed the entertainment after the meal then loaded into the car again and used the walker to get back into the house. It was a fun evening and lots of good exercise for Dad. This is the way to do exercise, in a fun way.

Monday, August 8, 2011: Our outing today was to a memorial service for a long time friend of my parents. It was another strenuous outing for my father but it involved food just like the last time so lots of motivation. Dad also had a visit from his occupational therapist and physical therapist today so he complained about the lack of energy to both. The OT says to keep pressing.

The memorial service included a program where family members described their Father, Grandfather and Great Grandfather (the gentleman was 89.5 years old). Nearly all the children/grandchildren described how they learned the "work ethic" from the man. It reminded me of how I made my children work for an hourly wage for me until they were old enough to have a work permit (15.5 years old) then they had to work for someone else. However, that's not what I hope they remember ME for. I'll have to email them tonight to remind them of how I taught them to have fun. I'd rather they remember me for teaching them "how to play".

In the photo, my sister Dorana is learning how to push Dad in his new wheelchair. This was taken during our walk to an open house only a few doors from my parents house.

Getting out and around with my sister
Meeting with friends Char and Wayne Tuesday, August 9, 2011: Almost exactly one year ago we met Wayne and Char in northern California. Wayne was our boss when we took the camp hosting job managing six national forest campgrounds. Over the course of that summer, we became friends and have been staying in touch ever since. Wayne and Char are still working at the same campgrounds this year. But for a few days they are away from the campgrounds for some rest and relaxation. We met them today near Sacramento for a late lunch to bring each other up-to-date on what's happening. What fun it was to hear the tales of hosts and campers and realize WE didn't have to deal with those problems this year. Both Char and Wayne have dealt with ailing parents so they also had encouraging suggestions plus empathy.
Wednesday, August 10, 2011: This was a day my sister Sandy and I planned to take my Father to a nice coffee house - bakery for a midmorning coffee drink and bakery treat. Instead, my Father refused to go saying he was too tired. His preferrence to sit in his lounging chair than to do any sort of exercise means his muscles get no chance to increase in strength. We'll see how it goes tomorrow.
Thursday, August 11, 2011: Guess who "jumped" into the car today and went around town with me today? My Dad went with me to try to get the results of his blood tests from the doctor's office. The lab had told me they would be available from the doctor on Tuesday so I called to say I wanted copies. They said I would be called when they were ready. I hadn't heard from them so decided if I stood in their office and asked for them, it would be harder to put me off. So they said "no" because the doctor had not reviewed them yet. When I acknowledged that someone asking for lab results may seem unusual without some interpretation I told them his grandson (my son) was a physician out of state and would like to review them. "Our policy is NOT to give out the reports until the doctor has reviewed them." I was told. "Would I like them to "chart" my request for the report?" they replied. "Yes" I responded. To my surprise, they called later this afternoon and said I could pick them up. So that means another trip tomorrow for the reports. I then took Dad to the Lube/Car Wash to "top-off" the oil in the car then got the car washed with Dad and I sitting in the car. Finally, we drove to the hardware store to get parts to repair the sprinkler system in the front yard. Try to imagine getting in/out of the car with 200 pounds strapped to your back. That's the kind of effort it takes for my Father to do anything. Moving only a few feet can totally exhaust him. Getting in/out of the car takes a tremendous effort and most of the work is done with his arms, his legs can barely support him, hence, the walker. Getting him to walk, exit the house (negotiate steps), get into and out of the car is strenous exercise to him and the only way he will gain any strength in his legs. Dad getting out of the car
Dad and I are sitting in the front watching four lanes of traffic pass by. Friday, August 12, 2011: My Dad has "good" days and "bad" days. On the bad days, he feels weak or tired more than usual. Today was a "bad" day but it was made more interesting because Dad had his best friend (who also uses a walker ... now) come over for lunch. We decided to wait for Fred out front. That gave Dad a chance to negotiate the front steps again. So we sat in the circle driveway watching four lanes of traffic pass by while waiting for Fred to arrive. After Fred arrived, I drove to the doctor's office and finally got the blood, lab report which I scanned then attached to an email to my son, Ben in Reno. Yesterday I tried to give you an idea of how hard it is for Dad to move around by asking that you imagine having to carry 200 lbs on your back. Dad often complains that his neck is too weak to hold up his head so he must support his head on the palm of a hand. So add a 50 lb hat to the 200 lb backpack and you'll get a better idea of his struggle. Click the photo for one of the volunteer flowers near the driveway.

Saturday, August 13, 2011: After breakfast, the three ladies, my sister Dorana, my Mother and Gwen went to a vintage fashion show at a home on the Mokelumne River only a mile for our house. This was a fund raising event sponsored by four Lodi churches to raise funds for a youth camp the four churches have purchased together.

Meanwhile I encouraged my Father to take a drive with me to look at a bead show visiting Lodi today. The beads were the Kazuri beads from Kenya. My Father chose NOT to go because he was feeling tired today. I chose some Kazuri beads, enough to make Gwen a bracelet then went back after the fashion show buying enough beads to make two more bracelets and one set of earrings. Dad watched me assemble the first bracelet using special tools. I've already finished the three bracelets but will need to redo one because it's too long.

Tomorrow promises to be a big day for Dad with church in the morning and an evening concert in the park.

The ladies are off to the vintage fashion show
Dad and his best friend Fred attend church together. Sunday, August 14, 2011: It's been traditional for more than my lifetime for my Father to attend church every Sunday. He's been missing church for two months when he was in the hospital and rehabilitation hospital. He's been able to attend the last two Sundays which lifts his spirits. Today was even more special because his best friend Fred was also attending and wheeled up right next to his wheel chair in his own wheeled chair. My Dad is always ready with a pen in his pocket and his offering envelope is right behind the pen. This is Dad's new shirt from my sister Dorana. I bought Dad a new shirt last week and threw out an old shirt. I asked Dorana to do the same BUT NOT BLUE. His closet is FULL of blue shirts. My sisters promote blue shirts because my Dad has BLUE eyes. I suggested it was time to "get wild". You can see, my sister paid NO ATTENTION to ME. However, she also brought him a bright solid peach colored polo shirt too so that could be wild enough. Oh! I did throw out more old shirts to make room for the new ones. Yes, Dad had to use his walker to get to the car and back again so this was good physical exercise as well as spiritual exercise.
Wednesday, August 17, 2011: We have had some busy days, not time for the Website with so much happening. We viewed the Lodi Community Concert on Sunday night then the parents went to a Gideon Picnic on Monday night while I attended a concert of the U.S. Air Force Band plus a visiting Japanese band inside the Hutchins Street Square Auditorium. Click the photo to see a different view, you see my Father and Mother watching the concert. Yes, my Father is wearing the new shirt I bought him and it is BLUE. But it's a "wild" blue and I'll get him some different colors from now on. What a treat that was to hear excellent play by both groups in a remodeled auditorium which use to be my old high school auditorium. Tuesday was movie day for my Mother, Gwen and I. We left Dad at home at his request and he did just fine. We saw, "The Help" which we had learned about while visiting Mississippi just a few months ago. We all enjoyed the movie especially after visiting Mississippi. Let me also say that Gwen and I enjoyed visiting the southern states, we've not found any states who are more friendly and welcoming. Today was a visit from Dad's physical therapist and a long bike ride for me plus a great casserole prepared by my Mother. Watching the Lodi Community Band concert
Dad using the NuStep machine Saturday, August 20, 2011: Today was the third day in a row for my Dad to use his Fitness Club membership. I've known about the membership for some time but have not thought to use it since he struggles so much getting into/out of the car. Two days ago I thought of a three wheel bicycle to try to get my Father to exercise his legs. My Mother suggested the fitness center and that's what got us to the center on the first day. Our "fitness routine" has lasted three days now and we plan to keep it going each day except Sunday when the center is closed. The first day we over did it a little and he burned 46 calories in 20 minutes on the NuStep machine. The second day we decided to start at 40 calories which took 16 minutes. Today we added ONE and made it to 41 calories. From this machine he goes to the recumbent stationary bicycle but we haven't been able to measure calories on that machine yet (because he can't pedal fast enough to get the machine to turn on BUT he, with a great deal of effort, IS able to make the revolutions with both legs which has GOT to be good for his legs). The final fitness activity is a machine where he exercises his arms by pulling a weight off the ground while sitting in his wheel chair. Note that my Father is not wearing a BLUE shirt. Pass your pointer back and forth through the photo to see him in action.
Sunday, August 21, 2011: One benefit of spending more than a month visiting my parents is the discovery of long lost photographs of a past life. Click the photo at the right to see a photo of my fifth grade class in Maple Lane School, Oregon City, Oregon. Maple Lane was a two room rural school about 6 miles east of Oregon City. The building still exists but is used as a school storage building now. First through third grade was in room 1 while fourth through sixth grade was in room 2. So this photo includes fourth through sixth grade. You can see the number of "farm kids" Mrs. Pottoff had to deal with each day. I remember that we experienced a lot of rain in Oregon City so during recess on wet days, we would play dodge ball in the basement of the school house. I also remember my best friend was Loren Anderson pictured in the third row with me but he is second from the right. Loren and I were Here I am in the fifth grade
both infatuated with Marilyn Rodda who is pictured in the front row, third from the left. Marilyn was very wise and gave Loren and myself only enough encouragement to keep us interested. Apparently at age ten she had already learned how to keep her true feelings a mystery and the benefits that would bring her. I would love to communicate with both Loren and Marilyn so if either of you happen to read this, please send me an email. I also remember spending a lot of time with my nose stuck to a dot tacked to the wall in Mrs. Pottoff's class. I can't remember my transgressions but it probably had something to do with Loren and Marilyn or some other farm boy tomfoolery. I also remember being the master of ceremonies during the Christmas pageant at Maple Lane when I was in the third grade. I must have had SOMETHING none of the fourth, fifth or sixth graders had THEN. It's too bad Marilyn did not notice me when I was cool! Of course, I wasn't interested in anything but stick horses and garter snakes when I was in third grade.
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