Thursday, January 12, 2012


Back to my blog home page:

Clarence is 101 and as feisty as ever.

The "home" threw him a huge birthday party on his 100th birthday. You should see pictures of the 100 candles on his cake. It looks like a bonfire! There's a large collage of that event on the wall in the hallway.

Clarence doesn't let much stop him. He led an amazing life of working in national parks all over the West. The black and white framed photographs of his adventures and his lively family hanging over this walls leave me standing there in awe.

I am enamored by the personal history of each person with whom I work!

There is an tall, elegant, outdoorsy woman adorning on Clarence's wall. She reminds me of Amelia Earhart...

That kind of amazing gal.

I ask Clarence about her as I ice his ankle. He has fallen on his way to the bathroom at 2 in the morning.

"What's her name?"


I had seen the name "Ede" written beneath some of the photos.

"What do you call her?"

"You come here!"

I stop for a bit. I have to admit, I am a bit slow to certain types of humor. Then, I, and everyone else in the gym, start to laugh.

"Where did you meet her?"

"Behind the barn."

"Behind the barn??  How old were you?"


No more questions asked! Eighty seven long years ago a feisty young man met up with a feisty young woman, and they shared 80 amazing years together. I don't know about you, but I think that is close to the record of a long term relationship!

Clarence and I go on to discuss other topics, mainly, something that had been on my mind since Sunday. I had gone to the local outrigger canoe place to look into renting a canoe to paddle up the local river estuary which is accomplished according to the tides calendar. (Something foreign to this land-locked girl from Missouri).

The owner of the company and I started a long-winded discussion. It meandered into an hour during which I learned many great things about the area! 

When he learned that I work with seniors, he shared that he was in the process of completing work on a solar powered outrigger that would carry 9 people, some of whom would not have to power the canoe....he suggested that if I knew of any seniors interested in traveling up the river estuary on a nature tour, he would love the opportunity to market a trip to older people.

The first person I thought about was Clarence. He had hiked, fished and worked all over the land and water.

I mention this to Clarence. Imagine a light bulb when the switch is flipped on.

"Tell him yes," Clarence says.

This man, who yesterday was non-compliant with non-weight bearing orders on his right foot is following the plan of care! He wants to get that ankle healed and walk the dozen + steps it takes to get to the dock.

Clarence can't go out in nature like he once did, so we will bring it to him. He can be surrounded by all the things he has loved...water, trees, wildlife and bright sky. From the seat of a canoe he doesn't have to paddle.

One of my best friends from my last assignment is an 89 year old physical therapist named Dorrys. We met every Wednesday night for dinner when her partner died, and she told me what motivated her as a therapist.

"If I can make just one dream come true, I've done my job. Find out what their dream is, Tre. Make it happen."

Okay, Clarence....let's return you to the woods and the water!

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