My Self-Care Plan for Flu Season

Why I Get a Flu Shot

Getting a flu shot is part of my self-care plan. The most at risk for serious flu complications are young children, pregnant women, adults over 65 and those with chronic medical conditions. Since I fall in two of these categories, the vaccine is important to me as any stress such as suffering with flu may exacerbate my Parkinson’s symptoms. I might also get pneumonia and be hospitalized.

Being exposed to flu virus happens easily in a variety of scenarios. But we are often unaware how or when or where. Imagine I am shopping in my favorite retail store and trying on clothes. Each time I go in and out of the dressing room, my hand turns the germy door knob. What I don’t know is that the person in the dressing room before me sneezed in their hand. However, touching the contaminated door knob will not make me sick unless I touch my face. But shopping is tiring, and I remove my glasses for a minute and rub my eyes. Bingo! The germs have an entry point into my body.  I can also be exposed to flu virus respiratory droplets when infected people cough, sneeze, or talk, if I am nearby.

October is considered the start of flu season. December through February is usually the most active months. I live less than five minutes from Walgreen’s, so there is no excuse to put this errand off. On Monday, November 4, I got a flu shot. My Walgreen’s branch built a little medical room with a door that closes next to the pharmacy last month. The pharmacist gave me an easy form to complete with a half dozen questions such as “are you feeling sick today.” Less than ten minutes later I am out of the store. My upper right arm was a little sore in the evening, but by the second day, I did not notice it.

How Does the Shot Work?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests it takes two to four weeks for the antibodies to build up and provide immune system protection against the strains of flu included in the vaccine. So that is why it’s recommended that if you plan to get a flu shot, earlier in the fall is better than later. For example, getting a shot two days before Thanksgiving and flying to a family gathering the next day is not going to protect you that quickly.

The flu vaccine protects you from contracting upper respiratory flu. Common symptoms include fever, chills, cough, sore throat, sniffles, achiness and fatigue. You may get other strains of flu despite the shot, but may be less severe. The vaccine does not protect you from getting stomach flu. Encouraging other members of your household or your Parkinson’s caregiver to get a flu shot will be added protection for you.

Hand Sanitizer

Besides having a flu shot, here are some additional ways to decrease the risk of infection. I carry a small bottle of hand sanitizer gel in my purse to use in public when washing my hands is impossible or inconvenient. After I order and return the menu in restaurants, I sanitize my hands. Sanitizer dispensers displayed in medical and dental offices, grocery stores, gyms and airports remind me of the importance of clean hands.

When I have the opportunity to scrub my hands with soap and water in a public restroom, I try to leave without touching the door handle. If that is impossible, I use a clean tissue to touch the door handle. Otherwise, I sanitize my hands.

Tips to Minimize Exposure

  • Eat at home more in December, January and February
  • Go to your favorite buffet restaurant after flu season
  • Avoid large crowds when possible
  • Avoid touching your face since germs commonly enter through eyes and nose
  • Stay home a little more than usual (but only for flu season! Parkinson’s people need to socialize)
  • Avoid eating communal snacks often found at holiday and office parties
  • Avoid public water fountains
  • Combine errands so you can accomplish more, but be out less
  • Sanitize hands after credit card transactions or money exchanges
  • Ask yourself if it is really necessary to go out now
  • Use online shopping
  • Avoid shaking hands when possible
  • Sanitize hands after touching elevator buttons or holding onto railings, transportation poles and escalators
  • Disinfect hotspots in home and/or office that are perfect for transferring germs: railings, faucet handles, coffee pot handle, door knobs, door handles, refrigerator handles, cabinet handles, light switches, microwave buttons, telephone handset, smart phone screen, keyboard, mouse, tablet, printer button
  • Wash hand towels and kitchen towels often
  • Replace fabric handbag with leather or vinyl which can easily be wiped down

For more information about high risk groups and the flu, visit Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

Question:  What do you do that helps to decrease risk of getting the flu?

Blessings!
Linda

 

 

 

Welcome to Parkinson’s My Way

Home is behind the world ahead and there are many paths to tread through shadow to the edge of night until the stars are all alight. J R.R. Tolkien

Welcome to Parkinson’s My Way

I have been a teacher and writer for over four decades. When I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2014, my work and literary world became one with the Parkinson’s world. Isak Dinesen believed “all sorrows can be borne if you tell a story about them”,  and I have found that to be true. Writing has always been my “go-to tool” for facing adversity.

Parkinson’s My Way is how I journey one day to the next with a chronic, progressive degenerative illness by keeping my interests alive. Days are rarely alike. A  variety of interests that still define who I am include antiques, travel, baking, animals, nature, reading, photography, family farm, education and DAR.

Along the way, I discovered a fascinating gift of this perplexing neurological disorder. Studies find some people with Parkinson’s begin a new creative pursuit such as painting, sculpting or writing. For me it is poetry. This website will share “creativity in motion” by showcasing people with Parkinson’s artistic work, as well as mine.

Before PD, my personal mission was “to make a heartfelt difference” and that is unchanged. Through my sharing in Parkinson’s My Way, the intent is to educate, to inspire, and to give hope.  Some posts will deal with Parkinson’s head on. Other times I will bake a cake or recommend a good book!

If just one of you benefits from my thoughts, experiences, recipes, poetry or photography, I will consider this mission a success. Perhaps you have Parkinson’s disease or are a caregiver. Maybe a friend of yours was just diagnosed with PD. Whatever the reason that you are visiting, I welcome you and your comments.

Blessings!

Linda

Parkinson’s Differs in Gender

If you’ve seen one person with Parkinson’s, you’ve seen one person with Parkinson’s. 

A recent literature review by Italian scientists was published in the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease, July 2019, describing how Parkinson’s disease affects men and women differently.

PD is a slowly progressive disorder that affects movement, muscle control and balance. It is the second most common age-related, neurodegenerative disorder, affecting about 3% of the population by the age of 65 and up to 5% of individuals over 85 years of age.

Male PD Differences and Risk Factors

  • Twice as likely to be diagnosed with PD
  • Slow or rigid movement is dominant symptom when first diagnosed (bradykinesia)
  • More serious postural problems
  • Abnormal severe forward flexion of the trunk when standing or walking (camptocormia))
  • Freezing of gait develops later, when one gets “stuck” in place and temporarily cannot move feet forward
  • Severe drooling
  • Worse general cognitive abilities
  • Executive function deficits (attention and working memory)
  • Mild cognitive impairment (MCI)  and its more rapid progression in the severe stage of the disease (MCI often precedes dementia)
  • Control disorders such as pathological gambling and hypersexuality
  • Low body mass index (<18.5) which is strongly associated with reduced survival time, is significant only in men
  • Reduction of life satisfaction in second half of life

Female PD Differences and Risk Factors

  • Tremor is usually the dominant sign when first diagnosed and is associated with recurrent falls and more severe pain syndromes
  • More apt to develop postural instability
  • Less likely to have specialist care such as neurologist
  • May take higher medication doses due to lower body weight leading to dyskinesia
  • More rapid disease progression with lower survival rate
  • Non-motor symptoms such as fatigue, depression, restless legs, constipation, pain, loss of taste or smell, weight change and excessive sweating are more common and severe
  • Higher predisposition to critical swallowing difficulties (dysphagia)
  • PD with dementia has a greater impact on life expectancy
  • Impaired visuospatial function
  • Perform better on verbal fluency and cognition tests
  • Less likely to have an informal caregiver support from spouse, family or friend
  • More apt to use paid caregiver services

The familiar comment: If you’ve seen one person with Parkinson’s, you’ve seen one person with Parkinson’s still rings true. A male and a female will not experience PD in the same way. Neither will two females or two males!

“It is becoming increasingly evident that PD differs in women and men,” said lead author Fabio Blandini, M.D., scientific director of the IRCCS Mondino Foundation, National Institute of Neurology, Pavia, Italy. “Recent research findings suggest that biological sex also impacts on disease risk factors and, potentially, on molecular mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of PD.”

Studies in this area are under-represented, both from the clinical and research perspective, especially for females. We are still far away from the actual understanding of what underlies such differences. Only then can we develop tailored interventions that meet distinct requirements of men and women with PD.

If you would like to read the the abstract of this literature survey, it can be found at Journal of Parkinson’s Disease.

Blessings!
Linda

Once Upon A Time

One may make their house a palace of sham, or they can make it a home, a refuge.

Mark Twain

This photo is one of my favorite autumn shots that I captured in Hannibal, Missouri. A Mississippi river town, Hannibal is built on the bluffs. As I passed through Hannibal from the St. Louis Airport on October 23, 2009, I spotted this fabulous historic house. I was on my way back to attend Uncle Glen’s funeral and welcomed a momentary distraction. I pulled into a KFC parking lot, got out of the car and studied the view. An incredible house in its day was discreetly hidden behind nature’s fiery handiwork. The boarded-up windows concealed memories. The portico appeared unstable. A single black bird perched on an antenna was the only visible sign of activity. I wanted to see  the front of the house, the driveway, the front door and more. I wished I could explore room by room. Who built this magnificent structure? Who lived here?  Who passed away here? What was their story?

When I see abandoned property like this one, I am sad that the signs and sounds of life have burned out. However, I find beauty in the overgrown vegetation that embraces the house, in the portico that is hanging on and in the mysterious black bird keeping watch over someone perhaps!

As I continued my journey to the family farm, the awe-inspiring autumn colors reminded me that in the midst of grief and loss,  beauty still exists.

Blessings!

Linda

Photo Credit:  Linda A. Mohr

Parkinson’s Deception or Dog?

Hallucinations: deceptions or tricks played by the brain that involve the body’s senses
of seeing, hearing, tasting, feeling and smelling.

Visual hallucinations are the most common type that occurs with Parkinson’s. They are either formed or unformed. An example of a formed image is a deceased, historical, fictional or living person sitting on the couch with you. Although the image is real to you, other people cannot see it. An unformed image will appear as vague lights, lines, objects or shapes. Some hallucinations are described as friendly or pleasurable by PD patients; however, up to 30% of hallucinations can be frightening and require medical attention.

Sunday Afternoon Visitor

I was relaxing in my glass Florida room, my favorite because it overlooks the tropical backyard, patio and kidney shaped pool. The safe haven is home to many critters, and I enjoy nature at my fingertips. The vista is pure enchantment in the evening when the patio twinkles with white lights and spotlights illuminate columns, bird baths and palm trees.

Out of the corner of my eye, a startling black blur entered my peripheral vision. I jumped up and ran to the glass door leading to the patio. However, I missed the fast moving monster as it plopped into the swimming pool.

“Joe,” I screamed. But my words were inaudible. He was in the lower level. I tried again.

“On, no, it’s on the move again.” After a quick swish through the pool, this monster, this blur sprinted to the door where I was glued to the floor. Our eyes met. This black blob was a dog, a real dog! A handsome adult black Labrador!

“Unbelievable,” I muttered.

Wet black labrador ready to shake

Photo Credit: Can Stock nsweetapple

Joe heard the commotion and appeared. As he opened the patio door slightly, the dog was delirious. Taking this as a welcome sign, the mighty visitor wedged his big head through the opening. Chauncey was nine-feet from the open door looking terrified as we’ve never had a dog in the house. I was terrified too! This scene was seconds away from pandemonium.

By grace, Joe’s strength ended the duel. The dog backed away from the door. In pure dog fashion, he shook water all over the patio. Then he disappeared as quickly and mysteriously as he arrived.

I have lived in this house for almost four decades. Live and drowned snakes, chameleons, squirrels and rats have been found in the pool. I have also removed a drowned raccoon and possum. Lexie Lee even fell in the pool once. I brought her in the house right after the incident, and she never wanted to go outside again. But a dog swimming in my pool! Now that was a first, but probably not the last! New neighbors to the back of us have a weekend visitor who brings their dog. So the time has come to shape up that weak corner in the fence. But that is a small price to pay. I am relieved and grateful the black blur was the real deal and not an unformed and frightening hallucination!

Question: Have you ever experienced a hallucination? If so, please describe. Was it fun or scary?

Blessings!
Linda

 

How to Sneak Exercise into a Parkinson’s Day

 

What seems impossible today will one day become your warm up.

I got delayed in a post office line recently. The customer ahead of me was mailing a package to Italy with address issues. Within seconds, I knew the transaction was going to be time-consuming. But I needed to stay to mail an eBay order. As the minutes ticked by, frustrated customers dropped out of line. Others were on their phones or muttering to themselves. I was exercising!

My Light Bulb Moment

My “light bulb moment” as I waited for my turn was a result of what I do while brushing my teeth. I stand on one leg and alternate to the other as I brush. My electric tooth brush stutters after two minutes. I can anticipate when I near the one minute mark and switch legs. Or reach for the goal of standing on one leg for two minutes. (Which by the way I can do without support!) The vanity provides stability if I ever need to lean on it. Single leg balance exercise has improved my posture and increased my leg strength.

So as I was frozen in the post office line, I thought, why not stand on one leg? I have a bar along the waiting line where customers place packages. If necessary, I can lean against it and stay safe. The seventeen minutes before my service turn passed calmly. I returned home feeling clever!

Exercise is Parkinson’s Medication

I understand the importance of exercise. In fact exercise is a medication for Parkinson’s. Evidence-based research shows exercise can slow the progression of the disease. But I do not always get enough exercise.  Doing single leg balance routines is a sneaky way to work exercise into my daily activities. By doing so,  I am also multi-tasking which is good exercise for the neuroplasticity of the brain.

Exercising while waiting can be coupled with a variety of daily activities. Since it is  fun and a change of pace, I am more apt to do it. I have balanced on single leg in a cashier line when I have a cart for support. It works in the kitchen when I have counter support while I am waiting for tea to brew. Brushing my hair, hugging Joe…..you get the picture! Just be creative and you will discover opportunities in your daily life.

A shopping cart provides support if I wobble.

Easy-Peasy. Let’s go for 2 1/2 minutes!

If you are new to this type of exercise, I recommend you consult a physical therapist. Go slowly and be safe. Always have a chair or counter or some form of support that you can lean on or touch with a finger if needed. I recommend viewing this excellent less than one minute video on how to do the single leg balance.

Most people do not notice what I am doing. But when someone asks, I simply say, ”This is one way I maintain balance, improve posture and keep from falling.”

Question to Ponder:  How do you motivate yourself to exercise?  I would love to hear your tips in the comment section.

Blessings!
Linda

 

Sue Edge Finds Happy Place is Creativity

I don’t have a choice that I have Parkinson’s, but I do have a choice what I do with it. I want to go forward to my Happy Place. ~Sue Edge

 

Multi-Talented Sue Edge…Artist, Poet, Producer, Entrepreneur

Sue was diagnosed with PD in 2010 and was forced to retire for medical reasons in 2015. She had worked the previous thirty-seven years as a teacher in Western Australia including Halls Creek, Central Desert, Pinjarra, Carcoola and Mandurah. Sue spent the first six months after retirement feeling lost, but trying to find a purpose. Her first creative efforts were fairy houses and wind and sun catchers. However, Parkinson’s affected her fine motor skills, and she found the small detail work impossible to execute. So Sue’s search for her Happy Place resumed.

Color Her World

Although she had never been able to draw or paint, she loved color. Inspired by her childhood nickname Big Bird and Lucky Legs, she began painting birds. She discovered that her quirky emus with their big personalities made people smile and made her happy.

Smile and Be Happy

Poetry in the Wee Hours

Besides painting, Sue was especially prolific for four months in 2017 when she wrote poetry in the middle of the night. She found that she had to get up and write the poem down before going back to sleep. To Sue’s amazement, she is better able express on paper what is in her head since having PD. She is now in the process of editing her collection and hopes to self-publish by the end of this year. Sue wrote the following poem in January 2017 which appears on her blog.

Awake Again!

Awake again at stupid o’clock
Wishing that I had a huge, sharp rock
To fling at that Parkinson’s annoying head
So I could sleep peacefully once more in my bed.
Wishing that I could be free once more,
To do things without them being a chore.
To be free from this ever present pain
And be able to do everything normally again.
To not be scared of freezing at inappropriate times
And be going back to work Instead of making up rhymes.
But wait…..what’s this I hear?
That ‘think positive’ bug is in my ear
Telling me to look for the good
And not go moping all over the neighbourhood.
So I’ll haul myself out of bed
And go pedal on my exercise bike instead.
Singing along with The Beatles, a bit out of key
But showing the world it’s good to be me!

PD is a family affair in the Edge household. Her children Josh and Tash are supportive. Sue has also written a children’s book based on her two granddaughters’ viewpoints. Her grandson wanted to be involved as well. So he named her book Our BobbleHead Nanna. She also hopes this book will be published. In the meantime, her younger granddaughter is helping her to make it into a video for an upcoming Parkinson’s convention.

Parkinson’s Philosophy

Sue’s philosophy is “PD does not change the fact I have a life. It changes the way I do things. Dream, believe, adapt and achieve. Adaptation is key.” For example, when she struggled with the repetitive motion of putting dots on the bird paintings, she adapted. When she played music with a distinctive beat, she successfully painted the dots.

Painting to the Beat

If her hand does not want to hold a paint brush when she is ready to do a background, she simply puts the paint on her hand and paints. Michael J. Fox would agree that Sue has found “a way through it.”  “You can be creative with PD,” Sue acknowledges. “There are days when I am painting that I am at peace. I can go longer between off periods. Painting takes me to my Happy Place and sometimes I feel normal and without symptoms.”

Exhibition Leads to New Venture

Sue’s artwork has appeared at two exhibitions held at the Niche, the headquarters of Parkinson’s Western Australia. She sold fifty-eight pieces and donated 20% of the sales to the PD Nurses Programme. Her goodwill caught the attention of an organizer of an art competition, and she was asked to enter.

Emus–Part of Sue’s exhibit at the Niche

Paintings Become Wearable Art

After winning $100 voucher to a framing shop, she discovered they made coasters from photos. Sue purchased coasters featuring her favorite paintings to give as gifts. But people wanted to buy them! One resource led to another and since coasters, she has designed leggings, yoga pants and tote bags. Her best sellers are coasters, scarves and shopping bags. She covers her costs, donates some proceeds to the PD Walk in the Park fundraiser for PD WA and then buys new stock with profits.

One of Her Favorite Emu Paintings is a Best Seller

The Art of Production and the Power of Goals

Influenced by her education career, Sue wanted to produce the rave review Kinetics play at Fishtrap Theatre in the Mandurah Performing  Arts Centre to raise PD awareness. Kinetics, written by actress  Sue Wylie of the United Kingdom, is based on her true story of coming to terms with her unexpected diagnosis of Parkinson’s at the age of 50 and her friendship with Lukas, a teenage boy struggling with his diagnosis of ADHD and who is into Parkour.

Sue’s friends helped build the set, and the leading lady was an ex-colleague. Grants flowed in from several organizations. Rehearsal started in February of 2019, with the opening in May. Ninety-nine people attended the first night, surpassing the projected thirty to forty! The reaction was fantastic with a total of 264 patrons attending the remaining four productions. Once again Sue  proves it is possible to live with purpose while battling Parkinson’s.

The Unsteady Hand

Her latest project is working with Mo Onstad’s “The Unsteady Hand” model based in Colorado Springs. She offered the first creative workshop in Australia on August 1 for people with PD based on “re-imagining Parkinson’s and promoting improved quality of life for those living with Parkinson’s through communal creative engage.”

Workshop modeled after The Unsteady Hand

It is unimaginable what the multi-talented Sue Edge will do next! What a pleasure interviewing her on Parkinson’s My Way.

Keeping in Touch

To learn more about Sue and her creations, go to

Facebook
Video
Art on Merchandise
You can also email Sue at noosemum@gmail.com

Question: Do you have a hobby or activity where you lose all sense of time when engaged in it? You are calm and peaceful and for a time you forget all about Parkinson’s. Please comment.

Blessings!
Linda

Aware in Care Parkinson’s Hospital Kit

I need my Parkinson’s medications ON TIME, EVERY TIME

According to the Parkinson’s Foundation, people with Parkinson’s disease (PD) are admitted to the hospital 50% more than their peers. Three out of four hospital patients with PD do not receive their medication on time. Therefore, they have a one in four chance of complications because of medication errors. The Parkinson’s Foundation launched the Aware in Care campaign in 2011 to help people with PD get the best care possible during a hospital stay.

I attended a Parkinson’s Foundation educational event in May and saw the Aware in Care Kit. One kit per PD patient is complimentary. My kit arrived recently. I hope I never need to use the kit. However, by being proactive and preparing the contents in the kit, my odds of getting the right care at the right time are increased.

Preparing Aware in Care Kit

Kit Contents

Medication Form:  List all your prescriptions and over-the counter medications for PD as well as any other medical conditions. Make five copies of the medication form and place the original and copies in the kit. Update the form whenever medication changes.

Medical Alert Card: Fill in the back of the card and place in wallet. This card includes important information for healthcare professionals including a list of medications that are not safe for PD patients.

Fact Sheet for Nurses: Place the fact sheet tablet in kit.

Precautions for Duopa or Deep Brain Stimulation: If you have a DBS device or use Duopa therapy, place the information card in kit.

Emergency Contacts:  Make a list of names, phone numbers, emails and addresses of your neurologist, movement disorder specialist, primary care physician, care partner and close family members. Place a copy in kit. Update as changes occur.

Health Care Proxy:  Work with an attorney to create a Health Care Proxy that complies with your state guidelines. This document identifies who is authorized to make medical decisions for you if you become incapacitated and unable to express yourself. Place a copy in kit.

Parkinson’s Medications: Keep an extra supply of all your current medications in their original bottles with your name and dosage on each label. A 48-hour supply is recommended. Place in kit. This step gives you peace of mind that you have everything you need if you have a medical emergency and have to grab the bag and go.

Parkinson’s ID Bracelet:  A stainless steel, hypoallergenic and waterproof  bracelet is in kit for you to wear. It alerts medical professionals  that you have PD and includes a Parkinson’s Foundation Helpline number.

After your kit is assembled, show the contents to your care partner as well as where kit is stored.

How to Get Kit

For more information or to order your complimentary kit, click here.

Blessings!
Linda

 

Country Living Blessings

The inspiration for this poem is my beloved family homestead in Missouri.  I can see,  hear, and smell these sensory delights as I walk the land. I just returned from vacationing there for three weeks. Oh, the healing power of nature!

Country Living Blessings

Swaying amber wheat,
Expansive spaces,
Fresh cut red clover—
Balm for my soul.

Tasseled corn maze,
Queen Anne’s lace,
Rolling green pasture—
Soothing silence.

Meandering creek path,
Purple lilac tree perfume,
Sweet pea tendrils—
Peaceful nature.

Frolicking ginger kitty,
Colorful pegged clothes,
Night creatures’ serenade—
Joyous pleasures.

Bobwhite bobwhite,
Cicada songs,
Whip-poor-will calls—
Spiritual symphony.

Twinkling fireflies,
Illuminating moon beams,
Majestic maple trees—
My Maker’s handiwork.

 

Photo and Poem By Linda A. Mohr 

Country Living Blessings first appeared in Spirit, Peace and Joy, an anthology of poems published by Pen Women in 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christ Church High Table

All Dressed Up….and Somewhere to Go

Entrance from Quad and Christ Church Cathedral

How exciting to attend High Table after the first day of class! The small select group for Monday night gathered with some of our tutors and staff at a sherry reception prior to dinner. Fascinating students included an Amsterdam couple who have participated eight years. A Texas grandmother brought her 16-year-old granddaughter to Exeter College for two weeks of pre-law while she took two courses at Christ Church. As the rest of the people entered the Great Hall, they followed tradition and stood until the High Table guests sat at their nameplate.

After we were seated, the director of studies David Beard who started The Oxford Experience twenty-seven years ago delivered the grace in Latin. Here is translation: “In the neediness of our human condition, which invites your compassion, almighty God and heavenly Father, we give you reverent thanks for the food which, in your kindness, you have lavished on us for the sustenance of our bodies; and we also beg that we may use it without greed or excess and with enjoyment. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”

High Table is just what the words imply. The table sits on a platform or dais above the main floor. It is at the top of the Great Hall furthest from the screen passage. During the Middle Ages, the lord of the castle could indeed “look down” on his household. His servants or subjects had designated seating in vertical rows of perpendicular tables according to status. Nobility and high ranking guests sat at High Table. They were served first and had the best quality food and drink. In 2017 at Christ Church, everyone in the hall enjoyed the same delectable food with turkey saltimbocca as the main course. Harry Potter or the Hogwarts teachers were not there! However, the Harry Potter films built a replica of the Great Hall in their London studio.

High Table on Dais at Christ Church

Many members of Christ Church were there in spirit. Ninety-two portraits grace the four walls of the Great Hall. Henry VIII oversees all as he is positioned on the High Table end of room in the middle. He founded Christ Church in 1546 as a dual foundation of college and cathedral. Cardinal Wolsey established Cardinal College in 1525 and his foundation is the original of Christ Church. His portrait is hung to the right of Henry VIII. Queen Elizabeth who united Christ Church and Westminster in 1561 is to the left of Henry VIII. The bust of the Queen Elizabeth II is below Henry VIII. I sat facing these formidable characters and felt their presence.

Other famous scholars of the college include Thomas Locke philosopher, John Wesley theologian, William Gladstone statesman and Lewis Carroll writer. Thirteen prime ministers studied at Christ Church.

William Murray, over door, Student 1723, First Earl of Mansfield

For me, the evening was steeped in great history, tradition, friendship and conversation. As shadows flirted with the exquisite stained glass windows, the ambiance of the Great Hall changed. A new reflection here, a new reflection there! That is what education is all about. Members of Christ Church have sat at High Table in centuries past conversing and debating the challenging issues of the era. I know 2017 is no different. Later in the year a second female portrait will keep company with Queen Elizabeth in the Great Hall that being Professor Pallot who joined the college in 1979.

Evening End Revelation

As I left High Table and meandered through the hall prolonging the magical evening, I followed a row of portraits. In my mind’s eye one caused me to pause. I saw the sixteen-year-old pre-law student all grown up, and she was gazing at me with a faint smile. I returned her smile, but I was beaming!

Blessings!
Linda

 

My Lineal Descent to American Revolutionary War Patriot

Today’s  4th of July post is dedicated to Nathaniel Thurber, my great-great-great-great grandfather. In 1998, I learned that I was a descendant of a patriot who served as a soldier during the Revolutionary War and helped contribute to securing the independence of the United States of America. Nathaniel Thurber, son of Daniel Thurber, Sr., and Lois Peck Thurber, was born on April 13, 1761, in Providence, Rhode Island.

The Thurber family history dates back to the 1600s  to a small parish called Stanton, County of Lincolnshire in England, 129 miles from London. As Thurber families left England, they settled in Rehoboth, Massachusetts. Nathaniel enlisted in 1776 and served as a private in the Revolutionary War until 1779 in Massachusetts as well as at the Burning of Bristol, Rhode Island. He married Polly Shores in 1792. They had six children including son James who served in the War of 1812.

DAR Headquarters, Washington, DC

With my interest in historical preservation, patriotism and education, the Daughters of the American Revolution was a perfect fit for me. So I embarked on an extended journey to prove lineal descent through such documents as birth, death and marriage certificates, church records, census reports and obituaries.

My Lineal Descent

Nathaniel Thurber, my patriot and great-great-great-great grandfather, 1761-1842
James Thurber, my great-great-great grandfather, 1791-1877
William Thurber, my great-great grandfather, 1827-1866
Laura Thurber Roasa, my great-grandmother, 1865-1944
Gladys Roasa Barr, my grandmother. 1891-1964
Rosemary Barr Mohr, my mother, 1918-2009
Linda Mohr (Me), 1950

My Application is Approved

A longtime dream of mine came true as I was officially welcomed into the National Society  Daughters of the American Revolution at the Seminole Chapter meeting in West Palm Beach on October 11, 2008.

The DAR insignia pin is a beautiful gold wheel. I wear it over my heart with tremendous pride for what those who have gone before me have done. I love the meaning behind each part:

THE HUB: Each loyal Daughter’s heart
EACH SPOKE: A thought of those from whom we part
THE TIE: A noble life well rounded out
EACH STAR: A deed of kindness as we go about
EACH FLAXEN THREAD: A cord of love to bind us closer day by day
THE DISTAFF: A rod of love to guide us all the way

10-Year Membership Honor

I celebrated my 10-year membership in 2018 and proudly added this pin to my DAR ribbon of pins.

My contribution to DAR Seminole includes:

Chapter Chairmanships:  Women’s Issues 2010-2012 & 2012-2014, Bylaws 2014-2016, DAR School 2018-2020

Chapter Service:  Librarian 2012-2014, Vice Regent 2014-2016, Librarian Appointed 2017-18, Chapter Director 2018-2020

Other:  Meeting Reservations 2009-2010, Benefit Registration 2013-2019, Women’s Issues Essay Contest State Winner in Career Category–Encore, 2014, Doing Life with Parkinson’s 2015, Wrote and Read Tea Time with Grandma Poem for Seminole Tea 2018, DAR School Project Second Place State Winner 2018, 10-Year Member 2018

President General Van Buren’s Call to Challenge: Think Big

On June 30, 2019, Denise Doring VanBuren was installed as President General at the National Society  Daughters of the American Revolution’s Continental Congress. In her Rise and Shine for America themed speech, she challenged Daughters to dream big dreams, think big, achieve great things, don’t settle for mediocrity, and look for meaningful service opportunities. We can’t shuffle along satisfied with the status quo if we are to achieve our Society’s full potential she emphasized.

As I considered  President General VanBuren’s message, I am blessed to live in America where I have the freedom to contribute in a manner that reflects who I am. I will always be grateful to my great-great-great-great grandfather Nathaniel Thurber who played a part in securing my freedom.

For more information about DAR contact me or visit DAR website, 

Blessings!
Linda