Safe or Out?

Progress always involves risk; you can’t steal second base and keep your foot on first base. ~ Frederick B. Wilcox

Safe or or Out? You make the call!

I am a baseball loving gal who is fortunate to live ten miles from Roger Dean Chevolet Stadium in Jupiter, Florida. It is the spring training home for the Miami Marlins and the St. Louis Cardinals. March weather in Florida is glorious, and March 13 was a perfect day for me to be at the park!

This action shot was fun to get. First of all, my seat was in direct alignment with home plate, so I could take the photo without standing up. Six players and two umpires were in my line of vision. Action shots tell a story, and the play at second base did not disappoint.

While the home plate group is watching the action unfold, each of the remaining figures has a specific role to play. I snapped the photo  just as the infielder leaped to catch the ball.

Sunshine, spring training, ballpark, lemonade, pretzels, popcorn, and photography! My kind of day!!


Photo by: Linda A. Mohr


Can You Read My Tiny Handwriting?

My Handwriting in 2008….Big and Bold

How is it possible I did not notice my tiny handwriting? That is, until one day in 2012 I tried to write big. When a colleague was running late, she asked me to write a note on the chalk board so students would wait for her. I was shocked when I discovered I could not write big. I erased and slowly started again. I managed to get a message scrawled on the board.

Subtle Changes

Most of my writing was composing documents and emails at the keyboard from 2011-2013. Rarely did I write long hand except for lists, checks, and journal. Since those tasks were done quickly, I did not pay attention to how neat or legible the end results were. But subtle changes were brewing in my fingers.

My Handwriting  Changes Slowly in 2011….Less Precise

Tiny Handwriting and Tendonitis

Over a two-year period, my handwriting got tinier and almost illegible. Joe commented that he often had trouble reading notes that I left for him. I could barely read my miniature handwritten “To Do” lists. Still I was not alarmed. I thought my problem was caused by tendonitis in right elbow. Even an orthopedic doctor thought so as well.

My Handwriting in 2012….Tiny and Cramped

When it was time to prepare handwritten Thanksgiving cards for the faculty in 2012, I enlisted the help of my graduate assistants. They wrote the message. I signed fifty cards.

My Handwriting Summer 2013….Uncontrolled and Messy

When I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2014, I learned what had happened to my handwriting. The basal ganglia are a group of neurons located deep in the brain that process information on movement such as using my hand to write with a pen. As the disease progresses, the basal ganglia weaken causing difficulty. Small and cramped handwriting known as micrographia results. It is often an early secondary motor symptom of Parkinson’s disease for some people. I would have never guessed! Later primary motor symptoms such as slowness of movement, tremor, and rigidity contribute to writing challenges.

To Be Continued: Handwriting Therapy

Question: How has Parkinson’s affected your handwriting?


No Matter What

The women of the 1800s who went West
in covered wagons and settled the frontier
faced great hardship.
Back-breaking, numbing work,
hunger, thirst, Indian attacks,
violence, extremes of weather.

Perhaps most enervating of all
were the summers when, day after day,
the hot wind came whirling across the Plains
blasting dust in their faces, their clothes, their homesteads.

In summer, many women sickened and died.
Others fled back East.
The women who survived were the ones
who picked up their brooms every morning
and swept out the dust again.

No matter what.
(Author Unknown)

My Ancestors

Lots of thoughts were swirling around me right after I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2014.  However, I kept coming back to the No Matter What poem that has been displayed in my office for over 35 years. I am blessed to have strong ancestral women in my line. Their roads were long. They inspire me to keep walking  through the Parkinson’s storm each day.

My Challenge

My hardships are different than my ancestors. I am not fighting for food. I live in a home with central heat and air. I have high quality medical care, enjoyable work, and creative interests.

However, I do have a physical and mental challenge on my hands, and it is relentless, chronic and degenerative. I am thankful for each day. I do what I have to do to take care of myself. I share my life with Parkinson’s, but I do not allow it to define or overshadow me.

My Toughness

An insightful card and note from my brother Larry conveyed: “Mom had the pioneer spirit in her and she passed that toughness and perseverance down to each one of us. You’ll be fine. Keep your chin up.”

Yes, I am tough. I pick my broom up every morning and sweep out the dust again. No matter what.


Orange Tabby Cat Inspired Haiku

Snow Boots

Snow blanket magic

Tabby cat exploration

Surprising sink holes

Photo and Poem by Linda A. Mohr
Originally Published in Winter laJoie 2017