Friday, March 17, 2006

Chance (a story you won't forget!!) ENJOY!!

COME ON: Go ahead!!  READ this one!!  You won't forget it!           
I know you will like it!
Love ya,
by Gayle Hoover Thorne

      Some time ago I was driving home and stopped at a funky little
shop.  On my way out, I noticed a pedal bicycle with a child trailer
attached to it.
      A man was leaving the store at the same time and I asked him if it was his bike.  He told me it was.
      "And who do you cart around in the trailer?" I asked.
      "My dog, Chance," he answered.
      Thus began quite a story.
      I found out his name was Roger Ringkamp.  He was the victim of severe burns over 45% of his body some 14 years prior.  At the time, he was working 16 hour days, six days a week, and he had put
something on to cook and fell asleep.  His whole two-story home
burned down around him.
      His two dogs had tried in vain to move him.  His leather boots
and jeans were torn in their effort to rescue him and take him to
safety.  Finally, they crouched beside him to protect his belly and
chest areas. They died in the process.  The rescuers said that the
dogs were not stuck to his body, but stayed there out of loyalty.  He was saved by their sacrifice.
       Roger's hands and face and back were burned badly. His poor
hands were burned so badly that much of their functions were lost.
His fingers were misshapen and looked more like claws.  He seemed to do things more with the palms of his hands instead of using his
      Well, our whole conversation started over the dog he now carts
around with him.  The dog's name is Chance, because Roger (as Roger explained) was God's only chance to save the dog when she was a pup.
      One day he'd been driving and saw a mother dog had been hit.  So knowing that puppies were at stake, he back-tracked to find her.
      "I'm half Cherokee and half German," he said, "and I spend my life back-tracking."  It took him two days, but he found the mother, covered by her puppies who tried to keep her warm as it was winter.
      Of the four pups, only one was alive.  He took that tiny pup and nursed it to adulthood.  His relationship with that dog, and the
dog's relationship with him, is tight, to say the least.  He said he
bathes Chance every three days even though it hurts his hands to do so.
      Roger said that when he needs something, he prays about it and it just seems to come.  For example, he asked a man he knew, "You
know my dog with little, short legs?  Well, she can't keep up with me on my bike.  I need a trailer to have her come along with me, because if my dog can't come too, I'll get rid of the bike."
      The man went away and came back later saying he just happened to have a child bike trailer in his backyard and Roger could have it. Roger said he didn't want to take it away from the man's children and the man said, "You'll notice that I have a car.  I don't have to pedal the car.  And I'm lazy and I see that you're not.  Money doesn't seem to mean anything to you, so it shouldn't mean anything to me.  Take the trailer."  Roger was grateful beyond belief.
      For two and a half years before this, Roger and Chance were
homeless.  There was a time when he couldn't get any food for either one of them.  It had been three days since they'd eaten and he didn't have anything to give the dog, much less himself.
      He told the dog to go and get something to eat.  He had to yell
at Chance to get her to leave him.  Finally, she did and Roger cried
and cried.
      After some time passed, Chance returned, coming over the hill
with a rabbit in her mouth.  She had gotten food for the two of them. Roger cooked the rabbit and gave Chance half and ate the other half himself.
      Eventually Roger's plight became known to the authorities and
they asked him to speak of his challenges.  He was in the newspaper and folks came to his aid.
      He believes that he is alive today to remind people to count
their blessings.
      I pulled out one of my personal business cards as we were
parting company and reached out with one of his poor mangled hands.  I told him I didn't want to hurt him and he said I wouldn't.
      Then we shook hands and then he came to me and we hugged.  It was some meeting, for sure.
      He mounted his bike and took off in a burst of energy.  I
watched him go until he was out of sight.

        -- Gayle Hoover Thorne  <jamarz @>

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Stuff: Remodeling, weather, missing all of YOU!

WE ARE SUPPOSED TO GET UP TO 12" OF SNOW TODAY.  ICK! I hate it, now that I can't clear it myself.   But first we are getting rain that is trying to freeze.  Isn't this lovely?  LOL  What is it with this snow in March?  Anything can happen in Iowa, especially Northern IA in March, though.  But just last year it was 53 today the record says!!  I bet Dave won't make it home tonight, IF it INDEED DOES get as BAD as they say.  Well, there is nothing we can do about it, Mother Nature will do what she wants. 
How are things with YOU?  What have you guys been up to?  I hope you are having some fun, and if so I want to hear about it!!
 You do know we had our kitchen remodeled and it took 3 whole weeks, right???

Well, yesterday I worked like a slave, LOL-- I carried lots of stuff (boxes up from the basement and or dining room to the kitchen!) Also, Yesterday I REALLY the spare room, (for the first time since the construction mess and dust)  and worked on putting stuff away in the kitchen.  I also cleaned the dining room, dusted all furniture and floors and also washed the laminated floor in D.R.  I was really pooped
after that and the dogs and I took a nap about 2:30 or 3.   All 3 of us (dogs and me) got on the king size bed. (Watched TV to start with and then snoozed.  We didn't wake up until after 6 PM (of course, TeddyBear our Bichon had gotten me up at 4:30 AM, he's been doing that) so, I was really tired. I thought I wouldn't be able to sleep last night, but I did with no problem-went to bed about 11:30 PM.  But that's because I did a lot of work in one day and I am not use to working THAT hard. Plus I'd had to move Dave's guitars, and all his extra junk out of the spare room so they could deliver the new queen size bed for in there, yesterday too. I even moved the dresser and the desk in there, and moved the bed around to "properly clean that floor.)  Of course, after the bed was delivered, I had to move all Dave's stuff back, etc. Man, was my back and neck killing me!  (And I SURELY missed my pain pills!!  WOW did I!) (But I still got lots of stuff done and was proud of myself, even though I knew I'd overdone.)
Anyway, the delivery guys took the old Queen one in our basement away, and then the one that had been in the "spare" room went down into the basement. It's not that OLD, (well, only about 10 yr. But it's still a nice bed.) That Queen, went down in the basement...If you ask me, it's way too nice of bed to be in the basement, hasn't been slept on that much, and when it has, it's been just one person, one of us who for some reason couldn't sleep in the King.  I offered the bed to our son Tim....I wonder if he gets sick of getting all our "older" stuff, but it's never that old, (and is always in GOOD shape) as we seem to get new stuff much sooner than most people I know, so Tim's house is quite well furnished.
Tim has a Double Bed right now, and declined the offer, for now.  He'd have to get his friend to drive the his truck here, and pay him gas money, and this isn't the best time of year to do that, either, so for now, Tim said thanks, but no thanks in a very nice and polite way!

I already sent you unfortunate news about Dave's (my husband's) MRI. Test.  Poor Dave.  Later,  friends,  I would REALLY like to hear from at least SOME of you again.  I really wonder how you are, and miss you.  If you still want to be buds, please write me when you have a few minutes.  I would really appreciate it!  If I did something to offend ANYONE, I am deeply sorry for it, and at least would like the chance to apologize for it.  Besides, right now, my email is my only "fun diversion!"

My Poor Husband

Dear Journal buddies, (especially those of you who I haven't written to, or heard from for a while)
I think you should know that my husband Dave had a pinched nerve in his neck/shoulder area,, and has been in terrible pain for a couple weeks.  He had an MRI Tuesday,  It took 2 tries to get through the test as he had so much pain even with valium and pain medication.
Well, then, Oh boy, the MRI Radiology Center phoned me this a.m. They said that Dave has to have his MRI  RETAKEN!  I feel so bad for him, he thought he was done with that and he's not!  They said the radiologist saw slight movement. (The pictures aren't clear enough for them.)   I said that Dave had so much pain, he'd had to try 2 times to get through the test even with valium and pain medication.  I told them I was so sorry to hear that, it is hard for Dave to do all this waiting and he has so much pain and doesn't yet have a test, doesn't have a clue as to what is wrong, he will have an apt. with his family doc after the test is done, or within the next 2 weeks. This entire thing is taking too long!  (in my opinion)  I feel so sorry for Dave.   They told me to tell Dave to tell them that when he rescheduled the apt. and that he wanted and NEEDED to get an IV Drip to KNOCK HIM OUT. or he'd probably "have slight movements forever"--he'd not get through the test.  I will be his driver, if I can. 
I don't know if he's really out, if I can "support" and handle him, and wonder about that, but I'll figure something out when the time comes. Dave was / is in Cedar Rapids, last night for his job. 
I did not know about him having to have this MRI done AGAIN when Dave called me last night!  He is supposed to be home tonight--if he can get through our snowstorm.  As you proably know from me telling you before, I had to get the IV to get through the MRI for my neck, and Dave had to practically carry me to the car and home.  Poor Dave, poor Dave.
They said to have Dave call and reschedule "at his earliest convenience."  That remark just GOT ME.  Doesn't anybody care how much pain he is in and how long this is taking??  He doesn't see Dr. Berge (family doc) for about 10 DAYS, or so I think. 
Will write more later,