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|Newsletters: Spotlight: Life in Maine is “Just Peachy”|
Spotlight: Life in Maine is “Just Peachy”
Some people eat to live; I live to eat. It’s rather ironic because I’ve been a TPN consumer for 23 years due to an infection after a C-section when 95 percent of my intestines were removed. Even though I can’t absorb it, I love food and love to cook. I can’t even eat all the stuff I make, but it’s fun to play with fancy recipes. I can hardly wait get through my Oley cookbook to see what tasty things my friends and others have cooked up.
Oley has been a part of my life for so long, I can’t remember when I wasn’t involved. I’ve been a member since the very beginning. You may have seen me as “Peaches” the clown back then. For nearly 20 years I’ve entertained at parades, children’s parties and holiday gatherings. One of my favorite gigs was the Oley picnic. Years ago we had a dunk-the-clown tank. One dollar bought three chances. Everyone got into the act, including Dr. Howard, who was dripping by the end of the day. As you know, even fund-raisers are fun when they are for Oley.
Being a member of Oley has changed me. I’ve learned to be my own advocate; I’ve learned about new products that have given me more freedom. The best invention is the portable pump. One morning I was running my TPN late when I discovered I ran out of sweetener for my tea. With my backpack in tow I went off to the store. In the sugar aisle, I couldn’t reach the brand I wanted. I asked a store clerk if he could give me a hand; he bent over and threaded his fingers together as if to give me a boost. I smiled and said, “You’re so much taller than me, you might throw me over the aisle.” He patted my backpack and said, “Well you’ll be alright, after all, you’ve wearing your parachute.” I laughed all the way home.
The best thing about being a TPNer is all the friends I have met. Thanks to the many friends who’ve broken down barriers and blazed trails, we can all live more normal lives. I’m grateful to friends who’ve encourage me to “hang in there” in the tough times, and friends who’ve supported my dreams. One of my dreams was to move to Maine; two years ago I achieved that dream. Up until then I lived on the same block for 43 years. I traded the hustle and bustle of the city for 10 wooded acres in this small peaceful village called York. I hike, kayak, swim and garden in the summer. Much of my time lately has been spent cutting and clearing the old trees from my little forest. My favorite housewarming gift is my chain saw. I share my property with rabbits, owls, wild turkey, deer, loads of birds, and an occasional moose. Every day is an adventure; my dog Zoe and I never know who we might meet on our walks. It’s a regular paradise here.
This isn’t to say I never get the urge to go other places. I love to travel and love to fly. Last October I traveled to Ireland with my mother and friends. This year I plan to visit my HPN friends in Florida for Oley’s annual conference. Just thinking about it almost makes me forget the 3+ feet of snow presently covering the ground.
Happy Healthy New Year everyone. Hope to see you in Florida!
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Oley exhibit at A.S.P.E.N.'s Clinical Nutrition Week