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Archive for the ‘Progress’ Category

January 1, 2016 • Welcome, weary web traveler! You’ve come upon the blog chronicling a very interesting time in the life of Deepwell USA – the years from late 2009 to the end of 2015, when a strange last will and testament by someone named Ruby Wood wrought some pretty far-reaching changes in our town. If you haven’t yet been to RubysBequest.org, make sure you do so – that’s where all the action took place. (And if you think something’s amiss, better read this.)

Deepwell mourns its friend

Deepwell mourns its friend

As the people of Deepwell struggled with the challenges posed by Ruby’s will, they posted their thoughts here in this blog – as well as events in their lives and the occasional bit of news about the bequest. Most of it is mundane I guess, but some of it I find quite profound. It’s all in reverse chrono order, so best if you start with the oldest posts and work your way up.

But maybe you don’t want to read it. You’re time-pressured, darn it! You shout, “Etta, GET TO THE POINT!” Okay. The point is: It was really hard to think about caring – but it was really necessary, too. It was really hard to talk to others about caring – but that was really necessary, too. In the end, thanks to the hundreds of people who shared, some amazing things happened and some really true things were revealed about the future of caring.

I especially want to thank the people who wrote to us about loss, who gifted us with wisdom they learned through hard experience. Because we in Deepwell are in loss today – one among us, Phil Geddings, has died of leukemia. You don’t know Phil – he didn’t post to this blog, or end up telling his story at Ruby’s Bequest. Like so many people, he was too caught up in caring for real to afford the luxury of talking about it in the abstract. But most of us here in Deepwell knew Phil, many of us worked with him (or wanted to).  He was one of those people you can openly like right away – he was so clearly a team player, and everyone was on his team. Regarding Ruby’s Bequest, he was very much with us in spirit – he still is – and our hearts go out to his family and friends.  Photo by Shad0.

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Oct 20, 2014 • Let me start by saying I don’t really understand what’s happening. I’m not alone – I’m not sure any one person understands it all. After years pushing pushing pushing to get things to happen, now things are beginning to happen on their own?

Best maybe if I use an actual example, and YOU tell ME what this all means.

The circle starts with Hap

The circle starts with Hap

So this example starts with Hap Drupa, who lives three blocks from me. Hap is 70ish, widowed, and a bit lonely I guess. His son Tad, who lives in Atlanta, bought him a smart home setup and calls Hap quite often, but still. Hap wants “real people.” So Tad posts a request on PODCare, saying “will someone come take my dad for a walk once a week? Get him out of his bathrobe?” (LOL, Hap is not the lounge-in-bathrobe type)

So Andrea responds and says yeah, she’ll do it. Andrea’s in a wheelchair, which is kinda perfect, because shifted into low she and Hap cruise at the same relaxed pace. Tad wants to pay Andrea but she says “nuts” to that. BUT in an inspired moment Andrea gets on Silvercare and pokes around in Atlanta, and sure enough she finds Trish who’s looking for some casual help once a week with her grown daughter, Meg, who has cerebral palsy. So Andrea asks Tad if he will pay Andrea back by looking in on Trish and Meg instead?

Well this suits Tad fine because his daughter Kylie (you keeping this all straight? cuz there will be a quiz later) has community service goals in her school. So Tad and Kylie visit Trish and Meg there in Atlanta, and often Tad will call Hap from there, so it gets to be like a happy family.

So now Kylie meets Andrea, and they pal or friend or bf or (more…)

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Oct 20, 2014 • I know a bunch of people are angry about the bleak outlook portrayed in “Citizen Kid”, but that’s Hollywood for ya. They need to put a spin on things to get people into the theater, especially in this economy. I’m not saying that what they showed wasn’t the truth. They just chose to highlight the massive amount of work ahead of us, rather than the small successes we’ve had so far (and in such a short time!).

I must say, Kids Kare has succeeded in ways I never thought possible. We started out with adding caring issues to the curriculum at the schools, added a few after school activities and the next thing you know, we’re working with Americorps on the summer volunteer program and Columbia University sets up a research station here. Even some of Obama’s people stopped by to check us out. Pretty amazing, huh?

Now that Kids Kare, PODcare and Silvercare are joining forces, you can bet your rubies that we’ll be unstoppable!

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Jun 27, 2014 • It hardly seems like four months since we lost Ida May. Valentine’s Day was always a bittersweet day for me at best, but will be doubly so now.

Since then, I have been lost. I spent so much time caring for her that I have not known what to do with myself. I’ve been rattling around in this big old house all by myself like a lone pea in a can. The loss of Ida May on top of all my cats to the double-cursed “pinkeye” or “zoo flu” or whatever the news wants to call it these days nearly killed me as well. I admit that I hoped I would get sick and die, too. A dark time for MeelieSue, ducks.

Several weeks ago I sat down with Ida May’s estate lawyer and it was no surprise to me that I was named sole beneficiary to her estate. What was a surprise was the absolute enormity of the estate itself. She had been very canny about her investments over the years. Very, very canny. I’m talking about nearly nine digits canny. I had no idea.

What’s an old woman (or a Cool Old Bat) like me going to do with all that money? I’m perfectly happy just the way I am – or the way I was, before Ida May got sick. And there’s the rub. I bet there are a lot of people out there in the world right now who are perfectly happy just the way they are right before they are struck with Alzheimer’s.

So here’s my little contribution: I have been speaking with none other than Ashleye Blackbourne and I am going to use all of Ida May’s money to set up a foundation to assist people who need Tauremopravil to stave off symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, but can’t afford to pay for this incredibly expensive drug themselves. Mental clarity should not be reserved only for the rich.

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Apr 25, 2014 • I’m very excited about the opening of the Deepwell Community Mental Health Center. I’m so glad that the center was able to get the additional last minute funding from Columbia University. I’ve heard that it will utilize many of the new types of technology available like Telemedicine.

Will be great for people outside of Deepwell and maybe even people like Sam who can’t leave the house. I’m signed up to volunteer on Tuesday evenings (after yoga!). They also have a large meeting room and will have many of the 12-step meetings that people used to have to go to Ackley for.

Things are going well with PODcare, better now that the “economic” issues have been worked out. It’s so much easier to help out my parents and Sam. I mean it makes sense that if I am driving out to Robertson that I can take Mrs. Evans to her accupuncturist and if Maddie is driving to Wellsburg that my mom can go with to see her neurologist right? I also like the text blast feature. You never know when a last minute errand might benefit someone else too.

Also if anyone needs a ride to the Tompkins funeral please let me know. I have two spaces available in my car.

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