Our Lady of the Journey

Our Lady of the Journey,  wood sculpture, artist unknown  Located at Mission Santa Inez, Solvang CA

Unexpected Encounter

On a recent visit to my sister Beth in California, I discovered that my husband Charlie had visited 16 of the 21 Spanish Missions.  These Missions were founded by Spanish Franciscan  priests between 1769 and 1833 to bring the Native Americans to Christianity and a whole lot of other more political reasons.  I will let you seek out that information in the history books.

I also discovered that 4 of the remaining 5 missions were within a few  hours drive.  We packed water, a few snacks,  my trekking poles and ourselves into the back seat of my sisters sedan.  With her husband as chauffeur and Beth as narrator,  we went to find these missions.

Each mission compound was unique in its location, state of restoration and amount of use.  Some were out in the countryside and had become state parks.  Others were in urban areas and were active parishes.  All were similar in that the  church had a long  narrow nave and an altar rail.  The walls of the more active churches  were brightly painted with flowers and leaves and birds of the area. Different and alike, they all held surprises.

My favorite surprise of all was when I walked into an art exhibit at Mission Santa Inez.  I entered the Madonna room and saw familiar images of our Lady in paintings of various sizes.  I turned and looked to the right and then to the left and admired the artwork.  As I started through the threshold into the next display  I felt pulled  to go back.  I turned around and there she was, standing  behind some glass.  Our Lady!  (now my lady to me because I instantly claimed her).  Our Lady of the Journey.   What Journey?  Who  created her image? Why was she here, unclaimed, a statue of wood, in this room of paintings, all signed and dated by their artists?  I had so many questions about her, and they have remained unanswered despite my research.

In spite of not knowing her, I  invited myself to join her journey. (It  is not unusual for me to invite myself along)  She didn’t say “no”.  She just  stood and looked at me with welcoming eyes.  So it must be ok.  

I am excited to follow Our Lady’s itinerary.  Hmm, I wonder when the journey starts.

Published by Carol Clupny, author The Ribbon of Road Ahead: One Woman's Remarkable Journey with Parkinson's Disease

I am a middle aged woman with Parkinson's Disease. When I was first diagnosed I spent a lot of time researching the disease. Seeing a video of a man in the advanced stages of the disease attempting to get out of his chair and then "freezing" as he tried to walk across the room got me off my butt and moving. Great adventures on the Camino de Santiago and with TEAM Pedaling for Parkinson's across IOWA, as well as the day to day adventures of life have lead me to writing. My first novel, a memoir, was published early 2019. It is called, you got it THE RIBBON OF ROAD AHEAD. Living with the degenerative neurological disease Parkinson's, ULTREIA is a word that guides me. I have chosen it as the name of my business ULTREIA BOOKS. It comes from Latin and old French and means "unfailing courage". In the old days, pilgrims would call "Ultreïa" to each other as encouragement "Go up, go further!" Nowadays we would say "You can do this thing". It takes courage to live with Parkinson's. May I face each day with unfailing courage. Ab Here is more about me; I was living an active lifestyle riding horses, hiking, climbing and snow skiing when at age fifty she was diagnosed with Parkinsons. Retiring from her career as a speech-language pathologist she decided to “take to the road” to battle the disease. Her first steps, walking out her door to the mailbox, lead to trekking over 1000 miles of pilgrimage trails on the Camino de Santiago in France and Spain. A dusty bike discovered in the garage resulted in four rides on the Des Moines Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa with the Pedaling for Parkinsons Team. These adventures inspired her to write a memoir The Ribbon of Road Ahead: One Woman’s Remarkable Journey with Parkinson’s Disease. Carol blogs about her everyday life as a middle-aged woman in the mid-stages of Parkinson’s disease. Her honest, humorous and casual narrative style brings the reader to an intimate understanding of Carol’s resilience and acceptance. Her blog, sharing the name of her book ”The Ribbon of Road Ahead” can be found at www.ultreiablog.org After completing a Masters of Science in Speech Pathology from Eastern Washington University Carol received certification in School Leadership and Administration from Lewis and Clark College. She provided speech pathology services and was a program director for 32 years in the wide geographic expanse of eastern Oregon. Active in the Oregon Speech-Language and Hearing Association she received honors of the association and the presidential award for her work on recruitment and retention of speech and hearing professionals. Carol presented numerous papers and projects at local, state and regional professional conferences. She was appointed by Governor Ted Kulongoski to two terms of the Oregon Board of Examiners of Speech Pathology and Audiology, the state’s licencing and consumer protection agency. Since her diagnosis in 2008, Carol has become active in the Parkinson’s Community as an advocate, an Ambassador for the Davis Phinney Foundation and support group facilitator for Parkinson's Resources of Oregon. She was appointed the regional patient representative for the Parkinson's Foundation’s Women with PD TALK study. In September of 2019 the Michael J Fox Foundation selected Carol to participate in the Parkinson’s Policy Forum in Washington DC. As an attendee at the World Parkinson Congress in 2016 in Portand, Oregon, Carol presnted a poster session examining the decision making process for patients considering deep brain stimulaiton. At the 2019 WPC in Kyoto, Japan she presented a poster on vision concerns of women with PD and lead small group discussions. Her book The Ribbon of Road Ahead has provided many speaking opportunities for Carol. In 2019 and early 2020 she visited 24 support groups in Washington, Idaho, Oregon and California to share her thoughts on living well with the disease. In addition, she has presented talks for The Center on Aging in San Francisco, Parkinson's Place in Las Vegas, Northwest Parkinson's Foundation in Richland WA and virtually through their HOPE online program. In late 2020 she rejuvenated her voice and narrated her book. It became available as an audio book in 2021. As part of this project she read stories over the airwaves on RadioParkies Australia with DJ Madonna and in Great Britain with DJ Johnny Parky. She and her husband Charlie have two adult sons. They live on a small hobby farm in eastern Oregon. Contact Information: Carol Clupny PO BOX 128, Hermiston, OR 97838 caclupny@gmail.com (541) 720-4256

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