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My Parkinson's Journey

In which Terri shares a humorous look at her journey with Parkinson's disease and Dystonia:

For me, illness and health are not opposites but exist together. Everyone has something that is challenging to them. Mine just simply has a recognizable name. My life will take a different path because of this but that's okay. Everyone has changes in their lives that create their path.  I'm learning how to enjoy whatever path I'm on.

Marathon - conclusion - and another marathon

Terri Reinhart

Daniel did fly through the marathon.  He completed the 26.2 mile run in just 3 hours and 2 minutes.  That’s an average of less than 7 minutes per mile.  I watched from home in Colorado, tracking him on the route map all the way.  I also tried to find the quiet time to just simply think about Daniel and the race.  What must it feel like to run that far? 

I didn’t have any amazing psychic revelations, unless you count the sudden realization that 14,000 people starting in each wave equaled 28,000 elbows.  I don’t get along well in crowds with lots of elbows.  When I get jostled a bit, I tend to start walking sideways…or backwards, depending on how my body is cooperating at any one moment.  Shoulders are just as bad.  I wouldn’t have had to worry about getting tangled up with anyone else’s feet.  Mine tend to stay on the ground. 

I have learned a lot, just by reading Daniel’s blog and watching the runners.  Running long distances takes training.  It’s not just about being fast, either.  It’s about endurance and how to pace yourself so you can go farther without completely exhausting yourself.  I understand that well.  With Parkinson’s, every day is about pacing myself so I can go farther without getting exhausted.  

I’m in another marathon now and I need to step back for a moment and remember the pacing bit.  Tomorrow I start teaching again.  I will have one class a day, for four weeks, to teach bookbinding.  I know the students.  They are our high school seniors and they are a hard working and artistic group.  In addition to this class, I am preparing to have a vendor’s table at our yearly Christmas fair.  As this is the only venue where I sell any of my crafts, I am working hard.  I have my goals posted on my kitchen cabinet and I am slowly but surely making my way through the list. 

These two tasks work well together.  I can finish my own books as I teach the students, using my work as the examples for each step.  I will have some free time after my class and that will allow me to spend some time finishing sewing projects or putting together greeting cards.  There are three weeks to go before the fair.  I should be ready, no problem!

Of course there is another project.  Our son, Patrick, has submitted his book to the printers and is waiting for the proof copy to arrive.  After the book passes Patrick’s inspection and we deem that it is ready to be sold, we will be working together to create an advertisement mailing to go out to schools around the country.  That will have to be done before the first of December. 

Okay, I think we’ve got it under control.  The bookbinding class materials are ready.  I’m prepared to teach.  The Christmas fair crafts are getting done, albeit slowly.  We’ve got most of our mailing list compiled so that it shouldn’t be difficult to send out the advertisement. I’m organized. 

I’d like to think I am, anyway.  There is one more important project: we have a grandbaby due in FIVE WEEKS!  Okay, settle down, breathe a little.  I’ve been so scattered over the last week that I have piles of work everywhere in the house.  We couldn’t even eat at the dining room table last night because it was filled with sewing projects.  I go from one to another, flitting back and forth and getting very little done.  I’m getting tired.  It’s time to pace myself again.  Daniel, you can be MY race pacer, this time.

I have to remind myself that I don’t have to make ALL of the baby’s diapers and clothes.  The baby doesn’t need to have everything before he or she is born, either.  I’ve already knit a blanket and an outfit, and made a doll.  My son and daughter-in-law were showered by their friends, family, and church community today.  They have a good start. 

I’d better pace myself.  I want to have enough energy to hold my grandbaby.