message from New Zealand


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message from New Zealand

Postby Jeff Hawkins » Thu Apr 30, 2009 11:51 pm

Hi everyone (and especially Richard)

Been a while since I made a post so I thought I would bring you up to speed with my life in general. Well it's been rather good actually. Gwenda and I have just returned from a 10 week tour around the South Island of NZ. Covered 7500 kilometres (4700 miles in your language) and had a great time. I came back much fitter than when we left home mainly thanks to Gwenda pushing me to achieve a bit more each day. Boy' did I sleep at night!! Put the tent up and down 23 times so we got quite good at it. Survived rain, snow and wind. At times wore more clothes to bed than you could imagine. Stayed in isolated campsites where the only facilities were a long drop toilet and a stream for water. Saw beautiful scenery (mountains, lakes, ocean, rivers, glaciers) and walked for miles through wonderful bush. Travelled on vintage railways through gorges and mountain ranges and drove some dusty, steep and narrow roads.

Home now. Oh the bliss of a good bed and a shower that works!!

On the health front I'm still OK. A bit unstable at times when I am walking and a bit slow with my hands but the progression of my PSP symptoms is still very slow and the medicine dosage seems to be just about right. I guess I'm one of the lucky ones if anything about PSP can be described as lucky. Take care.
Nohoia Kaha (Stay strong),

Jeff
Jeff Hawkins
 
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Location: New Zealand

Postby Robin » Fri May 01, 2009 12:03 am

Welcome home. Sounds like a great time! I can't imagine how you could've travelled so many miles on such a small island.
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Postby cruzgal » Fri May 01, 2009 10:48 am

Hi, Jeff--good to see you back, even though I wasn't around when you were posting regularly. My MIL was just diagnosed with PSP in Sept. 2009 and I found the forum shortly after that so I can understand your reluctance to read every thread. But when I saw New Zealand I have to admit to being a bit nosey in going back to read your previous posts.

You see, we visited New Zealand back in the 80's and absolutely LOVED it! Of all the places we've visited in the world, it's the only country other than our own that we felt we'd truly like to live--if only it were closer to the US (and, therefore, to family)! We didn't have enough time to see much more than the north end of the North Island, but it was the vacation of a lifetime--beautiful scenery, so peaceful and relaxing and the friendliest people in the world!

And when you mentioned in one of your posts having a beach house at Whangamata, I couldn't believe it--unless there's another village with a very close-to-the-same name, that was our most favorite place of all!!!!!!! We stayed at a plain little motel across the street from the beach, nothing fancy at all but so CLEAN and neat that we've often mentioned that we could have eaten off the floor! The beach was beautiful, the rock formations so interesting and the food was great!

Sorry I got carried away about your wonderful country, but the mention of Whangamata brought back a flood of beautiful memories....I also wanted to say that I'm glad you're doing so well and that the PSP seems to be progressing so slowly. We'll all hope that slow progression continues for a long time to come.

One more thing--I agree with Robin....you must have driven every road in NZ to have traveled 4700 miles on one trip! LOL

Take care,
Brenda
Beloved Mother-in-Law was PwPSP, dx Sept. 2008 at age 80, symptoms since early 2006.
Elizabeth C. b. 12/14/1927, d. 4/07/2012
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Postby Richard1 » Sat May 02, 2009 6:11 pm

Jeff, how cruel of you to spur envy :)! Though, it sure does me a world of good knowing you are having a great time and in the wonderful world of nature. That good bed and shower would be nothing but routine had you and Glenda not braved the wilds a bit! I can almost visualize your trip. Please post some pics when settled.

You have inspired me to venture once again. Though, last week Tam and I, along with my Mom & Dad, toured St. Augustine, Florida. We had a great time. Their arms are stronger for pushing me around in the wheelchair and I learned quite a bit of history and insight into the ingenuity (and cruelty) of generations passed. When healthy, our passion was hiking and photographing. There is nothing like the mountains and the waterways that run from them.

I won't talk of health. Too happy to hear from you. Everyone needs a break from woe and drudgery now and again. Thank you Jeff.
Richard1
 
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to richard and Jeff

Postby ruthkri » Mon May 04, 2009 12:43 am

Hi Guys, It made my day when I saw posts from you all. Jeff you are a miracle and I applaud both you and Gwenda. And Richard you too!! You are both blessed with an indominable spirit that will bring you both thru PSP with honor and Grace. I have weathered the Minnesota winter and am enjoying the spring with sunshine and budding trees and flowers popping up. I am trying to keep busy but still and guess I always will
be in some sort of denial - don't accept this new phase of my life but keep on plugging away at anything that comes my way. It was so wonderful to hear from you both, I think of you all so often and wish you both the best, Love , Ruth
wife of Bud who received his golden wings March 4, 2007
And now abideth Faith, Hope and Love and the greatest
of these is Love
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Postby Jeff Hawkins » Tue May 05, 2009 8:36 pm

Hi everyone,

Thanks for all your interest. There is only one Whangamata so that's the one you visited. The motel you stayed in (close to the Surf Club) has gone now and been replaced by a block of apartments. The beach is still as lovely as ever and we are going down there next week for a break. Life is tough but someone has to do it!! I will post a couple of photos of the beach to bring back some memories for you.

Good to hear from you Richard. I think of you often. Pleased that you are still out and about enjoying the open air. You know my favourite saying "Every day above the ground is a good day!" so like you I just get out there and do it. I will post some photos of our trip so you can all be envious! Fired up the Camaro when we came home and enjoyed a cruise. It hadn't been out of the garage for 3 months so it needed a run. That's what I told Gwenda anyway! I am at my daughters place so I had better go and beat my grandson at Table Soccer. Yeah right!
Nohoia Kaha (Stay strong),

Jeff
Jeff Hawkins
 
Posts: 80
Joined: Mon Oct 22, 2007 2:01 pm
Location: New Zealand

Postby Richard1 » Thu May 07, 2009 3:13 pm

Greetings All! (Alan at the helm)

Jeff, I have been thinking of ways for Tammy, the kids, and myself to visit you on New Zealand. Lord Willing, and nothing happens, we just may be able to do it! What hotel would you recommend? I want "the works" for my beautiful wife and my three adult children. They deserves the very best. I have plenty of money saved and am ready for some adventure! (This is from Alan. Dad is going to wear me out. He goes, goes goes, at the expense of my weary arms).

Wow, Sunday is Mother's Day and I have not prepared for it all. Alan says he will take me shopping tomorrow. This year has got to be a "big one" for Mom and for Tammy.

ALL ALAN HERE: I want all of you to know that you have made this difficult time for my Dad and us a whole easier to endure. I exercise him everyday and use the many tips and suggestions to make life for him as good as it can be. I tell you, my Dad is one of the most genuine, sweet and energetic men I have ever known. He is progressing, albeit slowly. Mom will eventually post but does not want to read anything more about PSP. It depresses her and takes the air out of her happiness.
Richard1
 
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Postby Jeff Hawkins » Thu May 07, 2009 11:45 pm

Hi Richard,

Well, the best hotel is our place and we do have a branch at Whangamata which also will be sure to have vacancies. If stairs are an issue then our house in Auckland may not be unsuitable but I will leave you with that call. As we rarely stay in hotels (you know us, wide open spaces, tents, etc!!) I'm not sure what to recommend but as most of the major chains are represented down here so you can't go wrong.

Would love to show you some of our part of the world.
Nohoia Kaha (Stay strong),

Jeff
Jeff Hawkins
 
Posts: 80
Joined: Mon Oct 22, 2007 2:01 pm
Location: New Zealand

Postby eplowman » Fri May 08, 2009 12:08 am

Jeff,

This has been a delightful, uplifting thread. Thanks for posting.

I love your love of the outdoors and camping out. Just wonderful that you can still get about so well and savor this part of your life.

I enjoyed 10-day backpacking trips in the high Sierras of California with kids, including some of mine. But my late wife Rose and youngest daughter preferred "camping out" to be no rougher than a well-appointed motel, preferably close to a shopping mall. :D

ed
|My wife of 56 years was Rose b. 1930, dx 1999, symptoms from 1997; d. 06/21/08; PSP-rs autopsy confirmed.
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Postby Jeff Hawkins » Sun May 10, 2009 9:18 pm

Gidday Richard,

Thought about hotels and you should check out the Spencer on Byron which is on the North Shore not far from us. I think they have serviced apartments that may be suitable.

Off to Whangamata tomorrow until Saturday. Weather is a bit wet and wild but I like being there in any season as walking on the beach with the seas rolling in is magic.

On Sunday we are going to Eden Park (home of Auckland Rugby) as our grandson Ford is playing in the curtainraiser for the main game between Auckland Blues and the Canterbury Crusaders. Should be exciting for a 10 year old playing in a full sized stadium. Exciting for his Grandad too!!
Nohoia Kaha (Stay strong),

Jeff
Jeff Hawkins
 
Posts: 80
Joined: Mon Oct 22, 2007 2:01 pm
Location: New Zealand


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