A Lake by Any Other Name

When the settlers first came, they talked about keeping the town away from the lake front. The words handed down through the decades included the need to maintain a place away from daily routines so anyone could come and just enjoy the water.

Then as the years passed by, there came those who donated significant funds to keep the park well maintained. But with all due respect to those generous families, the name Quadzoukle Lake just did not stick.

So, the town people simply came to refer to it as the “lake with the picnic place.” Others would say the “picnic place by the lake.” But when the pastor’s three year daughter mentioned they were going to Picnic Lake, it was then that the park had a name.

Does it make sense to those who come to visit? Who cares? The park is just right. The shallow beach provides swimming for lessons and entertainment. The picnic grounds offer the exquisite location to enjoy summertime. The nearby sand dunes add to the serene venue.

If you choose to laugh, then the people of Higgins Valley invite you come and enjoy. . . Picnic Lake.

Picnic Lake

Multiple Sclerosis: When the doctor is the patient

Dr. Goodson’s insightful perception caused him more fear than contentment. When he recognized the physical changes in his vision and legs, he realized Multiple Sclerosis had come to knock on his door.

Determined to not retire, he set up a small medical office in Higgins Valley. He could still treatment patients. Complicated cases would require referrals. But he enjoyed listening. Watching the light in patient’s eyes when they realize the physician in front of them was not only compassionate, but truly cares.

However, what Dr. Goodson did not want to admit, after five short years, he was having more days when his arms and legs were not obeying his wishes. The first time a patient assisted him to a chair, he convinced his ego that episode would be the last of its kind. Well, he thought so, until it happened again. . . and again. . . and again.

Now the patients, because they adored him so much, counted it a privilege to assist Dr. Goodson down the hallway or get a drink of water for him. They had learned to listen to him almost as attentively as the endearing man they called “Doc” cared for them.

Amy, his wife, could see past the mutual contentment. She had become concerned that people were too attached to the mutual relationship they had with her husband. Total retirement would probably be more difficult. His perception of his limitations blended to what he wanted to see.

Olyvia, his nurse, needed to be the balance between wishes for independence that dreaded thing called reality. She wanted her boss to continue to work as long as possible for his own emotional health. However, when safety concerns fell into their presence, things started to change. Predictably, so did Dr. Goodson.

You can read what happens next, in the chronicles of Higgins Valley Moments.

Alzheimer’s: One family’s journey

“Don’t Forget Your Hat” demonstrates one mom and two daughters as they face the many challenges of memory loss.

Denial, at first, is a typical response when Mom forgets things she had always remembered. But when finances become a crisis, the daughters must adjust their lives.

It is challenging when someone can no longer care for themselves. Complications elevate when they demonstrates no insight to their own limitations. Families must invent solutions to problems they had not foreseen. Cooking can be dangerous. However, the lost desert was almost too much to handle.

Finding others who had traveled the same path the daughters were treading was a bountiful blessing. One of the most amazing twists in their saga came from their mom.

That was when the hats started. Then mounded. And in the end, it was the hat that comforted the daughter more than words ever could.

DON’T FORGET YOUR HAT is a novel written by a nurse,Paula E. Gibeson, certified in gerontological nursing. Previously, Paula coordinated a research clinic for Alzheimer’s Disease. Additionally, her father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease. She watched her own family walk the same journey she had witnessed so many others travel.

DON’T FORGET YOUR HAT is available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Consider using this tool for support groups as well as families who currently have a loved one with memory loss.


Golden Independence: A Resource for Safe Seniors

Over sixty chapters detail how to remain safe while aging. Interventions for families of senior citizens offer solutions to issues of memory loss, falls, driving, and other health care concerns. Twenty chapters address personal care. Twenty chapters discuss behavioral challenges. The final twenty chapters outline how to improve home safety for seniors to remain in their own home safely.

This practical resource is full of subjects written by Paula E. Gibeson, RN-BC. With over thirty-five years of healthcare experience and certification as a gerontological nurse, Paula’s first hand experience offers explanations how to support dignity of aging individuals.

Personal Care Subjects include: bathing, bladder, driving, falls, feet, hearing/ears, communicating with doctors, laundry, living alone, medications, memory loss, mobility, monitoring finances, nutrition, pain, personal care, skin care, sleep, teeth, and vision/eyes.

Behavioral Topics include: apathy, agitation, anxiety, boredom, confusion, delusions, eating disorders, hallucinations, hiding things, hoarding, inappropriate social behaviors, insomnia, physically abusive, refusing care, refusing to change clothing, repetitive behaviors, sun downing, verbally abusive, wandering, and wanting to go home.

The areas of the home included in Section Three: Entrance, living room, dining room, home office, kitchen, bedroom, closets, bathroom, medication storage, laundry, craft corner, basement, deck, garage, and gardens.

GOLDEN INDEPENDENCE is available on Amazon and Barns & Noble.

Olyvia’s Story: A Nurse for all Seasons

Olyvia met Zach when she was in elementary school. Sweethearts all through their teen years. At the thought of marrying at nineteen, her parent’s discouragement gave her more determination to have her perfect wedding day.

When their first daughter arrived a year later, Olyvia thought she was living the plan she had seen for her life from the time she meandered the woods with her childhood friends.

Then only a year and half later, nothing seemed real. When she got the call from the hospital, her ears would not let her hear their words. Or perhaps she could hear words, but disbelief was too powerful to comprehend that she had just become a widow.

Even with a four month infant and a toddler, Olyvia’s twenty-second birthday was filled an emptiness. She strove to prove to others that she could take care of herself. Truthfully, it was an endeavor to convince herself she could survive.

Nellita came to her side often. Whatever her needs were, her life long friend was there. When Olyvia decided to go into nursing school, it was Nellita who made sure the little girls’ needs were met.

Now, all these years later, working for a doctor who himself had health issues, Olyvia was the one, again, doing whatever the moment asked of her to do. Caring for Dr. Goodson’s patients as well as his patient’s doctor, that was her job. Better stated, that was her privilege.

Yet, there was a one emptiness that Olyvia never chose to share. Not even her closest friends new the pain she felt daily.

Where will the next journey evolve?

The Journey Begins

Thanks for joining me!

HIGGINS VALLEY MOMENTS is a book series about three girls now on the edge of retirement in a town with eccentric and supportive neighbors. If you like to laugh, love, live, and cry be prepared to share their journey.

Book 1: I Will Stand Up Again.

We meet the girls, learn about their life long friendship as well as current challenges. Independence stands a goal, or possibly and annoyance to some. Each blog offers a glimpse of moments in Higgins Valley.

Keep reading until the book is finished and the next part of their journey continues in Book 2: Changing Seasons.

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton