Sunday, October 11, 2009


It is October 11, 2009—40 days to departure--and time to begin a journal of my coast-to-coast and border-to-border journey to publicize the plight of Elsa Newman and her sons.
In September, I made a shakedown run to LaGrande, Oregon, with the motor home. I took all 13 small dogs with me, using built-in crates that I had made myself. I have 11 ½ pugs, ½ Chihuahua, and another person who is either a pug in a tuxedo, a penguin, or some relative of the flying nun. We all learned a bit from that trip. I took notes on things I wanted to change or improve. And we headed home.

After that? Boy, howdy! Did things ever shake down! On the way home, as I passed some construction, I remember thinking, “Wow! That stuff is too close to the road.” And before I could even finish the thought, something hit my front awning arm, pulled it loose and created a tremendous racket.

When I finally got to a place where the road was wide enough to allow for pulling over, I clambered out to survey the damage. The awning arm hung loose. The door was scraped and looked pretty bad. Nor would it open. Fortunately, I try to plan for emergencies and had with me a length of clothesline, which I used to secure the battered arm.

After sitting a while in an attempt to calm down from the incident, I drove on home, nearing despair at the thought of what the cost of repairs would be.

When I checked online, it appeared that a new door would cost about $400 and the new arm for the awning would be something over $200. Ahh…then came David.

An online friend of mine speaks often of angels—in various forms, canines, other animals, people. I wonder often if David is not one of mine.

David, you see, lives on my land in a fifth wheel. Why is he here? Well…it’s a long story, but to keep it short, he lives here to help me care for his mother, Alice, who lives in my travel trailer [not to be confused with my motor home; the travel trailer is more-or-less permanently in place, and I consider it an extension of my house]. David’s mother, you see has terminal cancer. Actually, she was not expected to be still living by this time in 2009; in January, the doctors gave her two to five months at best. She is now at the beginning of the tenth month since her diagnosis.

OK…so all that is sort of an aside where this journal thing is concerned, except to explain the presence of David, who is helping me prepare the motor home for the journey. David felt nothing like the despair I had felt. “You know,” he said, “I believe I can fix this.”

The first step was to persuade the door to open and close. Which he did. Then we applied a painted plywood panel to cover the worst of the scratches and hold the door straight.

That left only the front arm of the awning. I ordered parts and David—bless him again—replaced the damaged one. Just today we rolled it up and down and it works fine.

I don’t know exactly how much money this young man has saved me, but I can make a rough guess, starting with the $400 I did NOT have to spend for a replacement door. Plus labor for replacing the door. Plus labor for replacing the awning arm, even if I had bought the parts myself and taken them to a repair shop. I’m appropriately grateful. I rather need the money for the trip, instead of repairs to the vehicle.

So now the repaired motor home—which my friends call the “motor kennel” or “MK”—stands in the yard, waiting for final preparations.

I have signs ordered, which should arrive on the 19th of this month. After that? A trip to the Washington-Oregon coast, accompanied by a friend, so I can say literally and truthfully that I am travelling coast to coast for Elsa Newman.

More later. This will do for a start. I have planned this venture for a long time now. I do hope it will call attention to the unjust imprisonment of Elsa Newman—as well as the abuses her sons have said they live with at the hands of their father.

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