A Message from Rennelle

Warrior2

Our good wishes to Rennelle continue.

THIS IS A THANK YOU NOTE TO EVERYONE FROM RENELLE-

Please accept my apologies for the tardiness of this response to the overwhelming gift of the raffle proceeds.  I was away for awhile, and although I tried mightily to finish all of the thank-you cards and messages before I left, I didn’t quite succeed.  My lack of a timely reply, however, in no way reflects the amount of my gratitude.

 

A cancer patient has a lot of different weights on his or her shoulders.  In my case, there is the constant out-of-state travel to medical appointments, the daily battle to continue some sort of normality through the fog and sickness caused by years of chemotherapy, and, of course, the reality of the never-ceasing medical bills.

In a single, combined effort from all of you, one of my weights was lifted.  To each and every person who participated in the raffle, please accept my heartfelt thanks for your contributions.

Many of you promoted the raffle on your respective blogs, and I want to thank you all for your work on my behalf.  It would be logical to assume that so many searchers looking for a single prize would be ultra-competitive with each other!  That may be, but you are also community-minded and came together to pull off an event that was successful beyond anyone’s imagination.  You all have my respect, my admiration, and most of all, my thanks.

I’d also like to thank the Collected Works Bookstore and Dorothy Massey, who offered a lovely setting in which to host the raffle event.  Suzanne Somers offered her support in the days leading up to the event, and I was humbled and grateful to receive her beautiful message.  The lovely and gracious Ali McGraw was kind enough to participate in the drawing, and I was so very appreciative of her willingness to lend us her time.  Thanks also to Toby Younis, who used his professional abilities to record the raffle event and stream it live. I watched it from my chemo chair and couldn’t contain my smiles.

 

Every day for several weeks, Dal Neitzel donated so much time to the raffle process that I doubt he ever slept!  Dal, I am so appreciate of all your hard work and selfless efforts.

 

The incomparable Forrest Fenn turned his raffle idea into reality, as he has done with countless other ideas throughout his lifetime.  This time, however, it was for my benefit, and for that, I give him my endless gratitude.  Thank you, Forrest.  You remain my hero.
 
Thank you all so very much, and I hope to see you on the trail!

Renelle

______________________________________________________

Click here for her story in Forrest Fenn’s words.

Read more about the raffle here.IMG_0231

English: Actor, entrepreneur Suzanne Somers

English: Actor, entrepreneur Suzanne Somers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Wondering what Forrest did last weekend?  Check  out  Forrest Fenn’s Scrapbook Fifty-Six over on Dal’s blog.

Who is Forrest Fenn?  Here’s an interview with Fenn, the Pilot.  Thank you Dal.

It brings to mind an earlier video I shared…..terrifying but really funny for those of us who have a slight fear of flying.

That’s what friends are for….. right?

Birkebeiner Bronze

Think birchbark leggings and skinny skis.  And snow.  Lots of snow.  (Like today.)

‪Norsk (bokmål)‬: Birkebeinerne Torstein Ske...

‪Norsk (bokmål)‬: Birkebeinerne Torstein Skevla og Skjervald Skrukka frakter med seg lille Håkon Håkonsson, kongssønnen, i 1206. Maleriet Birkebeinerne av Knud Bergslien fra 1869 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In 1206, Birkebeiners whisked the 2-year-old Prince of Norway through mountains and forests to save his life.  Since 1973, the event is marked in Wisconsin with a marathon ski race.

Birkebeiner 1982

1982

Mr. W is in there somewhere.   We’d both tried doing the 54 kilometer (34 miles) American Birkebeiner cross-country ski race the year before.  Back when I thought I was in shape and had handily finished a 10k.

My brother tried to warn me.  He told me to sign up for the Korteloppet, the half-marathon, which he’d done the year before.  He was going back to earn his Birkebeiner medal.  I wanted one, too, not a mere Korteloppet ribbon.

Viking on Lake Superior

Viking on Lake Superior

Heck, no, I said.  I can do it.  (I seemed to forget that I’d been yanked from a 30-mile walk for hunger when I was 16 by a nurse who thought I’d overestimated my abilities.)

Up the hill

Up the hill

After tumbling down a hill and knocking myself in the head with a ski somewhere around the half-way point, I was ready to find the bus back.  It was late in the day and I would have been pulled anyway.  Mr. W made it three-quarters of the way before time ran short.  Humbling.

Okay.  We could blame the poor snow cover that year.  Or our cheap no-wax (no grip, no go) skis.

Defeat is not in Mr. W’s vocabulary.  He returned the next year with slick racer skis and came home with a medal.  Me?  I was home with a newborn.  As good an excuse as any.

IMG_1155.JPG

IMG_1155.JPG (Photo credit: arahbahn) NOT Mr. W, but another happy camper courtesy of flickr

It was twenty-some years before I got my fast skinny skis;  and no, I have no plans to sign up for the 41st annual Birkie later this month.  They only take the first 10,000, anyway.

Defeat is not the worst of failures. Not to ha...

Defeat is not the worst of failures. Not to have tried is the true failure (Photo credit: symphony of love)

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This and That (Updated)

Don’t be left out in the cold
Intrepid's Accommodations in the Boundary Waters near Canadian Border  (NOT where warm waters halt)

Intrepid’s Accommodations in the Boundary Waters near Canadian Border (NOT where warm waters halt)

Only 9 more days until someone’s lucky number gets pulled  out of Forrest Fenn’s cowboy hat —  at Collected Works Bookstore in Santa Fe  —  2 pm Mountain Time, January 7th.

Toby will be broadcasting a live feed. Sign up at his blog, A Gypsy’s Kiss.

Latest numbers from Dal’s blog:
RenelleAS OF DECEMBER 29th, 4PM OUR “DO GOOD” CANCER FUND FOR RENELLE HAS

$14,709.34

{Updated–$17,999.09 as of 6pm January 2,2014.  Way to go, Chasers!)
jar

Click here for more on Raffle for Rennelle.

Click here for a list of the contents of the prize jar.

Next item of business—  Intrepidy

(NOT to be confused with my daughter, Intrepid or the crazy guy in the airplane….)

Forrest sent me this just before Christmas.   Very cute.  You may have seen this on the other blogs.  Are there hints in it?  Cautions?icy waterfall

A fun read, in his words —

“This is one tough gal. I asked her not to join the marines because it would not be fair to the enemy. f”

Click here:  http://dalneitzel.com/2013/12/21/scrapbook-fifty-three/

And finally.  What have I been doing over Christmas break?

A Norwegian Christmas, 1846 painting by Adolph...

A Norwegian Christmas, 1846 painting by Adolph Tidemand. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Trying to fit in a couple more Douglas Preston/Lincoln Child thrillers.

Rennelle

Here is the story behind the January 7th Raffle for a fellow Fenner.   Posted on Forrest Fenn’s Old Santa Fe Trading Company.  See Dal’s blog, Thrill of the Chase for updates:

Salute to a Warrior….

BY FORREST FENN

When Renelle Jacobson stepped out of her car in my driveway, and walked toward me, I was charmed at first sight. Her smile telegraphed a timeless message: “Look out world, because here I come.” She had read about my hidden treasure in Hemispheres, the in-flight magazine for United Airlines, and, she said, “I ripped out the pages, stuffed them in my bag, and told the passenger sitting next to me, ‘Oh, I am SO going to find this when I get home.”

With a treasure-hunting partner, she soon hit the road for Yellowstone. “I was bouncing off the walls with an overload of excitement. This adventure is for every little girl and boy who have desperately wanted to look for a hidden treasure. I know I’m silly, but some of us are lucky enough to never completely grow up.” She returned from that first road trip empty-handed but, “We had a blast. I’ve since gone back 3 or 4 times.”

Warrior1
However, there is one small problem; Renelle, 41 and single, has a rare bone cancer called osteosarcoma. A few years of chemo and several surgeries didn’t kill the disease, so, in 2011, her left leg was amputated above the knee. She has a prosthetic leg but the ongoing cancer changes her limb shape. “Sometimes I can walk quite well and sometimes I can’t.”

Warrior2

A friend loaded her in his Bell helicopter and they searched the far reaches of Yellowstone Park.

Warrior3

“We discovered some top secret waterfalls (at least that’s how I romanticized them in my mind). They were out in the middle of nowhere.”

“We also flew over Hebgen Lake and had lunch in West Yellowstone. What a grand day for a cancer patient who is trapped inside most of the time.”

Warrior4

Renelle, whose constitution is made of sinew-tough fiber, is now in her 5th year of chemotherapy. With an expression that reflected her longing, she said to me, “I’m sick 3 to 4 days a week, have low energy the rest of the time and my sleep schedule is often turned upside down. Working on this treasure hunt has given me a way to occupy my time when I’m awake after midnight. When I work on your puzzle for an hour, I can say that I worked toward a goal.” She added, with a voice as soft as her eyes, “I’ll keep working on the poem every night until the moment when I can call my hunting buddies and say, ‘let’s hit the road.” Imagination is her pleasure and faith is her nourishment.

Renelle Jacobson inspires me in a singular way; her spirit holds me in thrall. Each day she tests the extremes in ways I can’t even imagine. To know her even a little bit, as I do, is to love her a lot.

To paraphrase Charlotte Bronte:

Her human heart has hidden treasures,
In secret kept, in silence sealed;
The thoughts, the hopes, the dreams, the pleasures,
Whose charms enrapture when revealed

Sharing and Caring

Mr. Fenn signing my TTOTC.

Mr. Fenn signing my TTOTC.

I thought I’d pass along news of this effort in case you missed it.

Click here for the original post by Forrest Fenn — Salute to a Warrior.

Click here for Dal’s post regarding a raffle for Renelle’s benefit.

Forrest Fenn has donated one of his cast bronze jars for the prize and filled it with treasures found at San Lazaro pueblo.

2012.07.17-IMG_5034

2012.07.17-IMG_5034 (Photo credit: martin_kalfatovic)

Suzanne Sommers is flying in on January 7th to draw the prize-winning ticket from his cowboy hat.  That event will be held at Collected Works Bookstore in Santa Fe.

Heartwarming how the searchers band together in this cold season!

English: Photo of a stone fireplace.

English: Photo of a stone fireplace. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Wind, Sand and Stars

Wind, Sand, and Stars, front

Yes, it’s the title of a book by the author of The Little Prince.  Antoine de Saint-Exupery was a pilot not unfamiliar with the Sahara.Dive Bombers Daily Drover

I’d only learned of the book back in high school because of a friend in the next town reading it in french class.  (My little school only offered 2 years of spanish.)

I stopped at 2 libraries yesterday to find a copy of The Little Prince.   The 2 copies at the first one were nowhere to be found.  The second library, rather new and planted absolutely Too Far for anyone To Walk to, had none.  When I said I thought it was a classic, he said they didn’t really carry the classics.  Something to do with only putting brand new books in there, ones with tracking chips.  New World.

I stopped at my friend’s.  She looked for her french and german copies but thinks her sons may have them.  Not that my french and german are that adequate anymore, but there are on-line translators, right? (See Forrest Fenn’s Scrapbook # 47.

Okay.  I do have a copy or two myself—-in a box, in a barn, inaccessible at the moment, and I wanted to read it now.

I’d tried my Kindle, but it wasn’t available for download.  Last stop last night on my way home, Barnes and Noble.  Yay.

Oh.

It’s a new translation.  New cover.

Cover of

Cover via Amazon

Choice:  Paperback.  Hardcover.  Set with recording by Viggo Mortenson.  Very tempting that, but I went with the cheapest version.

Okay.  Why go to all this trouble for a book I read ages ago?

Let me try to explain how mind mind works:

Mind Map …..   Free Association …..  Word Play

Case in point —-

Since Forrest used the word “fling” in his talk at Moby Dickens,

and reading the story of the sunken storage jar in Too Far To Walk,

and my earlier reading of Thunderhead, with its kivas,

and remembering the snakes writhing in the Indiana Jones movie,

Plant in White Sands National Monument, New Me...

Plant in White Sands National Monument, New Mexico, USA. The plant’s roots hold a pillar of sand in place, while the surrounding sands are shifted by wind erosion.

and someone I know opening the door to an old underground bunker at White Sands, intending to descend until he saw the floor moving; again, a mass of writhing snakes,

and finding a place called Snakeden Hollow,

and buying snake boots after stirring up a snake while morel hunting, actually, I should use a hiking staff instead of my bare hands to rake through leaves next to fallen trees next time.

Oops.  Getting off point there …. but, okay.  You get the idea.

So, I couldn’t remember the details of the story but I knew there was a snake and a star and a desert involved in the sad conclusion of The Little Prince.

the little prince

“What makes the desert beautiful,” said the little prince, “is that somewhere it hides a well….”

So, back to “fling”.

I know there’s been a recent notice to disregard what Mr. Fenn might say in interviews, just rely on the Poem.  I think Dal believes, maybe Forrest said somewhere, that the treasure is hidden in the original spot he had chosen to rest his bones.  I know he’s said it’s a place “dear” to him.  And somewhere he mentioned desert.

Forrest Fenn's Treasure Chest

Forrest Fenn’s Treasure Chest

Can I reconcile all these ideas?

Not easily.  I think it would take me more than four Xanax, a staff, and snake boots to fling myself into anyplace that might have a ‘moving floor’, even if there was a certain treasure chest in the middle of it.

“It is such a mysterious place, the land of tears.”

English: Saint Exupery monument in Tarfaya Рус...

English: Saint Exupery monument in Tarfaya Рус…

Gimbles and Gymbals

Cover of

Cover of The Jabberwocky

“‘Twas brillig and the slithy toves

did gyre and gymble in the wabe;

All mimsy were the borogroves,

And the mome raths outgrabe.

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son.””

from Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll

—Fenn knows someone who has the entire book of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland memorized.

Gyroscope with arrows

Gyroscope with arrows (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Thanks to Toby’s video, I got to enjoy Forrest Fenn’s  book signing event in Taos last month at Moby Dickens.  Fun and, as always, fascinating to hear the man himself.  He reminisced,recited poetry, and remained cryptic when it came to where the treasure lies.

Gyroscope-9-4

Gyroscope-9-4 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

New insights?  Yes and no.  “Fling” was new to me, but then I have no trouble in finding clues in everything he says or writes.  I suffer from mental gyrations following each and every post.  Tabasco?  Mace?  Curlers?  Head spinning.

Also, hearing him talk about the deal he made with his granddaughter regarding med school expenses reminded me of conversations I had with Intrepid.

As high school graduation approached, her friends were all getting piercings and tattoos up the wazoo.  She was inclined to follow suit, until I asked her if she wanted help with college.  A deal was struck.

She got early acceptance into the only school she applied to, (UW-Madison

English: University of Wisconsin "Sifting...

English: University of Wisconsin “Sifting and Winnowing” plaque Located on Bascom Hall, University of WIsconsin Photographed July, 2002 by Daniel P. B. Smith. Copyright ©2002 Daniel P. B. Smith. Licensed under the terms of the Wikipedia Copyright. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

) ((I was very jealous.))

One time, when she was home on break, she asked what would happen if she got a tattoo.

Me:  You’d turn that gift into a loan.

Her:  Oh.

Me:  Anything you want to tell me?

Her:  No.

At one point in those years, she was set to join the military because they would pay for med school and she’d get good experience.  I suggested she wait until she got accepted into med school before taking that route, because once she joined she may not get the choices she expected.  Or something like that.

So, she waited.  Got into med school and through it, on student loans.  Now, this was a surprise to me— the interest rates go up the higher your level of study does.  Undergrads, the lowest, and med/dental students the highest, like 7 to 8 per cent.  How, I wondered, could this be, in a time when banks pay you virtually nothing on your savings?

Early forms of stethoscopes.

Early forms of stethoscopes. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Well, she is now in a 5 year residency, and owes about twice what our first home cost.  I think there are underserved areas that are willing to trade tuition for services, kinda like Rob Morrow’s character ending up in fly-in Alaska in Northern Exposure.  She does love to travel.

About the tattoo(s)?  She’s now old enough to know what forever means (longer than the life of her loans), and if she wants the rod of Aesclepius indelibly inscribed on her body, she’s earned the right to choose it.

Aesclepius

Aesclepius (Photo credit: santanartist)

{{Note to self:  Let Dal know that, if by a slim chance my entry won his contest over at Thrill of the Chase, not to ship the prize.  I need a way to convince Mr. W that I have to return to Santa Fe!}}

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