• Time Marches On

    by Jane Roland

    This column is a compilation of bits and pieces gleaned primarily from newspapers, magazines and life.  Please don’t look for any consistency, as you will find none.  I have a theory about life in general and believe that there is far better than about which we read.  However, my experiences have been isolated as I have lived in a protected society in the United States.  I have not been exposed to evil other than that which I have read or seen on a screen.  If there were ever such a survey conducted there would be a higher example of goodness than bad, again my personal belief.

    Everyone has terrible experiences, most of which are self-inflicted.  There are those who devote themselves completely; “there are no greater givers than those who give themselves.” I won’t list them as it would fill chapters; it is puzzling that some of these are smote with disasters too cruel to comprehend.  I believe in a supreme being and often wonder why it is that some of these folk who have never done anything wrong are made to suffer horribly, is it preparation for another life as some think, or simply an unfortunate set of circumstances?

    I am increasingly impressed by those self-sacrificing souls who protect and save people and animals. With the latter group I have been intimately involved most of my life, a tendency inherited from my parents who rescued and housed anything that breathed (often including people).  Currently I manage the AFRP Treasure Shop in Pacific Grove, have dog volunteers and dog visitors, occasionally there is a cat or bird that is brought in, and once a very large snake introduced to us by a local belly dancer. I hear the stories of the animals needing homes and my heart bleeds. Had we the funds, the space and the youth, we would house far more than the four with whom we share our abode.

    Some of our shop volunteers walk dogs at the Center, house foster animals, nurture kittens that have lost their moms and still come in and man shifts, to be with like minded volunteers and help raise funds to care for the critters. AFRP has recently opened an animal clinic in Ryan Ranch to help their charges and desperately need some underwriting to help funding. Just as it seems that all bills are paid and we might slip into the black, a dog like Zane (the shepherd that was found on the road with multiple and serious injuries) comes in. There are too many of these stories.  Kelly Leherian, the Executive Director, her board, staff and volunteers, will never turn aside one of these creatures and we at the shop will make every effort to help cover expenses.

    To that end we ask for donations that will bring in the needed funds. New or gently used items, clothing that is current or vintage, dishes and artifacts unbroken, furniture, art work, jewelry, up-to-date electronics, linens, you name it, we take it if it can be sold.  My rule of thumb to some donors is the question “is this something you would buy if you needed it?” No one is offended as they give to help the animals.

    A huge need at the shop is a computer, PC desktop. The one we have is more than temperamental and more often does not work than cooperate.  It is a very big part of our pricing process as we check on it several times a day, also, of course, to make signs, send press releases and information. If anyone has one no more than a couple of years old that he/she has updated, will you please let us know, we will be happy to pick it up. We do not take old computers, printers, etc. but the door to Hope is happy to accept them. There is always need at the shop for someone with a truck to help with pickups, so let us know if any of these needs might be accommodated.

    Mark your calendar for November 22, our annual Holiday Open House, Tami and Bob Felton will play again and there will be wonderful treats and goods to buy.  Also, of course, our Fiesta del Perro, a Celebration of Dogs at Robert Down School on September 28 to benefit Pacific Grove Rotary projects, AFRP and POMDR.  There will be great demonstrations, information booths, silent auction, raffle tickets for Will Bullas’s painting, food, a dog parade and “fun” contests, children’s art show and music by the Wharf Rats.

    jane photo2I cannot let this day go by without honoring my oldest daughter, Ellen Morse DeVine (married to Shawn Michael Patrick, an actor), mother of Joseph DeVine Patrick and William DeVine Patrick.  She will be 50 years old on the 12th; you will read this two days later, on Shawn’s birthday or the next day on their 18th wedding anniversary.  Ellen was a wonderful baby and very quiet, shy toddler, partially because Larry and I were going through an ugly period which culminated in a divorce. Divorce is disastrous for children. Sticking it out “because of the children” is worse.  Ellen clung to me, afraid that I would leave also. When she was four she developed an illness idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura associated with a systemic disease, although often following a systemic infection; believed to be due to an immunoglobulin that acts as an antibody against platelets. It took months for the doctors to determine what caused the problem and deal with it.  In the interim she had her blood drawn daily and took high doses of prednisone, which caused a hump on her back and swollen face (a man once said “my, little girl, you must eat a lot).  I was volunteering at the hospital and Ellen was a “guinea pig,” so there were no charges.   She never whimpered, never cried. As she recovered she and I took a road trip to North Carolina (Jay was with his father for the summer). I will never forget the journey; we became very close and remain so to this day.  The illness was caused by a reaction to an antibiotic and will never recur.

    jane photoMy shy violet became a tough, humorous, brilliant, creative, driven woman. There is nothing she won’t take on and she has the patience of Job. In college she worked in a fishery in Alaska to help fund school; afterwards she and a friend (another beautiful blond) trekked in Thailand for several months. Ellen became a production manager for films and commercials and never looked back. Now she works at her younger son’s school, her husband runs an insurance company, the acting roles getting slimmer (too bad — he is good, and I love him dearly).  The boys are great, involved in many activities and happy.  My only regret is that we see them so infrequently. One must give their children their wings and be happy when they fly.

    posted to Cedar Street Times on September 12, 2013

    Topics: Animal Tales and Other Random Thoughts


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