Life on Whidbey: Time to get off the pain train

By Eileen Brown

After being hit by a car years ago, a doctor told me I’d probably have a Dickens of a time with my lower back as I got older. I was in a crosswalk when my right hip met the hood of a blue car. Lucky for me, ancient cobblestones and worn down street car tracks held just enough rainfall for my inelegant slide to a stop. No broken bones.

I sympathize for those who are in constant pain. Mine is insignificant by comparison.

I urge them to meet CARLA JOLLEY of Whidbey General Hospital. She has taught many to cope through her “Living with Chronic Pain” program and will teach two courses this spring, one in Oak Harbor and one in Freeland. It remains a self-referral process with participation criteria, and requires a health care provider’s release.

Enrollment costs just $25 and a co-pay of $5 per session will help underwrite some of the costs. Some financial assistance is available.

Even though the class does not start until March 4, the deadline for sign-up is much sooner, on Feb. 19. The program is held on Tuesdays for a series of eight weeks.

Jolley is experienced and has helped many people learn coping skills. You’ve got everything to gain so why not try this alternative?

Call Jolley at 678-7605 or 321-6659.

Committed to peace

There were pockets of polite applause and even some whistling and stomping at last Thursday’s Chamber of Commerce luncheon in the Elks Lodge. Base commanding officer, CAPT. GERAL DAVID, received applause when he told of Search and Rescue’s 33 rescues, 128 assisted people and 16 medical evacuations performed in 2007. SAR was recently involved in rescuing flood victims, even plucking people from windows on the second floors of their home in Lewis County.

“Master Chief Petty Officer FRANCIS BAGARELLA and a work party of sailors will return to the area this weekend to do more clean-up,” David said.

It is written somewhere that no one abhors war more than a solider. In his own words, David said, “We are prepared for war, committed to peace.”

Chamber members agreed with that sentiment and applauded each of the two or three times he repeated it.

The amiable David pretended to admonish local business leaders by saying, “It’s your fault that Oak Harbor is rated the best military/civilian community in the country. You did that!”

Sommelier knows his stuff

It’s hard to believe, but for only $20 per person, one can enjoy a five-course dinner with shrimp cocktail, spinach salad, cream of asparagus soup, your choice of baked salmon with orange-mint glaze or fig and spinach stuffed chicken breast with orange-tarragon glaze and for dessert, chocolate swirl cheesecake.

It’s called the “After the Holiday Blues Fine Dining Experience.” SCOT RATZLAFF, manager of Harbor Towers, said guests will join residents who will be served the same meal on Saturday, Jan. 26. Dinner is served at 4:45 p.m. and lasts about 90 minutes. Ask any of them and they will tell you how the staff and chef TERRY WAGENALS take time to prepare fine meals every day.

Washington wines will be served to compliment each course, with BRENT DOVE as wine steward. Brent and his wife EILEEN own Eileen’s Creative Kitchenware. The wines are from their exclusive wine cellar.

Call in your reservation no later than tomorrow, Jan. 24. Call 675-2569 and bon appétit.

Pink puffy quilt in raffle

The Elks Lodge rocked on New Year’s Eve, thanks to the Midlife Crisis band, Elks’ manager KERRY ALLEN, SOROPTIMISTS in attendance and a big handful of pixie dust scattered by party planner SUZIE LONG, formerly of Island Drug.

By the time the band and the last of the 190 guests went home, $450 had been raised for the Soroptimist fund drive to buy a digital mammography machine for Whidbey General North.

Suzie made and donated the pink, puffy quilt, and gives a lot of credit to DEBRA STALEY of the Quilter’s Workshop for her expertise in quilting and finishing. The quilt rack was donated by Island Drug. See any Soroptimist for raffle tickets. Call BARB JACOBS at the Discount Party store, 675-1093.

To book the band for parties or celebrations, call Suzie at 675-8084 or email giftlady2@com

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