I was born and
raised in Salt Lake City, Utah, and the oldest of 4 kids.
I had good Mormon parents and was raised in the Mormon Church
until I rebelled at age 15 or 16 and then the fun began.
I did my teenage
years beginning in the 1960ís and being the intensity freak
that I was, and am, I had to do what other teenagers in the
60ís were doing, drugs, rock níroll. (Iím not commenting on
the sex :o) I did have plans for my life, and at an early
age, was considered a fairly gifted fine artist. I wanted
to go to college, then art school and make my mark in the
art world. By the time I was about 19, after one year of college,
I dropped out, big time. I got an apartment in a part of the
city that was like not being in Salt Lake City at the time.
It was full of Hippies, music, lots of drugs and the whole
love generation scene was alive and well. Unfortunately, I
didnít have a lot of common sense, and was extremely naÔve.
Therefore, came in contact with some pretty shady characters
that were seasoned predators, drug addicts & pushers trying
to worm their way into the magic of the times.
I was working
at some menial job after dropping out of college and pretty
depressed about the direction my life was going. I found myself
in some precarious situations and didnít have the skills or
self esteem to know how to take control and get out of the
way. I had even been hospitalized for severe depression, which
probably was attributed, partly, to drug use. I had a sensitive
psyche as it was and using drugs was the last thing I needed
at the time.
One afternoon an
unkempt, unhealthy looking man showed up at my door who claimed
he was a friend of somebody I was suppose to know. He looked
Native American and to be about 40. I donít remember how it
all came together but he wound up injecting me with my first
shot of heroin. I wound up puking my guts out, among other
humiliating things that happened that afternoon. A month later,
I become very ill and found out I had Hepatitis. I was a terrible
mess, mentally, physically & spiritually; as soon as I felt
well enough I would inject drugs again with the same dirty
needles and re-infected myself again. I was sick for over
a year and couldnít keep a job because of my health. If it
hadnít been for my parents, who were sick with worry and disgusted
with what I kept doing to myself, hadnít helped me, I would
have ended up on the street or dead.
I worked my way
back to health, mentally and physically changed my life. I
went totally the other way and got involved in Transcendental
Meditation. I married a teacher of this discipline and we
had a beautiful son. The marriage ended just less than 3 years
later. However, I stayed clean and sober and remarried a couple
of years later to a fine man and had a wonderful little girl.
Unfortunately, my addictions kicked in again and I started
to drink. This became an obvious problem and this marriage
ended after 13 years. I quit drinking but again went through
another terrible depression, and was hospitalized again.
After I got out
of the Hospital I realized that I had let all my talent and
love of art become totally absent from my life. My teenage
son was suffering a lot of insecurities, (it never dawned
on me that I might be the cause) and his aunt who he had always
been close to wanted him to come to Santa Fe and go to school
with her kids and get his grades back up and away from the
chaos he was dealing with living with me and the fighting
that was going on between his father and me. I went down to
visit him and the area touched my heart and I started to draw
again for the first time in 20 years. I was astounded that
there was anything left. I continued on and found that I was
accepted in Galleries and selling my work on a regular basis.
I decided that
I would try other mediums because I was untrained. There was
a new art school near my home and I enrolled. A very talented
artist, who I had always been aware of and admired, was teaching
there and I signed up for his class in Oil painting. I loved
it and took to it readily. My teacher, Sam, and my mentor,
fell in love with each other. He was sensitive to my insecurities
and suggested I go back to school and get my degree. I wasnít
making a very good living doing hair and was trying to raise
two teenagers alone. The financial help and grants helped
me get by. I thrived in College and took as many art classes
as I could. Unfortunately, I started back with the wine again
after a few years and drank fairly heavily everyday.
I did a piece of
artwork that a friend who I went to High school with who had
moved to La Grande, about 75 miles from Joseph, entered it
in a popular and considered professional annual arts festival.
I took first place, even though I had never been to Joseph.
Sam and I decided we would visit as we had never even heard
of the place, and we needed to see what my friend was doing
with our artwork, as we hadnít heard from her in a while.
We couldnít believe
how beautiful this place was. We were lucky to find a cabin
in the middle of July, let alone that took pets. The place
turned out to be for sale and we decided then and there we
were going to try to figure out how we could buy it. Sam and
I put our assets together and came up with the down payment
and to everyoneís amazement; we left Salt Lake City and everything
behind. It was an incredible time, as we had lived in the
same place for our whole lives. Unfortunately, my father passed
away right before we moved. Sam being as impulsive as I was
proposed on the day of the funeral. We decided since we were
going to be in business together, we should get married. It
was a bittersweet time.
When we arrived
and took over the cabins, we realized that we had bought a
dump and much money and time was spent getting it refurbished.
But, we were so happy living in Oregon. We never dreamed we
would become innkeepers, but it was worth all the work and
money we put into it because it was paradise to us.
During our third
season in business in August of 2001 after a routine checkup,
my doctor called and told me she needed to have my blood checked
again because something wasnít right. It turned out that I
had Hepatitis C. I was stunned, shocked and upset, I had never
even heard of it. I found out that my drug use in the 60ís
probably was the origin of the virus. After all the pain and
work to drag myself back up and finally living my dream, I
find out I had this! I felt like I had been kicked in the
gut. I thought I had left all that horror behind me, and here
it was again, only this time there was no cure. I spend many
hours learning all I could about the disease and felt doomed.
I went to a GI
doctor about 2.5 hours away in Walla Walla, Wa. I was tested,
had a biopsy and told I was a good candidate for treatment.
I started on the Pegetron/Rebitol after the Thanksgiving Holiday.
It was a shock to my system and I became extremely ill with
heavy side effects. After 8 weeks, a blood test showed that
I was very anemic and my white blood count was only 1, dangerously
below normal and was told I was through with any type of Treatment
with the combinations that were available. I just couldnít
At this point I
have decided that I will not try to do anything in the way
of treatments and just try to live healthy and take care of
myself. I felt I needed to do whatever I had to if there was
a chance I could put the virus in remission. So here I am
recuperating from the physical and mental havoc these drugs
have created and am looking forward to the time I can get
back to the task of just living my life and Hepatitis C and
interferon/rebitol doesnít control my every move and thought.
I have been house bound for almost 3 months now and getting
my strength back has been a slow process. I will never take
my health for granted again.
Thanks for reading
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