On the fourth of July, 2007 Caleb Potter was involved in a skateboarding accident.
He suffered serious injuries and continues to need all of our positive thoughts and prayers.
This blog is to serve as a space for updates on Caleb's journey of recovery.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Fleet bound!

I was just walking to Spaulding this morning counting down the days, hours, minutes till we return home. We are elated....
Yesterdays bike ride was marvelous! Caleb was perched out front on a tandem, big grin plastered on his face and a six foot rec. director on the back. I came behind on a oversized tricycle with giant basket attached which held my sporty patent leather, zebra bag and PT Christine followed on a Harley looking rig wearing blue scrubs and matching helmet. Man were we a sight! We rode for 6 mile and did I feel it - Caleb, however was in his element.
So ---- coming home! I will be calling Shaye, Sky and Jen prior to our leaving the hospital and perhaps the time could be posted on the blog. I will ask Shaye to film it for all of those who want to be here and can't. I will be packing up all of our belongings..the cards, beads, red lipstick, the pictures, the Yellowbeard oyster. I will be discarding all my fears, pain and tears from MGH and I will ferret the positive energy from Saulding nurses and therapists and we will be homeward bound - a beginning - a new beginning. Mumsie

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Jennie Update!!-- a beautiful day in Boston

I started my day out with the sun in my face and wind in my hair, and waking up thinking about my Caleb. It is a beautiful day in Boston today, with the sun shining and not a cloud in the sky. Caleb is on a new medication that Sharyn and I are researching because it is altering his mood and alterness. These nurses at Spaulding Rehab are so caring and they want us to understand everything that is going on with Caleb. They print out information about his medications and give them to us, so that we understand what the effects will be and important information we need to know about the meds.
I just wanted to remind everone of a couple things when Caleb comes home. Yes, Our Caleb is coming home on Saturday and will probably be home around noon-time. We will give a better update on this later in the week and as you all know, we are all meeting on the town hall lawn to greet Caleb. Sharyn will be calling me and Sky when they are leaving Boston, so that we know exactly what time they will be arriving. If you are in a time crunch, or have to work, you can call me that morning, and I can tell you exactly when they will be in Fleet. I know that you are all going to want to go to Sharyn's house to see Caleb, but for the first week, as Sharyn said before, no one is allowed to just "stop by". I know we are all used to going over her house whenever we want, but now we can not do that. Caleb is still going to be having therapies many times a day so that we can ensure progress, and he will have a very scheduled day. Sharyn and I are going to make a schedule for visitors and there will be certain days and times for certain people to come see him. People will have certain times and days that come, it won't just be a free-for-all. I know this may seem harsh, but for Caleb's sake we need to ease into people seeing him, and do not get me wrong, having his friends visit is definitly making him get better and it sparks his personality, but we just have to do it slowly.
Other than Caleb being alittle foggy this morning, which iswe expect to happen with his medications and not sleeping well sometimes, ( as we all get grouchy with no sleep), Caleb is still making progress. He is walking on his own and his balance is getting better and better. His speech is coming and going, because sometimes he just speaks when he wants. He is eating really well and going great.. That is all for today, because caleb just started typing on my computer. he just typed all this by himself. he is off for his 4th therapy of the day and its on 11am. he is a busy man, and working sooo hard. love you all

Caleb just typed this--->" hi lads and girls I love you all very much yeah yeah!!!!!!!!"

Sunday, October 28, 2007

"Caleb's comeback": Cape Cod Times

This morning an article about Caleb's recovery was printed in the Sunday Cape Cod Times. To read the piece (written by Robin Lord)

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Fancy Dress

Hi all,
This is Jan's sister Ken again. Talking about what to wear for Halloween? - I just had to share this fancy dress photo of the three guys, Caleb, Max, and Kai taken last June. For my wedding (in Renaissance style), the three came down to Pennsylvania with Jan and Sarah to help us celebrate with a bushel of oysters and a case of champagne. The three, aka The "Three-Headed Knight of the Oyster" or "The Knights who say Shuck!" were the hit of the party. In fact, the whole event was so much fun, we will have a re-enactment next year!

When I showed Caleb this picture a few weeks ago I saw him smile for the first time. I also asked him whether he would come to the party next year, and he nodded a definite "yes". So Sharyn, as your appointment calendar is filling up for the summer, please reserve the first week-end in June for our re-party.

By the way, one of the bloggers was wondering why Jan is so invisible on the blog. He and Sarah and Caleb's 89 year-old grandmother Vivi have been visiting every week-end and are very involved..They just don't show up on the web site, because to Jan, a computer is still a highly mystical, magical object...

Just found this great picture of Caleb. This has nothing to do with anything, but it just seems to embody a lot of what we all love about him.

Take care,

This is what they look like:


White Print: "Pray for Caleb"(above and below skull and swords) and "Wellfleet" (below heart)


Black T-Shirt, logo on chest in upper left corner, backside blank


Black T-Shirt, logo on chest in upper left corner, backside blank, girls' fit


Black zip-up hoodie sweatshirt with pockets, large logo on backside in the center, front side blank

Carving time

Timmy, Caleb, Kai and Max carving pumpkins.
October 27th, 2007

Thanks to Judith for taking this photo and to Nicole for sharing it with us!

Happy Halloween

Caleb is now walking on his own! Caleb is talking more and more clearly. He still has issues with memory and sequencing and his mind still sees things which are not there..but they are all good things - like food. All in all, he is rapidly moving forward.
Kai and Lizzy are here and we had a lovely evening out at a beautiful Persian Restaurant to toast to Dennis (who was with us) for turning over his home to me for so many months this summer...and to celebrate Caleb's homecoming. It was so wonderful to be surrounded by such beautifully, positively, handsome people.
Today's activity when Judith, Max and Timmy arrive will be pumpkin carving..something we have done together since the boys were little. Max, although he never considers himself as artistic as Caleb and Kai, always manages to carve the coolest one (we all agree).
Shaye and I have the possibility of re-ordering tees and hoodies and I would want to know how many of you are really interested in having one --I will soon post sizes and costs and perhaps you could let me know right away so we can get going on this. Also on my mind is.. when next summer would be the very best time for a meeting of the minds who got me through this - one big party at the Long Pond homestead is in order! Perhaps when you make your comments this week you could included the month or week that you are here in the summer and we could co-ordinate so that most of you would already be here - the rest can arrive by gondola, carriage, dog sled, Chinese junket or whatever! I am so excited about this!
So last night we were celebrating because --- you better have your flags ready - Caleb is traveling home this coming Saturday!!!!!! Yes - a week from today! Yahoooooooooo!!!! Would it be possible to get a glimpse of you on town lawn as we travel back into Fleet for the first time in four months? I was thinking we could just stop briefly and wave from the car before we settle into our new life of healing from home. This would be a good way to show Caleb that you are still there with him, as we all know you are. I will give you more details as the week passes and for now - I am going out for my Latte with coco topping! mumsie is overjoyed..

Cape Cod Times Photos

Thanks to "joan b" and to the anonymous blogger who posted the link for the Cape Cod Times' Photo Gallery:"Caleb's Journey"
Take a look at the photographs by Merrily Lunsford

Thursday, October 25, 2007

cyber friends

Do not think for a moment that I will be letting all of you out there who we do not yet know off the hook so easily. I fully intend to continue the blog. I was thinking tho that I will more than likely take it down to one day a week as soon as we arrive back home. Sunday is the day! This has been a two way street for me - I suspect that you all feel that you are the ones who gained from this blog but I seriously have to say that I could not have made it this far without all of the supportive comments from all of you. There were many times when Caleb lay lifeless and I would be stuck alone with my terrifying thoughts till I clicked on the blog and found just the right words to sustain me, encouraging thoughts to help me fight back tears, comments which brought a smile and valuable insights that brought back faith for another day. I have come to love you all - the old familiar names and the new and each day I lit up as I saw the return of familiar names - all of you out there, signing on to guide me through. Bless you.
I will be expecting a call, a visit or whatever you are comfortable with when you next arrive in Fleet. Do not be shy!
Caleb was running through his drills today - we walk, we talk, we work out with weights. We laugh. He is very steady on his feet now and was actually out canoeing today. His speech therapist was flipping cards with familiar activities drawn on them . He was responding correctly; "walking, pushing a baby, going to the store". The next card was a picture of a white man and a black man shaking hands. Caleb looked up at Erin and said "inter-racial harmony"! I think we are making progress.
Caleb's dinner tray just arrived and I thought to myself-- each day life is like a menu put in front of me-I get to choose what the plate looks like when it arrives. I am trying to order spicy things, juicy, succulent things. I am ordering up love and seasoning it with passion, I am insisting on quality and have asked for a doggy bag full of compassion to go!
Can't wait to hear your orders! Love, mumsie

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

closer to home

Caleb seems more like Caleb lately..and as we are nearing the time when we arrive back in Fleet I would like to explain our situation here and how I will need for this to transfer to home until we get our bearings. Caleb and I have lived in a sequestered, sheltered situation here at Spaulding and the greatest challenge for us will be to integrate ourselves into our home without being overwhelmed. I can tell you that at the end of the day, when Caleb has company, I am exhausted just from talking so I know he is effected even more so. I will be asking that upon arrival and at least for the first week that no-one come by..no exceptions other than blood family, those who live on the property and Timmy who has become Spud's lifeline. I plan on calling a meeting soon after that where all of you can come by and I will have worked out by then an outline of how life and healing will best be approached for Caleb. I am so appreciative of all the helpful ideas and plans and will take everyone into consideration in due time. I feel it will be best to always remember to put ourselves second, without involving egos. This is about Caleb, and only Caleb. Jenny laid out what he has been doing as of late so I will keep this quick and to the point. I am a fierce mother whose energy has thickened and grown with this experience and I will be ever-watchful of those who are team players. I know for certain that all of your big hearts are ready and waiting and I will line you up and set you up with plenty of Caleb time- so not to worry. You will all play an important part in his healing and he needs you - just be patient with us. As for our new blogging family - any ideas on how you want to participate? I am willing ! The days are now flying by for me. I watch the leaves turning colors and think of how much Caleb has changed; we have changed through this event and I trust we will all be as brilliant!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Another picture for ya!!

Okay, I know this isnt a picture of Caleb walking like I promised, but Cape Cod Times was here today and they all got all the good ones, so you'll have to buy the Sunday paper and see all the good pictures they took. Sharyn took this picture in Caleb's room and I thought you could get a little idea of how well he is balancing and standing. Look at his little smile...so adorable!!!

Jennie update!!!

These are pictures from last week because I was having problems putting them up using my computer. Caleb is in therapy right now but at 3pm, he has physical therapy and that is when he walks. Since he is doing such a good job, the nurses said I can walk down the hall with him, so I am going to get some pictures taken of that so that everyone can see his ongoing progress. I will post them tonight when I get home from Boston. And I really do promise I will post them tonight, so check back.

Caleb and I lodging outside, enjoying the sunshine!!!

Caleb walking down the stairs...looking good buddy!!!

Caleb walking down the halls with his PT's and his walker, but now he walks down the hall almost all by himself.

Katie, Caleb and Mikie going for a stroll around the Charles River.

Caleb playing catch with Mikie. As you can see, the gardens outside Spaulding are beautiful.

Today was a good day for Caleb and he had a lot of visitors. He is gaining a lot of his strength back and I can tell this by the way he gets out of bed and the way he walks by himself around his room. He now weighs 132 lbs and reallying beginning to fill out. He is still learning how to use his voice at the correct volume and we recently learned why he is having trouble with that. Caleb went to Mass Eye and Ear yesterday for extensive test on his eyes and ears. They came to the conclusion that Caleb has significant hearing loss in his right ear. Therefore, it is hard for him to hear himself speak, and that is why he speaks so low and almost in a whisper. As for his left eye, the optical nerve is too damaged to be repaired. The optical nerve was damaged when his temperal bone, which is part of his skull, was fractured and went into his brain. I know this sounds a little graphic, but it is reality and it will better help you truly understand his injuries. His orbital bones, which are the bones that hold his eye, also was fractured in my places, and it made his eye "drop" a little down. Therefore, his eyes are not in line, meaning that if Caleb was even able to see at this point, he would have very bad double vision because his eyes are not on the same plane.
Matt Parent brought some oysters up for Caleb to open. When I watched him throw his gloves on and pick up the oyster knife, I had tears in my eyes. It was almost like the old times, when I would go watch Caleb in our yard working with all his oysters and gear, and that is truly when he is the happiest...He was so concentrated in what he was doing and he opened 4 oysters and handed them out to us to eat.
Caleb has 6 different therapies today and when I walked in this morning he was already resting in a little ball in his bed, because he knew he had such a long day ahead of him. He is up for every task them give him here and says thank you to every nurse to comes in the room. We want to take these nurses home, they are just soo sweet and always want to make sure Caleb is happy and comfortable and they always come in with huge smiles. They are actually asking us for some of those bracelets that we are all wearing that say, "Pray for Caleb Potter." Sharyn and I are thinking about getting some more made up. I meet the mother of the children who came up with the idea of the bracelets at The Juice a couple weeks ago... thanks again for the bracelets, they are a hit!!! I have two on my arm and have not taken them off since I bought them.
Well, sorry this so long again, I try to keep them short, but there so much good stuff to write about. Caleb is working so hard and ready to come home. He still has a long way to go for his brain to heal, but we all have the time in the world.....love you all
-love jennie

Monday, October 22, 2007

Potter History

This is Jan's sister, Kerstin, also known as Ken, signing in to give a bit of Potter family history. Now that Caleb is going home, - hooray!- family history might put the events of this summer into perspective.

The Potters have always been great risk takers, "roughed it up good", throughout the centuries. The earliest known Potters settled south of Boston in the 1600's, and were soon expelled to Rhode Island, because their wild lifestyle did not conform to Puritan standards. Their descendant, "Captain Potter" was a privateer (yes, pirate!) sailing out of Newport in the 17oo's, attacking ships involved in the triangle trade for His Majesty.

In the early 1800's, Abadnigo Potter left the relative security of Rhode Island, and settled in the wilds of Vermont, where he founded some textile mills in the town of Pownal, becoming an early industrialist. Relatively well established there, he went into the hills and brought back an Indian wife of the Mohegan nation - a socially rather risky action at the time. His three sons went into politics, that is, they disagreed with the town officials, and in a drunken rage, burnt down City Hall. This earned them the official title "The Three Wild Potters". One of their sons, Chauncy Potter, ran away from this unstable home as a boy and hopped on the Boston & Maine Railway as it ran through town and started work as train porter. He worked himself up in the ranks, and became Station Master at Porter Square Station in Cambridge. Here, he took another risk, and married a lively young woman, very many years his junior. The marriage was stormy, but produced George Potter, the greatest risk taker of them all.

George, Caleb's grandfather, was sent to college to become a lawyer, but secretly got his degree in Far Eastern poetry. He travelled the world over, explored and experienced as much as he could, and never "let anything dangerous enter his mind". When stationed in Okinawa, he took the family out on trips to outlying islands (whose inhabitants had never met a non-native, and could have been nasty...) on a very temperamental de-commissioned PT boat. Neither impending typhoons, coral reefs, or constant engine trouble would stop him. Due to the absence of nautical charts, he regularly explored channels by diving into the shark infested waters. Soon after returning to the US, this risk taking continued; once, we camped on an unfamiliar beach close to the water, and at midnight, we woke to being washed by the incoming tide, with three month-old Jan floating out far out to sea in his bassinet in the light of the full moon. I will mention just one more example of disastrous family outings; our trip through the Mexican desert in a VW bug (all five of us), with nothing but a bag of limes - not even a drop of tequila, or water for that matter - , and of course the car got stuck in an arroyo with desert stretching to the horizon...and we almost died.

And then there is Jan - we all know him....

Most Potter family stories end with "and we almost died",...but then didn't and then we went on to tell some very exciting tales. This is where Caleb comes in, as he continues the same family tradition. As he returns home, and in the years to come, I fully expect him to eventually look back and tell his grand children about his skate boarding adventures and how he never let anything dangerous enter his mind.

Portrait of the Potter men in 1992 or so:
Jan, George, Kai, Caleb, and Max

Saturday, October 20, 2007


Hello everyone- mumsie reporting........
Caleb's spirits have lifted and so have ours....first things first tho-
Shaye had his final court date yesterday and fared pretty well. He will have to take one class in brain injury (which I believe he could teach by now) and has two years probation with no fines other than court costs. I am certain that he is breathing a sigh of relief and we are as well.
As I sit here watching Caleb shave aided by Kai's helpful instructions, I could almost feel as tho I am catching a glimpse of them as I walk past the bathroom door at home - there is just a normalcy to it. Last evening Kai and I sat across from one another at Paramount eating Talapia and Steak dinners and chatted about school and Lizzy and the road that we have been on as of late. There is a normalcy to it. Max is home, staking wood, feeding Spud and Kitty and has begun the tedious task of cleaning his room so that mom doesn't nag him when she gets home......normalcy.... and yes you caught it - I said home. The Potter/Lindsay household is happy to announce the return of Caleb Potter to Fleet town!
We will be arriving by mid November ..no exact date as of yet. According to the hospital, Caleb should be going to a nursing facility for this in-between step - but a whole lot of begging convinced them that he would fare better with us. ( We still have the option of going to the facility if it doesn't work out for us.)
I am pinching myself to check for signs of dreaming. Nope - I am awake.
It will be four and a half months since we have resided at the Wigwam down our little dirt road full of flowers, roosters, young men comin and goin and noisy dog. I am beside myself. Normalcy! Almost - but close enough - and that is where we are striving to go- Normalcy.
So things will different for us a bit at first -and for you too and we will have to all work together to do the best thing for Caleb. I have met with the hospital psychologist to determine a plan of action which we will all have to strictly adhere to - and I will fill you in on the game plan as we near out time. So put on a smile, put a skip in your stide, get your clean underwear out and make Kevin a rich man today - we are homeward bound. Love, mumsie

Friday, October 19, 2007

This time, from one of "the dads"

Dear friends...family ......and Caleb "circle-mates"....we've shared so much....just thought that I could shed some light....illuminate a little more of the Wellfleet web....and celebrate the connections...seen andunseen ...heard....and unheard... blogged and un-blogged!!!

I am ch/dad....or chuck Cole from Paine Hollow in SOUTH wellfleet....I, too...can remember Sharyn...before the boys...and even "before Jan/Yawn!" (just!).... We met Sharyn at the Congregational Church....about the time that Anne F. and I were finishing up and launching our small 22' Block Island Boat and heading out to the Islands(Caribbean) for a few years(1979-1983)...
A year after Cedar was born in Tortola, B.V.I...... he returned to wellfleet-with his mom- for a short visit "back home" for his 1st birthday...his first Oysters...and his first steps....

If I remember the pictures that I saw upon their return to our little boat home...... Caleb was still "inside" at that July12th Birthday party..(when IS caleb's b'day...anyway??)..so that would qualify as "before Day #1"....Sharyn was radiant THEN as she is NOW....

Cedar Oceanus was almost 2yrs old in this photo!He lived aboard for his first two years!!!another tow-headed Fleetian!!

We returned to Wellfleet in 1983 and Cedar and Caleb have been best buds....ever since....

In 1985, Sharyn was an important part of our birthing team for Cedar's little sister....November Sky...Yurt-borne in the Hollow November 1st.... Sharyn watched over Cedar for the whole night...as his sister emerged....a Second MOM indeed....
and Yay! to Anne another Super-Mom of the Fleet

..our families were enmeshed and sharing the joys and challenges of parenting/Life...then ...as we are...differently...NOW !!

part of my reason for my guest blog-appearance is to mention and celebrate the "dad-side" of the wellfleet equation...and fill it out for those "who are new" to our Wellfleet circles.....

Fleetians are families...often with Many "chapters" to their Lives....some, together....and some ...not so together....and sometimes re-togethered...if you know what I mean!!

as Sky so aptly put it..we are a wreath of many flavours....and one flavour that has been missing in our blog mix ..is that of the many many dads who have made our kids who they are...and indeed...Wellfleet the way it is...we have often been the strong and silent types(OK, I'm NOT the silent type!!) that have built and rocked the cradles.....carried the tummy packs....built the homes...the boats..the surfboards....indeed, the lives that have cradled the calebs and cedars and skys and kais and maxes....shayes and zacks and jonahs....Ryans and Kens...nicoles and mias ...etc...etc.... etc...of our little town.

Shaye's dad, Brian C. was the one who proposed a skateboard half-pipe to the Town selectman....he would design/model and build it--gratis!!....but/and the Town wasn't ready at the time!!....or Wentzl R.who has been there for the building and Re-building of the current skateboard park in recent years....Or Bruce who just 2 years ago launched his 35 foot catamaran...and is now, with patty C., sailing the Bahamas and Western Carribean aboard LILY ...in search of Life, fish, warm waters and more surf!!! or Jan who taught his kids how to surf...and ride BMX...climb ladders, roofs and trees...because it was fun....and necessary...and sometimes dangerous...and LIFE-filled....!!!
There are dozens of dads who have given that extra zest to their kids lives...and "been there" when our kids sometimes "came back to the ground" sometimes with bodies or egos bruised!!!! O-;

Here, my/our Big Boat project..this is the view from 45 feet off the deck of it's newest re-incarnation...(38 feet long....14feet wide...11 tons approx.!!Cedar/locust/ Oak and Pitch Pine)

there are dozens of dad/son....... dad/daughter...... dad/mom "expressions" such as this throughout Wellfleet...and indeed, in all of our families...where-ever WE are!!

Last January--Four Mile!! ...an hour before this picture was taken...Cedar had laid down his "performance sled tracks"...I laid mine down and an hour later....(at the stump Dump!!...now THAT was a run to remember!!!) ....I seriously injured my rotator cuff...and I could split no wood last winter.....Couldn't get into my wetsuit til MAY!!! YIKES!!!

will I sled again this winter???.....I can't wait!!!
Will I stop doing stuff that can be scary...absolutely NOT!!

It's not about being Fear-less...it's about facing your Fears....Dads are often about THAT....of course I am again preaching to the choir.....you all know dads that have "been there" in whatever fashion for their kids and families...and HERE I am celebrating All those dads.....and heck, we couldn't have BEEN dads without the Moms....Hail to all the "Super-moms" of Fleet!!!!....and dads , too!

Yes, it is Little Sunspirit's bowsprit -with Caleb atop it- that graces the Blog each and every day..over there to the right hand side of the page!!!What a smile on the lad's face!!!!

Hey, Caleb......wanna have a launching next year??? before or After the wedding????

....hey you're ALLLL invited, too!!

thanks to Sharyn von Wellfleet and clan........light!ly....ch/dad -- of Cedar(26) and sky(21) and soleil(9 1/2)--

Thursday, October 18, 2007


Hey - mumsie here! Thanks to all the great, recent bloggers and pictures of the Fest and yes I have missed you - I feel as if I haven't written for weeks! As Jennie said, Caleb continues to improve. His motor skills are incredible considering he came in here without being able to move his toes at all and is now walking most of the time with a wheels in front walker. He is capable of eating by himself once his tray is placed in front of him and dress himself and the only concern still pressing on me is the brain and how well it can mend . There is no given with this as there might be with a broken pelvis or leg and it is a wait and see game. He is very easily confused and still sees things which don't exist. His sentences are short and sweet but often times do not pertain to anything we are talking about. Perhaps, and I certainly hope so, this is only a matter of re-wiring, but I do not know! The drugs he takes to spark his brain can cause this confusion, so it's a difficult balancing act but I have faith in his Doctor.
I must admit that the pressure cooker is starting to leak steam and I am feeling burned a bit. My only goal in regulating Caleb's visits, or not giving credit on the Blog is to care for Caleb in the best way that I see fit..and that takes time and energy. I am not busy trying to hurt feelings - I have no time to even contemplate that. So, Caleb can be best served by putting Caleb first and then everything should fall into place --- please try to do this!
On my walk home each night I have the choice of taking the well lit main road or literally the smallest, darkest road in America. I liken this to my situation here. We can all play it safe and choose the easy way but in doing so we miss the beauty of a journey that is filled with a bit of fear and perhaps a bit of danger but it is laced with beauty and challenge and growth. I always take the dark road home. Love, mumsie.

About Barbara Jordan's Memorial...

Thank you to Nancy Civetta for sharing this information.

Barbara Jordan's memorial:

WHEN: Sunday, October 28, at 1 p.m.

WHERE: at the Wellfleet Pier, followed by a gathering at the Bookstore Restaurant.

FOOD: The restaurant is very generously donating finger food for 125, and they are also allowing us to bring in some of our own food. If anyone would like to do that, they can call Kathy: 508-349-1014. (She just wants to make sure we have enough, not all the same, etc.)

CONTRIBUTIONS: Anyone wishing to contribute to the costs of the memorial service, flowers, cremation and the commemorative granite bench to be installed at the pier can make a donation at any Cape Cod Five branch to the Barbara Jordan Memorial Fund.

CONTACT: Please call Kathy, Carolyn Cosker (508-349-2749) or Chris Kelley (508-349-1094) - another oysterette! - for any other details or offers of help.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Oysterfest 2007

The Wellfleet Oysterfest was this weekend and as we have all experienced or heard by now, it was a great success. There was music, dancing, drinking, eating, crafting, playing, selling, buying and a whole lot more taking place. The booth for Caleb was arranged by Shaye and was held down over the weekend by he, Katy and Jennie with the help of many other "tribe" members. We hope you enjoy this selection of photos by a few of our Camera-men/women!

Photos were taken by:
Ryan Birchall, Kevin Scalley, Jack Smith and Sky Freyss-Cole

Jennie Update!!!

Sorry it took so long for me to put up my blog for this week. I am having major problem with my internet provider, but i think I figured it out. I am still having problems uploading pictures, so when I figure it out, I will put them up. Promise!! So come back and check them out, because you will see Caleb walkingand going up and down the stairs with assitance. And of course fun pictures we took with his friends.

First off, I want to think everyone who helped out at the booth and everyone who donated things to it. Everything was a hit and and we sold out of almost everything. The weather was perfect and the people were wonderful and so happy to be able to help out a good kid and a good cause. Thank you Shaye and Katy, I had a great time working with you guys and it just made the day perfect that we were all together...just like at the begining of all this. Love you both.
Caleb is doing amazing. Everytime I go up to Boston, which is every Monday and Tuesday, Caleb improves so much I am almost speechless. On Monday, he was communicating very well and he able to almost have conversations with people in the room. I think talking is going to make him more calm, because he is able to communicate what he is feeling or needing. His walking is really coming along and he really has fun doing it. He practically runs down the hall way and everyone always has to tell him to slow down. He has started walking up stairs with assistance, which is going to build up his muscles really well. He has gained 5 pounds in the last week and is eating more and more solid foods with every meal. He is very aware now, more than ever. He just started 5 therapies a day, rather than 3, so on Tuesday he was really tired. But he still did his "work" and tried his hardest. The therapies are very intensive, and this is what is going to make him get better faster and come home faster. Everyone who knows Caleb knows that he is the sweetest thing ever, and this side of his personailty is coming out more and more everyday. He just gives you this look with his eye and your can feel the love.
Caleb had some great visitors this week and they are still coming. Having his friends up there is so beautiful to watch, because these are people who have been so patient and waited 4 months to come see him. The first hug they get from caleb is so emotional, and Sharyn and I found ourselves tearing up over the beauty of friendship and embrace.
I am sorry again about the pictures, I am trying my hardest to figure out the problem. Come back and check them out.
love you all---jennie

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

family, continued

Ellen Cavanaugh sent this photo to me this morning. I agree with her that it's a great addition to Jodi's post yesterday. The shot was taken at 6am sometime in the 1980s: A "Come As You Are Party". Moms, Dads, Kids, Dogs...a good portion of the crew//tribe. Once again, you gotta love Wellfleet!
(and thanks Ellen!)

Monday, October 15, 2007


FAMILY......this is a picture of the extended family...the young generation...the fruits of our loins....Nicole, Ryan, Linette, Caleb, Kai, Ken ,and Mia....(seems like just a few short years ago)....and a picture of me a couple of years ago (this pix was included only because I am clearly computer challenged when it comes to importing pictures...this was supposed to be a pix of all the "Moms"...oh well!!!)

The Websters dictionary's fourth listed definition for "family" is, "all those claiming descent from a common ancestor; TRIBE or clan; lineage." Therefore, the tribe known as Wellfleet is one big family!
Let me introduce myself, I am one of Wellfleet's "Mom's", Jodi Birchall. Sharyn and I have been "family"/friends since I was about 19 years old...I am approaching the big 50th birthday....that's 30 + years of fun, laughter, joy and sorrow. I was with Sharyn and Jan the day Caleb was born, as well as, at the birth of both Kai and Max. For those of you who don't know....Sharyn pops babies out in under twenty minutes flat, so all births were at home ....I was the fortunate one to help "babysit" what ever children were around while she was taking a few minutes out of her busy day to have a baby...what a beautiful experience to witness (truly). The day Kai was born I was supposed to distract Caleb while Sharyn was doing her good work...he would hear nothing of it...I was reading, singing, dancing, making funny faces.....all he wanted was to be by Sharyn's side...and so he was, he arrived at her bedside moments after Kai was born. When she was in labor with Max, she decided that it would be better if I was in the room with both Caleb and Kai to witness the birth of Max...we were sitting in a rocker in the bedroom and I had the two boys on my lap....however, this was not good enough for Caleb....he insisted on being right by Sharyn's side....his face next to her face, "Mom, are you O.K?"....stroking her forehead with his hand...it was fine with her and moments later Max came into this world.....a day I will never forget and cherish always.

WE raised our children together.....there was and still is a close knit group of us "Moms".....Shelley, Trudy, Eva, Jane, Ellen, Anne, Carrie, Lucia, Sharyn, and myself...we are the WE.....we got together as a group once a week, WE took turns at each others houses for coffee in the morning to share fun and parenting "stuff"....later, as the children grew...and some were off to school it became coffee and mimosa's.....when they all were in school and we all started working again, we would get together in the evenings without the kids and share stories, food, laughs and margaritas........and it goes on and on......WE have gotten together for the last 24 years every Christmas to have fun and just be US...although the time we spend together these days is less than when we were younger, we continue to love and respect each other...WE are family......when Caleb got in his accident it affected all of us so profundly because he was one of US...one of OUR children...our children are all friends to this day...it was their brother, their friend......the whole tribe was profoundly affected as well....the prayer circles......the fundraising.....the bloggers....people who have never met Caleb are now part of the tribe....at the Oysterfest this past weekend....his name was everywhere....Shaye had a booth to fundraise for his "brother"...total strangers beame part of the tribe....all connected through love and caring for a fellow tribesman....FAMILY......I would not trade this family for anything in the world....there is definitely something very special about the Wellfleet Tribe....we take care of our own and unite, as one, when needed......no matter what...
Caleb is a strong, stubborn, spunky, athletic, funny, loving, caring, "old soul" in the tribe....he has the love and support of all tribesmen....he will be home when he's ready.....he will love again....he will have a loving and supportive future....the tribe won't have it any other way.....I can't wait for the day when his smiling face is back in town.
I can even see into the future when all of us "Moms" are sitting in our rocking chairs on the porch of our privately owned nursing home, (which just happens to be Sharyn's home), visiting with our kids as they come to change our diapers, and make our meals, and clean our "home"....we'll be telling stories, laughing, loving, drinking margaritas,(just enough to wash down those meds we'll undoubtedly be on!)... and just being family,........Sharyn, by the way, will still be wearing her bright red lipstick....maybe a little on her teeth and some outside the parameters of her actual lip line, but she'll still look "hot"... and WE won't care......we're family........it's all good!
Love to all...........Jodi
p.s. A special "thank you" to all the volunteers, musicians, artists, craftsmen, towns people, town employees, businesses, and anyone and everyone that helped and worked so selflessly in making all the fundraising efforts so successful....thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!
p.p.s."Make new friends, but keep the old......one is silver and the other gold." Here's to all the new friends and family.... and the old as well..........gold is a beautiful color indeed!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

A Sigh Of Relief

In celebration of Oysterfest, Caleb picked up an oyster, a rag and a pocket knife and began the process, so deeply ingrained in his brain, of digging into to the hinge, twisting and prying open that stubborn shell. Once opened, he wiped his knife clean, admired the treasure hidden inside and and tipped it back. Seeing that made us all pretty happy.
Another thing happened yesterday that made me laugh. I could only laugh because I know as a brother, Caleb would certainly have laughed at me. He was looking a little red in the face and seemed a little off, so mom asked to get a temp reading on Caleb. The nurse arrived and began to explain what was going to happen. She said she was going to take a "core temperature", meaning that the thermometer won't be reading a temp taken from his mouth. The nurse told Caleb what to expect, but apparently he wasn't paying attention. I grabbed his hand just to offer some brotherly support- as this can be an uncomfortable process- and told him just to relax. "WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAA" Caleb's eyes opened right up and shot straight to me- " theres a finger in my butt". I couldn't help it- I just cracked up and told him, again, what was going on. "oh" he says, " its just a thermometer? Well, I'm not getting any of those floating viruses from the hospital." I said--thats right, you are healthy and strong and you're not getting sick anymore. Once finished, Caleb let out a big breath and relaxed a bit and then continued talking with us, making us all laugh like he always does and reassuring us that what we have been fearing all along is now something we can let go, that we can all exhale that big breath that we've been holding in for three months now and feel some relief, as if that nurse has finally just finished taking all of our "core temperatures". Kai

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Barbara Jordon

Today we are dedicating this Blog to Barbara Jordon. She was a fellow Fleetian who was killed in a motorcycle accident two nights ago. Barbara was a bigger than life personality who loved to laugh and had a heart as big as Manhattan. She will be missed . The last time I say her was the one time I went home to pack for MGH and she gave me a giant, caring hug at Caleb's prayer circle. Rest in peace Barbara...we will never forget you. Love, mumsie

Friday, October 12, 2007

Loving out loud

For anyone with current information about Barbara Jordon - please e-mail me. Barb was part of the famous women's crew who worked at the Lighthouse Restaurant for years and has made a giant impression on me. I think everyone worked at the Lighthouse for Joe, Bobbie and Laura at one time or another but Barb is the one who stood out for me. Always "bustin" your chops and giving you the Barb grin the whole time. She is such a big part of Fleet. We are all praying for Barbara's family and Barb, you are in my thoughts for the day - all day. Please someone- update me.
So I admit it - I was walking to Spaulding this morning with a drizzle of rain on my head and a downpour in my heart and I was feeling really sorry for myself. I was having one of those one way dialogues which went something like this --" Caleb is getting stronger physically but he is showing increased signs of stress in the brain - seeing things, talking nonsense . Is he going to be a strong giant lump with no brain? What is going to happen to my family? Kai (a 3.9 grade average student) is seriously contemplating dropping out of school to be with Caleb. Max holds everything in and has such weight on his shoulders and already wrestles with his own demons - how will he fare with this ( and I'm not even there to walk him through this) . Jan and I are divorced for a reason and tensions are building - how will we traverse these choppy waters?
All of these questions pouring, pouring through my already saturated head.
To convince myself that all was well, I started grilling Caleb on words. He has difficulty projecting so we were practicing being loud! Water bottle I said. He followed with some jumbled word which brought me down even more. Then he looked at me and said it louder " agua bottle - that's Spanish for water - you know that!" There is a God in heaven!
The longevity of this is indeed getting to me and the fears which rise up and question me at all hours of the night cannot be answered yet ...and still I am hopeful. I believe in the power of love and I believe in Caleb.

I had to laugh out loud while reading the blog comment about the negativity coming from the Town Hall. ( which I feel will just dissipate if ignored). I am reminded of a story Jan loves to tell about his great uncles - another team of three Potter brothers- who got pissed off and burned down the Town Hall in Maine....Please don't let History repeat itself!

Caleb and I are loving out loud from Spaulding to you - wherever you be! Mumsie.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

My Billy, I miss you!

Caleb, India, Cedar (~10 yrs ago) apologies for the clearly under age drinking.... (it's Fleet!)

Well, hello, India here. Sharyn- thank you for the introduction! I miss you, girl- I want to snuggle you right up.
Firstly- I want to say hello to you, Caleb. I know you can read this! I saw you reading that newspaper! I am a daily blogger that would personally like to see you included in this blog- no more third person! Billy, I'm so glad I saw you, even just for that one night at Judith's cookout on the 2nd of July- you looked suave and handsome as ever- Jenny by your side- such a hotty- and clearly smitten. You rescued me from my stupid idea of trying to shuck an oyster by myself. You said, 'Judith, you're gonna cut your hand wide open!' thanks for that. (for those of you who are unfamiliar with our wacky nicknames- even I get confused sometimes- Billy is a flexible one, basically meaning Fleetion, or from Wellfleet. Judith is specifically Chris Miner- who did a spectacular guest blog a while back- and me. Caleb named me and Chris 'Judith' for who knows what reason?! But it stuck... And 'Jim' is Cedar and our buddy Donny...) Now that that is cleared up- I just want to tell you personally, Caleb- you're amazing and I truly love you. You are a pure, kind, hilarious, gorgeous, and loving guy- the best kind! I can't wait to squeeze those cheeks and maybe even sneek a kiss -don't tell my husband or Jenny :)

Okay- that said- I grew up with Caleb in Fleet. One of my earliest memories is of Sharyn and Jan walking me up and down the hall trying to get me to sleep- toddler sleep-overs are tricky! I remember Sharyn was always the coolest, hottest mom at Wellfleet Elementary- I used to wish you were my mom! (sorry Mama) Caleb was always himself in school- laughing, pushing the rules on the playground- digging, climbing...etc...

In highschool- look out! We were so wild! Most of us billys were in the alternative program at Nauset High- SWS- I think it's called. We had so much fun- bonfires were our fortay- all through the winter, every weekend. It was around this time that Caleb and Cedar invented the term- 'Jag it up'! A phrase I brought with me to Durango (CO where I live) although no one ever knows what I'm talking about. My mental image of Caleb in highschool is always the same- Messy hair, gorgeous smile, a smokey/musty/fiery smell, and always that red and black checkered flannel shirt- he's wearing it in the pic!!!! I love you Billy.

I'd like to mention this summer- I have lived in Durango, CO for 8 years now and this summer was my first opportunity to have an extended stay on the Cape during the summer. My husband, our two boys (5 and 3)and myself were on the Cape for 6 weeks. We arrived July 1st, I got to see Caleb at Judith's on the 2nd, and then the terrible accident on the 4th. It was heartbreaking- the circles in front of the town hall that first week was an experience I shall never forget. I've never felt terrible grief simeltaneously with complete awe and inspiration. Who knew that in a world of suffering and atrocities, there is a little town, sticking out in the Atlantic, so full of truly good people?! I suppose we should have known that before, but your accident, Caleb, brought kindness and love out of the woodwork in Fleet. It was truly amazing to wittness Wellfleet blossom into a center for support and problem solving. The fundraising efforts were phenomenal- everyone participated- truly everyone. 'Caleb's Wicked Jag' at the Wicked Oyster was a huge success- I know you saw that video that Kai and Shaye put together- ask them to show you the 'boobies for Caleb' part- it wasn't included even in the R rated section- don't let Kai keep it for himself!!!

So, in closing- thank you Caleb for sacrificing yourself for the betterment of our community- Welfleet truly is a better place for it- a place that we should all be very proud to be from. Thank you for starting the Pirate- Yellowbeard trend- way better than Spiderman and Batman! My 5 year old is planning his pirate costume for halloween, and I would bet that there will be many more little pirates in Fleet on the 31st! Thank you for always being you. To me, you are Wellfleet- I love you forever.
My son Isaiah (left) and Erin's son Clay doing there Yellowbeard Salute this summer...

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

nothing much

Thanks Jenny for putting the pictures up on Caleb...he has the best nurses! Nice blog as well.
We are now seemingly going in a forward, positive, progressing pace. Caleb has a routine which we stick to very closely. Up and ready in the morn when I walk in about 7:30 or quarter till 8, he then walks to the sink, sits by himself and washes, uses ear cleaners, applies shaving lotion and shaves, washes hair, dresses himself after brushing teeth and is up and smelling grand for breakfast. I love this part of our day the most. Aside from me watching over him, this is the most normal section of time that we share. After that he is whisked away by various therapist and the day flies by.
I noticed a change in Leb yesterday and feel his meds will have to be checked. He is hallucinating a bit..seeing a sweatshirt on the floor which is not there, telling me he needs to shut the door where there is no door to shut-- things like that. This manipulation of the brain which they do here is tricky and requires some experimenting. I have no fear that his Doc will get it right. He is extremely competent.
The few visitors who have arrived over the past week have been a highlight for Caleb..it is a reminder of home and of better days ahead. At seven tonight I have a Reiki master working on Caleb, he is drinking re-live and has an appetite that can rival King Kong's. So in general, I think we are in great shape.
Not much more to report right now - Aunt Carol was going to Blog but had difficulty with my password...so I am the fill-in for today. Tomorrow India is Blog-master. India is one of those young women you can look at and instantly think she will be full of herself because she is soooo beautiful..and then much to your surprise and delight, she explodes with intelligence,charm and grace. She grew up in Fleet and has known Caleb for a very long time so we are all in for a treat. Friday is me again with the Leb update. Saturday is a look at Fleet through the eyes of Sky and Cedar's father, Chuck. Sunday I have asked Kai to Blog because he and Caleb share what seems to me sometimes to be one heart and he knows Caleb inside and out. They have different personalities but when it comes to understanding and compassion, laughter and love, they are cut out of the same fabric, pressed and ready to wear. Monday my dear friend Jodi will blog. Jodi was the key ingredient in putting together the most successful fund raising crew you could get and she worked her --- off for Caleb. Thank you all - what a line-up. Love, mumsie

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Jennie update!!!

These are some of Caleb's nurses and yes, they are all giving the "jag" sign. Oh ya, and they all hang out in his room and think he is hilarious.

I asked Caleb to give a kiss to everyone because you are all thinking of him...and here it is. Muah!!

Caleb is talking on the phone to Kai and reading the morning paper.

He could not sit up at all 2 weeks ago, and he now sits and eats on the side of his bed and reads the paper every morning.
Say Cheese!!! Caleb is so much more photogenic then I am. He is soo handsome!!!!

My visit with Caleb has been absolutely amazing and I want everyone to start this blog off with a smile, because Caleb is even smiling again. You know the feeling you get when you first meet someone you are falling for...when your eyes meet...or your lips touch for the first time? I get that feeling when I am around Caleb. We are giddy around each other. At times, when we are sitting in his bed alone, we just gaze into each others eyes and not say a word, because we know what the other is thinking. Then we just get these silly smiles on and I giggle like a little girl and Caleb puts on this adorable smile.
Here is a little update for all of you who have been waiting. Caleb is eating three meals a day, and gaining more and more weight everyday. He is practicing his breathing while speaking and has become very vocal. The speech region on his brain was damaged in the accident, so with persistent practice and patience, Caleb will be speaking in full sentences and clearer in time. Hearing his voice now is like angels singing, because it has been three months since I have heard it. Along with myself and some other very close friends, we have been calling Caleb's cell phone, just to hear his voice on his voicemail message. I know, it sounds crazy, but its very true. But we do not have to do that for much longer. Caleb is gaining his strength back and his mobility. He can walk with help from one person and he is very eager to move around as fast as possible. This morning he shaved his face, washed and dressed himself. These are all steps that Caleb needs to master so that he can come home as soon as possible, and he is doing such a good job at them. Whenever anyone helps him, even for the smallest task, he will look you in the eye and say.."Thank you." He is soo sweet and you see this in everything he does.I can't get enough of him when I am here. I wish i could put him in my purse and take him home with me. One day, he will just be a drive across town and I know we are all excited about that. Caleb is working extremely hard and doing his "jobs" as we call them. He is doing so well because of all the strength he is feeling from all of you. Thank you so much and keep the positive thoughts coming!!
-love jennie