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Sight Loss Monthly September 2023

SLM September 2023

A person standing next to a person in a garment Description automatically generatedSeptember 2023

The Hull Foundation

Monthly Sight Loss News

“The publishing of this newsletter is a service of The Hull Foundation and Learning Center Inc. It is not an endorsement of any of its contents. All products, items and other information may be used at the sole discretion of the reader.”

Editors, Hull Foundation Staff


Mission Statement …p. 3

You Can Sleep On It!…p4

I Love Fall! Or Do I?…p. 4

The New Cane Look…p. 6

Driving an ATV…p. 8

Reading in the Dark Book Club…p. 10

Evelyn Mell Obituary…p. 13

Hull Foundation Events and Seminars…p. 14

Hull Foundation Zoom Information…p. 15
Jokes to Keep You Laughing…p. 16

Contact Us…p. 16

Our Mission Statement:

The mission of the Hull Foundation and Learning Center is to provide programs, facilities and services including social, educational, and recreational activities for people with blindness and sight loss.

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You Can Sleep On It!”

Many of you know that HFLC has a dormitory containing 24 rooms, most with single beds. The mattresses are quite clean and usable but beginning to age. We are pleased to say that Standard TV and Appliance from Portland has generously donated 24 Sealy Posturepedic Plus Golden Elegance mattresses to us which are being installed now. We want to sincerely thank them for this fabulous gift and suggest that you shop there and thank them on our behalf for their generosity.

I Love the Fall! Or Do I?

  • Marja Byers, Sight Loss Instructor

Hints of fall have already started, dry weather has some leaves already turning, it’s getting dark sooner, and back-to-school ads are everywhere. Fall is my favorite season and always has been. As I thought about what this season means to me, I started to see different sides as to why some love Fall, others dread it. Here are my Fall pros and cons.

I love warm, sunny days and cool nights. I love the smell of the leaves in the Fall. It never ceases to amaze me the bounty of fresh, local produce in the Willamette Valley! Oh, and pumpkin flavored treats and drinks. So many “fall festivals” at produce markets that often includes live local music and great community. The smell of woodsmoke in the evening accompanied by the

Sounds of the high school marching band

practicing a half mile away.

I love fog. Growing up with low vision fog put sighted kids on my playing field, now I understand why sighted people hate it! I also love the sounds of the fog.

The return of the rain.

On the other hand, I don’t like:

Thick piles of leaves to dig your cane through.

Losing afternoon/evening light. Football season, I really hate football and it lasts almost 7 months! Forget about having breakfast at my neighborhood Sports Bar and Grill on the weekends (14 tv screens and really loud fans, yuck!)

The return of the rain.

What I do always appreciate is that in Oregon we have seasons! Dating a guy from Miami made me realize that not everyone experiences seasonal changes. I believe it’s one of the biggest reasons I love the fall, it’s nature’s way to remind us of how cyclical life is in many ways.

The New Cane Look

– Tina Christian, Sight Loss Instructor

The film, Scent of a Woman premiered in 1992 and with it sparked an interest in something we as a community hadn’t topically discussed, Fashionable Canes. In the film, AL Pacino’s character Lt. Col Frank Slade sported a sleek all black cane with gold trim at the section points. When I saw that I was hooked. The handle, also in black, gave it a fashion forward look. Since then, people have been asking for a more fashionable look for their canes while still remaining functional. I believe Ambutech is a company that has delivered.

With the inception of a stylish cane, one can feel more confident as an individual and stylish having created a conversational piece. The idea that you can customize the handle grip and shaft in a myriad of colorful combinations is an eye-opening experience. This option can bring a person’s sense of style into their daily life more than ever before. The freedom of a stylized cane would give an individual a sense of freedom with their mobility tools and can ultimately become a positive experience when out walking. I’ve also found there are other ways to fashionably adorn your cane. Themed Duct tape and glittered rhinestone tape have also been used to amp-up the style of one’s cane. At the end of the day, your cane is an extension of you so why not give it some pizazz and a sense of fashion?!?!

Driving an ATV

– By Meagan Moore, Sight Loss Instructor

My family and I recently enjoyed a great time connecting with the Usher syndrome community. It was great to be in a group where the white canes outnumbered the sighted people and where it was more than ok to ask someone to repeat herself. We walked in a large group of 10 or more using white canes around town, we went out for dinner, then ice cream, laughed, cried, bumped into objects and people, knocked over each other’s drinks, and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. We even went axe throwing (much to the young employee’s dismay).

We hung out at the Infinity Ranch for lunch where my husband got to drive the kids around in an ATV. They drove to the creek and around the property. Once he was back and dropped off the kids, he approached me and two other Ush ladies and said, “Let’s go for a drive!” then someone shouts, “Meagan will drive!” 

I did not hesitate. We’re on a ranch, everyone there understands our “condition” so, I drove an ATV and my husband gave me excellent directions. Then the other two ladies drove and we all laughed and squealed, and people stopped and cheered us on. The owner of the ranch did a double take, grabbed his phone, “Honey! You need to come and get a picture of these three blind ladies driving the ATV!” His wife got a picture of my friend backing the ATV into the parking spot with my husband’s directions. Did I mention we had our white canes out the windows?

I haven’t driven in 3 years, and to drive an ATV was pretty exhilarating. For many of us, when we stop driving, we feel we have lost a sense of independence and we grieve the days when we drove. We need to allow ourselves the space to grieve, but I don’t see why we can’t enjoy driving an ATV in the country or perhaps a golf cart at the golf course…

Reading in the Dark Book Club

  • Marja Byers, Sight Loss Instructor

Greetings Fellow Lit Lovers!

In August our “Reading in the Dark” book club read, “We Came, We Saw, We Left: a family gap-year.” By Charles Wheelan, DB108450. We all really enjoyed this book; it helps if you view it as a story about the family dynamics as they travel around the globe for 9 months.

Our second choice was “Remarkably Bright Creatures” by Shelby Van Pelt, DB107924. We all agreed that this was another winner! The story revolves around the relationship between a 70-year-old woman who cleans the aquarium on the night shift, and the giant pacific octopus who lives there. We also agreed that if you have access to Netflix watching the award-winning documentary, “My Octopus Teacher” will change how you see octopuses forever.

Our books for September will be:

9/12 “The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak, DB62431, 15:32.

“‘The Book Thief’ is a book about a girl during World War two in Nazi Germany. Her foster parents hide a Jewish man, but this man is forced to leave once attention is drawn to the family. Ultimately, the girls’ town is bombed, and her foster parents and best friend are killed.”

9/26 “A Walk in the Woods: rediscovering America on the Appalachian trail” by Bill Bryson, DB46519, 10:06.

“So begins Bill Bryson’s hilarious book ‘A Walk in the Woods.’ Following his return to America after 20 years in Britain, Bryson decided to reacquaint himself with his native country by walking the 2,100-mile, Appalachian Trail, which stretches from Springer Mountain in Georgia to mount Katahdin in Maine.”

We meet on Zoom from 1:00-2:30 pm PT, this call is not on the ACB Community Call schedule. If you would like to join the discussion, whether or not you have read the book, and whether you are blind or sighted, you can call the office to get our weekly email with our Zoom links for the week. 503-668-6195.

Hope to see you all in September!

Evelyn Mell passed away at the age of 92 at home in Gresham, Oregon, from the effects of old age. She was a member of the Happy Valley Garden Club. In 1972 she was a member of the committee that developed the Gardens of Enchantment Five Senses Garden at the Oral Hull Foundation for the Blind in Sandy, Oregon, serving as ‘sight’ chairman of the garden for many years, then as overall garden chair for ten years before retiring.






Hull Foundation Events and Seminars:

Lots of exciting things are coming up!

-Sighted Spouses Seminar September 6th-8th

– September 12th (NOTE date change)

One Day Fun Day to the FRUIT LOOP HOOD RIVER, OR (Always a fun time)

– September 23rd One Day Fun Day


We are very excited about this! Dinner will be at Mazatlán Mexican Restaurant and then over to the game.

– October 11th One Day Fun Day TBD

– October 13th Fundraising Dinner and Auction

– October 24th-27th Monster Mash

If you are interested in any of our Recreational Getaway Events, One Day Fun Day Events, Seminars and Retreats, please contact our office and get signed up! The spots can fill up very quickly, so jump in with both feet, save your spot and come out to Hull Park in 2023!

Hull Foundation Presents Zoom Meetings:

Zoom meetings will include topics on tech, cooking, crafting, book club and a class on forgetfulness that has been immensely popular. If you are interested, please join us. Bring a friend or spouse, sighted or not!! If you would like to sign up to receive a weekly email with the Zoom schedule for the week and the links to the meetings, please email the office at or call us at 503-668-6195. If you are not an email user, then you can call us on Mondays to receive that week’s classes and the call-in number and Meeting ID number for meetings you are interested in attending via phone.

Jokes to Keep you Laughing…or Groaning!

Q. Hear about the new restaurant called Karma?

A. There’s no menu: You get what you deserve.

Q. What kind of exercise do lazy people do?

A. Diddly-squats.

Stay well, stay safe, and stay happy!

Contact Us:

The Hull Foundation Family
Phone: 503-668-6195



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