Vic Chernoff in remembrance- by Renee Chernoff from WP Total Training on Vimeo.

Missing Dad. The Gift of Dreams and Memories

Missing Dad. The Gift of Dreams and Memories

I had a dream about Dad this morning right before I woke up. He was in his wheelchair and in his room with me here in our home.
We were chatting away like we used to do every morning. He asked me if I had checked his website lately. I said no Dad I have not, what is up?
He told me, ” they have reopened my favorite restaurant in Gilory”. Here take a look. I bent over his shoulder and he showed me a photo of a restaurant being remodeled he had posted. He used to put comics and just images up on his site, since typing was so hard for him. When I leaned over him, I pulled him up a bit to help him sit straight in his wheelchair and put my hands on his shoulders. Dad said let’t pray, like he used to do so often. He started praying and I woke up.
What a wonderful way to wake up. It felt so real and comforting. As the morning went on, I kept thinking about that dream. I am so grateful I had my Dad living with me and here with my for those years. I would of never had the memories built into my brain to give me such a lovely dream. 

Then I just realized a few minutes ago, it is Father’s Day!  What a gift my Dad left me. Thank you Dad. I miss you. My youngest child just graduated High School and we missed you Dad. You were at all the events of our life those last 7 years.  Our family friend who was close to Dad and used to take care of him for me when I had to go out of town, was here last week, and she said to me, I miss Victor. I told her, gosh he loved you Gloria. One year the kids and I went to Disneyland at Thanksgiving and her and her family came to our house and had a full on Mexican feast, with turkey and tamales that year with Dad. Him and her partner, also named Victor, smoked their cigars and had a grand old day. Thank you Gloria for loving my Dad. He sure loved you and your family too.

Happy Fathers Day Dad, We miss you.

I was looking at Fathers Day cards and I realized I wouldn’t be able to get dad a card this year , but when I saw this one, I couldn’t resist buying it anyway. It is a perfect image of dad when I was growing up, mustache and all! Can you post this to the blog?… Dad, if you were still here, this is the card I would give you for Fathers Day. Thank you for being the best dad and loving me like you did. I love you. ❤️ Renee

Happy Fathers Day part2

Missing a parent during the holidays

This is my first Thanksgiving in nine years without my Dad. I feel sad and I am missing him very much this year.
For most of my life I did not see that much of my father. We did not live conveniently close and often we lived hundreds of miles away from each other.
Over the decades some years we only saw each other at holidays.  Then my Dad had a stroke and had to go into a nursing home.
He decided to move to my town, and came to live in a nursing home just two miles from my house. This started a lovely time for my family, where we had Grandpa with us once a week, all holidays, birthdays, graduations and any time we went out to dinner. Then he got well enough to move in with us and was with us for the last two and half years. I thought I had a good ten more years with him to look forward too when he became ill and died suddenly in July.  I am still trying to adjust to the hole in my life that he filled.

One of the many things I loved about my Dad was how much he loved the holidays. He loved all of it.  The family, the mood, the excitement, the seasons and  mostly he loved the food.
My Dad loved food. He was a joy to cook for because he liked everything and would try anything and always oohed and awed and relished what he ate.It was nice to have him around to discuss the menu, and buy some of his favorites each year. A good example is he loved his Lipton onion soup mix, sour cream dip and potato chips.
This year when I was shopping I did not buy those ingredients, because he was the main person who would eat that.
As I shop now, I find myself reaching for foods that he loved and I see certain things and I think oh Dad would love that, and then it hits me, he is gone.
As I start to prepare some of the food for our Thanksgiving feast tomorrow today, I have tears in my eyes and a heaviness in my heart.
It just is not going to be the same.
I miss you Dad.

Anyone who knew my Dad knew he loved his comics. This is one he sent me around this time last year.


Memorial for Vic Chernoff, Gilory, August 30th, 12-3 pm.

Please visit this link to sign up that you will be attending.

We want to share memories, have a bite to eat, and raise a toast to my Dad, Vic Chernoff.

The event will be held:

Saturday, August 30, 2014 from 12:00 PM to 3:00 PM (PDT)

Westside Grill Banquet Room
8080, Suite 100 Santa Teresa Blvd
Gilroy, CA 95020   



Death of a Father- it hurts

Vic Chernoff, Norm Weyman, Pastor Ernest Gentile,  Barbara and Bob McKim and Bob Taylor

Vic Chernoff, Norm Wehman, Pastor Ernest Gentile, Barbara and Bob McKim and Bob Taylor

I love this photo. It is like the old Gospel Temple gang. Sunday school teachers and family friends. My first boyfriends Dad, Bob Taylor, my brother Mark’s in-laws and both of my best friend’s parents while growing up, Nina and Diane, and then of course Pastor Gentile, a huge figure in all our lives. All in one photo with my Dad. That is a lot of love and living represented here. Bob Taylor was one of the funniest men I ever knew. I adored him. He was kind, loving and funny. Debbie Sell emailed me that Dad and Bob are in heaven right now having a great time. That is exactly what I was thinking this morning before I found this photo.

I am having a hard time concentrating today. I keep getting these waves of sadness and a huge emptiness in the pit of my stomach.
I feel like I want to talk to Dad and tell him how I am feeling so he can give me his advice and comfort like he always has done.
My daughter and sister Renee both have the same deep attachment to Dad, so we have been emailing and calling each other.
I am grateful for them. We all seem to be having the same feelings. Sadness, loneliness for Dad, and a huge sense of loss.
The loss that we can never share our life with him again. The whole family loved Dad, but the three of us have a similar emotional makeup, so this is not
a surprise to me, and I am blessed to have my sister and my daughter to share these feelings with.
This is the first death in our family. I think that right there is always hard. Even though Dad almost died twice before, he was such a fighter, such a comeback kid, I thought he might do it again. I thought I would be more okay with it, since I have lived with this feeling of impending death over him since his first stroke going on 20 years ago now.
I just miss him. I wish I could hug him one more time, I want to hear his cheery greeting when I dressed him in the morning. He was so darn sweet and cheerful every morning.  I wish I could bring him one more cup of  his beloved coffee, (he swore I made the best cup of coffee ever!) High praise indeed from the coffee press man. I wish I could make him breakfast one more time, and hear him praise the Lord for another beautiful day in Castro Valley. I want to watch him go outside with the cat and dog sitting at his feet and smoke his cigar and put his head back and pray and drink in the scenery and be at peace
I loved watching him do that. I did not realize how many times during the day I would pop into his room and see how he was and just touch base.
He was part of my daily routine. He filled a big void for me the last 9 years. I was never lonely with Dad as part of  daily life.  I felt his spiritual protection over my family and felt secure every day knowing my Dad was with us and praying for us and asking God’s blessing over us. It is a bit of a scary feeling to feel like that is gone now.
I used to worry I would be taking care of him until I was an old lady. Does everyone think they have unlimited time stretching in front of them?
Right now I just want to drink in all the moments with my kids and my life and be grateful and aware. I have tried to live like that, but this loss  makes it feel more cemented into my being.


Memorials for Vic Chernoff

I am adding to the memorial page as they are sent to me.
Thank you to everyone who is contributing and adding to the site.
You can include photos if you like as well.
We are finding the wonderful words from all of you very comforting.

Send it to me using the contact form here, and I will post it on this site.

Handicap travel to Paris France

  This is a short documentary on sites in Paris. Please enjoy.

Handicap’s up to you.

  Vitamin E may not be so good for you!  Got this article the other day and thought I’d pass it on.

The old dented bucket…very heart warming


Our house was directly across the street from the clinic entrance of Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore . We lived downstairs and rented the upstairs rooms to out-patients at the clinic.
One summer evening as I was fixing supper, there was a knock at the door. I opened it to see a truly awful looking man. “Why, he’s hardly taller than my 8-year-old,” I thought as I stared at the stooped, shriveled body. The appalling thing was his face, lopsided from swelling, red and raw.
Yet his voice was pleasant as he said, “Good evening. I’ve come to see if you’ve a room for just one night. I came for a treatment this morning from the eastern shore, and there’s no bus ’til morning.”
He told me he’d been hunting for a room since noon but with no success, no one seemed to have a room. “I guess it’s my face …. I know it looks terrible, but my doctor says with a few more treatments ..”
For a moment I hesitated, but his next words convinced me: “I could sleep in this rocking chair on the porch. My bus leaves early in the morning.”
I told him we would find him a bed, but to rest on the porch.. I went inside and finished getting supper. When we were ready, I asked the old man if he would join us. “No, thank you I have plenty.” And he held up a brown paper bag.
When I had finished the dishes, I went out on the porch to talk with him a few minutes. It didn’t take a long time to see that this old man had an over sized heart crowded into that tiny body. He told me he fished for a living to support his daughter, her 5 children, and her husband, who was hopelessly crippled from a back injury.
He didn’t tell it by way of complaint; in fact, every other sentence was preface with a thanks to God for a blessing. He was grateful that no pain accompanied his disease, which was apparently a form of skin cancer. He thanked God for giving him the strength to keep going…
At bedtime, we put a camp cot in the children’s room for him. When I got up in the morning, the bed linens were neatly folded and the little man was out on the porch.
He refused breakfast, but just before he left for his bus, haltingly, as if asking a great favor, he said, “Could I please come back and stay the next time I have a treatment? I won’t put you out a bit. I can sleep fine in a chair.” He paused a moment and then added, “Your children made me feel at home. Grownups are bothered by my face, but children don’t seem to mind.”
I told him he was welcome to come again.
And, on his next trip, he arrived a little after 7 in the morning. As a gift, he brought a big fish and a quart of the largest oysters I had ever seen! He said he had shucked them that morning before he left so that they’d be nice and fresh. I knew his bus left at 4:00 a.m. And I wondered what time he had to get up in order to do this for us.
In the years he came to stay overnight with us, there was never a time that he did not bring us fish or oysters or vegetables from his garden.
Other times we received packages in the mail, always by special delivery; fish and oysters packed in a box of fresh young spinach or kale, every leaf carefully washed. Knowing that he must walk 3 miles to mail these, and knowing how little money he had made the gifts doubly precious.
When I received these little remembrances, I often thought of a comment our next-door neighbor made after he left that first morning.
“Did you keep that awful looking man last night? I turned him away! You can lose roomers by putting up such people!”
Maybe we did lose roomers once or twice. But, oh!, if only they could have known him, perhaps their illnesses would have been easier to bear.
I know our family always will be grateful to have known him; from him we learned what it was to accept the bad without complaint and the good with gratitude to God.
Recently I was visiting a friend, who has a greenhouse, as she showed me her flowers, we came to the most beautiful one of all, a golden chrysanthemum, bursting with blooms. But to my great surprise, it was growing in an old dented, rusty bucket. I thought to myself, “If this were my plant, I’d put it in the loveliest container I had!”
My friend changed my mind. “I ran short of pots,” she explained, “and knowing how beautiful this one would be, I thought it wouldn’t mind starting out in this old pail. It’s just for a little while, till I can put it out in the garden.”
She must have wondered why I laughed so delightedly, but I was imagining just such a scene in heaven.
“Here’s an especially beautiful one,” God might have said when he came to the soul of the sweet old fisherman. “He won’t mind starting in this small body.”
All this happened long ago – and now, in God’s garden, how tall this lovely soul must stand.
The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7b)
Friends are very special. They make you smile and encourage you to succeed. They lend an ear and they share a word of praise. Show your friends how much you care. Pass this on, and brighten someone’s day.
Nothing will happen if you do not decide to pass it along. The only thing that will happen if you DO pass it on is that some-one else might enjoy the story.

Handicap travel…In time and to Ecuador

  well gang I received an e-mail from a friend about flying in England around 1932. If you were a “moneyed” person you could take a trip to Africa on first class. I found this quite interesting.


   This is a very different  way of travel than we’re used to. Ecuadorians don’t seem to mind things we here in the U.S. couldn’t stand. This journey gives you sites to see that are common place there.


   This is fun for me to be on the lookout for interesting places.  Please enjoy…

When you go out in your wheelchair

  Keeping your stuff together. I found what works for me is..a fanny pack! You know the stuff you need when you are out and about needs to be with you. I found a very nice, well made one on Amazon .com.

    I had been looking for something that would work for me for some time. I was a longtime briefcase guy. Mostly files, papers, even snacks like energy bars or nuts. Well after my stroke all that changed. A briefcase was to big and awkward and I couldn’t use my hands so good. So on to my quest for something to work.

   I tried different types of bags on my wheelchair. [You may what to all this ranting on]..well I like to be as normal as I want my stuff with me. I even tried  over the shoulder bags.  These items were too “sissyfied” for me…[now remember I’m 75 years old!] onward I went. 

   After much [research] lookin around, I came across this butt bag. It has all kinds of pockets on it and is well made. Now, granted it’s not [cheap], but it had just what I was looking for. It has a place on the sides for water bottles. I had used the cheaper fanny packs and found them too lightweght to be of any use. Too tight and hard for me to use.

   If any of this makes sense to you take a good look at this item.


After a stroke..Begin to take Naps

  Yes guys..Naps! I attached a link about sleeping to [naps]…Since I have gotten older I’ve re-thunk my feelings on naps. When I was younger, I had no time for naps. Busy, busy, go, go..After my stroke things changed. I now had no place to go…no body to see, I was forced to slow down by my stroke.   As it turns out, I love my nap-time. Resting mid-day works well for me. I set aside in my day a couple of hours for nap time. I actually go to sleep for about an hour. This shows me that I’m  doing the right thing. Strokes do change your life.

Handicap-travel..Motorcycle riding

  Ha, you’d never thought you could actually go on an offroad motorcycle trip!  I know I did. When I was younger I went many off road places, It was fun!  After my stroke ,  I thought I was finished forever!  Not sooo.  Came across this U-tube video..Enjoy  30 min. long.



Handicapped: Not all of me…

  I must share what happened to me at four am this morning!  I woke up with a start and realized, yes, I am now handicapped but not all of me.  My mind is still working. In fact it’s working better than before. I am learning new things daily. I’m getting less angry or irritated at myself daily. My desire to embrace new [for me] things and make them a part of my character is very wonderful. I had no idea this was possible.

   I believe this is happening to me through my faith in God. Ya see I believe in God. Through-out my life He’s been there for me. So I believe there are no accidents in life. Take my stroke for instance…yes it was awful, life changing, I went through hell on my end.however, God knows what He has in mind for me..It was up to me to give my WILL over to Him. Not an easy thing to do. This is one of those things you never arrive at. It is a daily effort. I read my bible every day..I take the time to stop and think about it.

Posting this Blog once a week has given me a new sense of accomplishment . Thank you guys who regularly read my postings

Handi-cap travel…Austrailia

    I came across these funny saying’s awhile back and thought it would fit today’s blog.

   I  have been in many places but I’ve never been in Cahoots.

Apparently you can’t go alone. You have to be in Cahoots
with someone. I’ve also never been in Cognito. I hear no one
recognizes you there.

I have, however; been in Sane. They don’t have an airport;
you have to be driven there. I have made several trips there
, thanks to my friends, family and work. I would like to go
to Conclusions, but you have to jump, and I’m not too much
on physical activity anymore.

I have also been in Doubt. That is a sad place to go and I
try not to visit there too often. I’ve been in Flexible, but
only when it was very important to stand firm. Sometimes I’m
in Capable and I go there more often as I’m getting older.

   Well on-ward and our travels…Australia…this is a very nice train trip -history and adventure…

Goodbye 2013…Hello 2014

Hi  guys….well another year is gone into history. Yes, we’ve had our downs and a few ups…I for one am full of thanks to God I’m still alive, handicap and all, that I can say these words now. For our country it’s been a tough year [s] since the lefties took over things. As a conservative I’m very sad the way things have gone, however I firmly believe God is in charge. As a Christian GOD has shown me the way That I need to respond to our troubles here in America. No lie or deception will go unseen by God. He will bring Justice to all of us.

Now personally….yes it’s been tough. I’m very thankful, however, that I’m on assisted living now with my daughter helping me. Not being able to move my legs,arms, and hands like I use-to is a pain, but I’m moving forward a little at a time. I know, I know, I even got the blue California handicap sticker to prove it, but it’s still not fun. 

I wanted to thank you readers for joining me this year at Handicap Cafe. Your responses help me to carry forward.  I have plans to hopefully make this little blog more interesting in 2014.

May God bless you and make His face shine upon you…


After a stroke..Handicappers Travelogue..

  • Well guys I’m adding something new to our adventures. Handicappers Travelogue..[Handi-Travel]. I know this seems like an oxymoron statement [.


      [ok-si-mawr-on, -mohr-]  Show IPA

    noun, plural ox·y·mo·ra  [ok-si-mawr-uh, -mohr-uh]  Show IPA , ox·y·mor·ons. Rhetoric .

    a figure of speech by which a locution produces an incongruous, seemingly self-contradictory effect, as in“cruel kindness” or “to make haste slowly.”

      However through the magic of computers we can go places and experience things we thought were impossible. Also Time Travel [sorta]. This should be fun.

  • Our trip this month will be to the Great Lakes area during the late 30’s through to the end of Wourld War II
  • The Great Lakes provided vital support for the war effort in WWII, from
    building 28 fleet subs in Manitowoc to providing the bulk of US industrial
    output, we could not have won the war if not for the benefits of the Great
    Lakes and their related industry. However there was another benefit of the
    lakes that is often overlooked. Japan quickly lost the war because, among
    many other things, its navy could not replace its carrier pilot losses. We
    could. But how did we train so many pilots?

    We took two old side-wheel Great Lakes passenger steamers and turned them
    into training carriers on Lake Michigan! Virtually every carrier pilot
    trained in the war got his landing training on these amazing ships! Sadly
    nothing but these great photos and the wrecks of the aircraft that ditched
    alongside them remain to tell their fascinating story!

    Check this out link USS Sable and USS Wolverine This is a great video on what went on.


After a stroke…PB and J



No…..It’s not something naughty…or health wise; it’s a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. After my stroke I had to learn all over again how to chew. My first convalescent hospital had an in house therapist that worked with me on moving my jaw and neck muscles. We laughed and I giggled at my attempts to speak and chew. Actually it was awful for me, but I was very determined to get better. I saw her twice a week for about six weeks. She was very helpful to get me back on track.  Now I must admit to loving peanut butter. As a kid it was one of our staple foods in the 1940’s. Most every thing  was rationed and very hard to get. [remember Spam?]. I digress, I often had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in my lunch bag. My favorite was Skippy chunk style peanut butter.

In fact during my life time I moved on to even better brands. Before my stroke I was eating the kind you had to hand mix the oil into the butter. It tasted sooo fresh..ummm, and I had  gone to jam. Now you ask, what does this have to do with my stroke? I thought that I couldn’t chew anymore and so, no more peanuts. this was most upsetting.  As it turned out, this thought was wrong! Today, November 2013, I can begin to enjoy once more crunchy peanut butter on English muffins

Don’t give up on yourself. In spite of your handicap you can live life to the full.

Pithy sayings to encourage

   Over the years  I’ve used sayings to encourage myself. I was self employed and needed all the help I could get! Here are a few examples for your perusal…

 Quotes on life, life quotes image

 Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success.
Napoleon Hill 

 I am not afraid of death, I just don’t want to be there when it happens.
Woody Allen

 The talent for being happy is appreciating and liking what you have, instead of what you don’t have.
Woody Allen 

Life is full of misery, loneliness, and suffering – and it’s all over much too soon.
Woody Allen 



Here’s where you can find more if you are interested.