“August 5, 2015

You wanted to know how your expertise benefited my marriage, family, and life. It’s a pleasure to share.

When I wed ruggedly handsome, intelligent Terry Blake in 1981, I had no idea he harbored a hidden penchant for sharing six-packs of Budweiser with neighborhood buddies. Most evenings when I’d arrive home from work just 30 minutes after he had, I’d already find him passed-out on the living room couch.

In 1987, we moved from Long Island, NY to a farm/ranch in Sams Valley, OR. At age 50, he’d stay home and ranch it. I found full-time work in the Medford branch of the State Employment Division.
Most of our nearest neighbors were Church-going Christians who didn’t drink. But, Terry managed to locate and hire part-time ranch hands for his afternoon beer parties.

One August evening in1988, when I got home from work, he said his truck had malfunctioned, and he needed to use my vehicle to go buy some parts to fix his. He seemed sober; insisted he hadn’t had much beer; I handed him the keys. Later he phoned me from the Police Station. He said he’d struck a deer, lost control of my car, wrecked it, damaged some property, and landed in a ditch. The Law Officer’s breathalyzer indicated Terry had consumed almost twice the legal alcohol limit. I had to find a neighbor to drive me to the Jail to post bail for my husband.

The next day, I phoned our auto insurance company regarding the property damage he’d caused. The agent told me Terry hadn’t paid the insurance premiums, (which he’d assured me that he had) and our coverage had lapsed three months earlier. I then phoned an attorney. We worked out a plan I hoped would help Terry get “scared sober.”

When Terry lost his driving privileges for a period of time, he dreaded the thought of depending on me to drop him off at the counseling sessions mandated for alcohol dependents. Fortunately, On Track sat within easy walking distance of my job site. He soon developed a deep respect for his capable, encouraging, non-judgmental and highly-professional Counselor, Michael Rhoades. He gladly read the book and other beneficial material Rhoades had given him.

At the conclusion of his On Track program, Terry began attending Church every Sunday, asked to be Baptized in the Rogue River, and started buying cases of O’Doul’s non-alcoholic beverage to share with his ranch hands. Eventually, he switched to soda pop, but I can honestly vouch for the fact that he never touched another drop of alcohol again. He formed the habit of paying all bills on time, and for the last ten years of his life, he served as a trusted Church Deacon.

Now if only, Michael Rhoades could’ve convinced him to quit smoking tobacco sooner. Fifty-five years of 3-packs a day took its toll on Terry’s lungs. On February 10, 2009, he departed earth, a much better man than he’d ever been before encountering the outstanding Michael Rhoades.”

-Flo Blake

What PASA workshop participants have said:
“The course to me was very much an eye-opener. Its amazing how complex life is. Knowing &having some special tools to help you cope…is very valuable. Its really helped me understand myself better & makes me want to learn more about myself.” -Ron M.

“This course has helped in providing me with resources to deal with my issues. I now understand that it is OK to feel the way I do (that something isn’t wrong with me). Learning how to soften my anxiety instead of it running away with me. Knowing I can use this information to better improve myself, instead of looking at it negatively.” -Kathy K.