Saturday, January 12, 2008

visiting Pennsylvania Farm Show 2008

Yes, that is a live Brahma Bull pictured with Patti and me at this year’s Pennsylvania Farm Show.

Besides the three of us, 400,000 people and 8,000 animals visited in 24 indoor acres of the Farm Show Arena.

The first year we ever attended we struggled with accessible entry through the Farm Show main entrance, competing with strollers, wagons, wheelchairs, and scooters for too few elevators.

Until, DUH! It occurred to us that obviously the animals and farm equipment must have a totally accessible way in and out. Ever since we simply use the back side of the buildings and have never had a delay or even encountered a single step. Sometimes it pays to ignore the wheelchair signs and just follow the big wheels. <grin>
As enjoyable as the whole show is for visitors it is exhausting for the farm families that share their time, produce, animals, and lifestyle. I couldn’t resist taking this picture of a young girl catching a nap with two of her family’s dairy cows.
She kind of captures it all, the heart and soul of Pennsylvania’s largest industry.

On the caregiving side of the equation, Patti's Multiple Sclerosis symptoms of visual impairment and cognitive challenges are minimized by the hands on interaction and patient education of the farming community. 

Animals react to assistive technology different than people. Rather than try NOT to notice Patti's wheelchair, farm animals find it curious and Patti gets their attention. Patti loves visiting the goats who endlessly try to eat her chair and even butt heads over eating rights to her chair.

MS symptoms also include incontinence and as Patti is non-ambulatory all the restrooms in the world do not help. Society is a long way off from adult changing stations. Fortunately Patti's parents live near the Farm Show Arena and have modified most of their home so I could drop by and physically transfer Patti in and out of a bed to change clothing and Depends and throw laundry in the washer.

"In the struggle for survival, the fittest win out at the expense of their rivals because they succeed in adapting themselves best to their environment."  Charles Darwin

Caregivingly Yours, Patrick Leer


  1. ((((((((((((HUGSTOYOU))))))))))))))))Sounds like you both had a good time.I love the pics.You look very handsome and happy.Pattie is beatiful.Have a nice weekend.

  2. You and Patti look like you were having a great time, 24 acres, wow!
    Talk about having a beautiful time with the animals.  The picture of Patti at the tire wheel, what a sight, I know she really enjoyed the day. Both of you have a great weekend.

  3. I loved the pictures!! what a fantastic adventure to do; I bet it was just an enjoyable time for you and Patti!


  4. I like the one with the lamas doting on Patti and they look like they're smiling.  She is too, it's easy to see you all had a good time. Rache

  5. The picutres show what a great time the three of you had! I know you look forward to this event every year. It is wonderful to see you out and about enjoying each other and the farm community.

  6. Nothing like a day out with all the animals! Looks like you guys enjoyed yourselves!


  7. ........both of you look so happy and enjoying  yourselves!

  8. Loved the pictures. You and Patti look like your having a wonderful time. The picture of the sleeping girl was too cute. (Hugs) Indigo

  9. Oh, it looks like a wonderful time was had by both of you and the animals, too.  Very nice pictures.  
                                                Smiles,  Leigh


  10. I haven't been to a farm show... now I want to go. 400,000 people! That's a crowd to maneuver through. Patti looks chic in her pink hat, and you look a bit adventurous on that Brahma Bull... most charming of all is the picture of the two cows sleeping with their human friend in a nest of straw. Technology tucked away in her back pocket... what a contrast of time and place! bea


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