Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Kipona Festival: basically accessible always enjoyable

Sharing a peach milk shake we watched Iroquois social dancing that is until the ‘smoke dance’ was announced. To Patti that meant they can dance, I will smoke. Not sure if that was the correct interpretation but all had fun.
Harrisburg’s Kipona Festival held each year over Labor Day weekend along the Susquehanna River is ranked one of the top five in Pennsylvania. For me pushing Patti’s wheelchair it is also basically accessible, though a thorough workout with probably 5 miles needed to see everything and return to where you started. Miles of paved surface abound though full participation necessitates frequent off-path navigation over ADA exempt Mother Earth.  

Calling ahead to Patti’s care facility to give them a head’s up that I would be picking Patti up earlier than usual; I was greeted by a rarin’ and ready to go Patti. Staff had kindly gotten her up from her afternoon nap, changed, dressed and out of bed. With progression Multiple Sclerosis caregiving becomes quite physical and there is nothing like a 'fall on your knees thank you' kind of moment to start an outing.

Admission is free and always a plus. While there is a parking fee on City Island, the location of accessible parking alone is frankly worth more than the $5 as you literally park in the festival.

With temps of 85°F we were never going to be able to experience it all, but we didn’t care.

Bling shopping at festivals is Patti’s favorite activity. Unlike retail stores the folding tables of vendors are ideal for seeing when visually impaired and touching. Vendors never cease to amaze me with their courtesy and attention to Patti and both her abilities and disabilities. Today’s find was from Suhailah’s Unigue.  

Rolling over the Susquehanna River I am always mesmerized at the picturesque view of bridges while Patti’s view is somewhat more a moving forests of buttocks

Heat eventually trumped and we settled into an uncrowded shady spot simply enjoying the breeze and watching a sternwheeler and the river.
When living with Multiple Sclerosis as a family sometimes you just have to carve out and enjoy your own event within an event, not unlike a dream within a dream.  

Caregivingly Yours, Patrick Leer 
musings: patrick ponders

1 comment:

  1. yum on the peach milkshake; I don't think I have ever had one of that flavor. always love Patti's bling!! you think the weather would have cooperated and been a bit cooler so the event could have been enjoyed a bit more, but at least you guys had a chance to be together enjoying the view and each other's company.



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