Saturday, September 03, 2011

rollin' along the sidewalks

When we are out and about, strangers would not have a clue that it takes a small army to assist Patti with her activities of daily living much less get her ready and to any outing. Laughter and smiles have a way of trumping words like non-ambulatory or even Multiple Sclerosis much less MS symptoms.

So what could be more wheelchair accessible than rolling around downtown sidewalks in near perfect MS weather, cloudy and low 70’s? Carlisle’s “First Friday” gives businesses a chance to interact. Such as a Belgian draft horse on the side walk outside the Café Bruges (Belgian cusine). Yet as close as Patti is to the huge horse her visual impairment prevented her from telling or even guessing what it was.

We shared a complimentary and yummy bowl of fried rice from Amy’s Thai Cuisine before checking out a 1930 Ford and wondered how one could convert this for wheelchair access, though I suspect the 30’s was not known as an accessible era.

Discovering one of our favorites Helena’s Chocolate Café and Creperie was opened we settled into a sidewalk table for dinner, chocolate raspberry crepe for me and a peaches and crème crepe for Patti. We shared lemonade while I alternated feeding Patti bites of hers while taking bites of my own. Somehow the whole busy sidewalk scene dwarfed the issue of feeding vs assisted eating. … The crepes were so out of this world that we had to go back inside and publicly applaud the chef.

After dinner we pushed and rolled around enjoying sidewalk serenades that well you just can’t imagine – Prince’s “Kiss” performed on acoustic guitars while kids pedaled around a bank parking lot on miniature tractors – a rock and roll flute version of Young Rascals “Good Lovin” on a shady corner of Dickinson – and a young singer songwriter, Nate Lenox, giving a break out performance from the Library steps.  

The thing is you can measure how little anyone’s body is capable of doing but not what they are capable of appreciating or in turn being appreciated.
A community in motion, now that’s a great idea!!!

Caregivingly Yours, Patrick Leer 
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  1. looks likea fun day filled with smiles and laughter. Patti you look great..The horse is beautiful..

  2. Hey Cathy! and admittedly with Patti's MS visual impairment she does guess a lot based on 'experience' and needless to say a huge Belgian draft horse standing on a sidewalk is just not normal :) though great marketing!

  3. Yes it looks like a day filled with fun! It is always good to educate the community about wheelchairs....I hope

  4. Kim, thanks and you make a good point - being out and about is not only fun for us but yes enlightening for others who choose to open their eyes and of course those who walk into Patti's wheelchair while their eyes are glued to their smart phones. :-)


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