Thursday, June 24, 2010

Wheels on the chair go round and round

We just got back from Chicago and it was a great trip.  This was our first trip with Amanda's new wheelchair and it worked even better than we had hoped.  For starters, we were moved from row 29 to the bulkhead on both flights between DFW and O'Hare.  Score one for Amanda.

Second, getting through the airports is a breeze when you aren't dragging a child or worrying if they have wandered off or gotten run over in a stampede.  And finally, the best part is, Amanda was able to participate all day long.

We went to the Navy Pier where I learned that steep ramps need to be taken in reverse.  Amanda's eyes were as big as the Ferris Wheel when came sliding to a stop at the bottom.

Amanda covered a 100,000 square foot convention floor in three hours collecting all of the give aways from other companies.  Between her and my 19 year old beauty queen niece I think they even got somebody's laptop.

On Monday I had to work so Tina, my sister and her daughter took Amanda shopping.  I was back at the hotel before they were.  When I opened the door for Tina at almost 5 pm both she and Amanda had the most satisfied looks on their faces.  They just kept going all day and loved it.  I took the backpack from Tina and stupid me, I thought it was the same as when they left in the morning and would weigh about 5 pounds.  Nope, men climb Kilimanjaro with a lighter pack.

I asked Tina where they went.  She said it was easier to explain that they didn't go to Eddie Bauer.

The the wheelchair was a huge success.

And just to point out how helpful it was.  The next day when we got home I took Amanda with me to three places as her sighted guide.  She tripped over two thresh holds and took five minutes to get through a small store.

So all long distance journeys will have the chair, particularly when we go out of town.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

I wear a lot of hats

It is a known fact that I like to wear hats.  I've worn hundreds if not thousands of them over the past 41 years.  My cub scout hat, boy scout hats, baseball hats, school hats - even schools I didn't even attend like  The University of California Bears.  One of my favorites was from my early teen years.  It was a Coors Light hat my sister gave me.  It made me look like a Greek fisherman minus the tan.  I kept that hat from the time I was thirteen to twenty five.  At twenty five Tina cleaned out my closet and threw it away because she thought it was ugly.  But I digress.

Lately I have been wearing a black and white Nike golf hat. It can be seen on a blog entry  where Amanda was playing softball.  But I have been wearing it to the gym and to play golf and even to mow the yard so it has gotten a bit used.  So this weekend at the Texas State Special Olympics I bought another hat.  It's blue and made for summer and is very comfortable. Since I bought it at the Special Olympics it says Texas Special Olympics on it.  It only makes sense.

So on our way home Saturday we stopped at a Starbucks to bring my level of caffeine up to a higher octane.  Tina took Amanda to the bathroom while I ordered our drinks.  The young guy behind the counter and I had the following exchange:

Young guy: I see by your hat you must be a nice person

Me after taking off my hat and looking at it to see what he was talking about: Well, my daughter thinks so.  The rest of the world has opinions that span the spectrum of all personality traits.  It just depends on the circumstances at the time. (Seriously, that is what I said)

Young guy: Your daughter likes you, that's enough.

Me: Thanks

I tipped him two bucks for making me feel better.  Between that and the Venti Vanilla Latte' I was set.

By the way, Amanda had a great time at the Olympics.  She was the youngest competitor in her events but she tried as hard as she could and was awarded a bronze medal for the 50 meter dash.  She runs as hard as she can and never gives up and it makes me so proud every
time I see try.

We didn't attend the opening ceremonies because it was just too hot.  Amanda was a little disappointed because she wanted to see all the policemen that would be there.  At dinner we ran into five officers who posed for a picture with her, so she was thrilled.