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Showing posts from July, 2010

The Right Time

Nancy's bicycling group set off from Geneva State Park Tuesday evening. The cyclists rode for 20 miles or so. I went along to ride the bicycle path that wends its way through the park, going from the Lodge to the campground. In my wheelchair, I can cover four miles in roughly the same time it takes the bikers to traverse their 20-mile route.

The bike path is a most pleasant place to spend an hour or two. It provides some wonderful views of the lake, some quiet time in the woods and a short jaunt by the marina. As I sped along at nearly three miles an hour, I came upon another man in wheelchair.

"What's your disability?" he asked.

"MS," I said.

"Mine too."

He looked to be about my age. He said he had three adult children: one a doctor, one working with the Geneva schools and the other doing something I don't remember. Then we talked about MS and when we were diagnosed. He had been diagnosed 36 years ago.

That was another reminder of how fortunate I h…

Periodical Discomfort

No one gets into the supermarket checkout line expecting an uplifting experience. Then again, except for me, no one expects to be reduced to a cowering, simpering, drooling fool while waiting to pay for his groceries. Supermarkets, for the most part, are pleasant places. But when I approach the checkout line, my stomach churns, my hands get clammy and my brow spews beads of sweat. I move slowly in the line, forcing myself forward and hoping I don’t break down and run screaming from the store. The cash register has nothing to do with this. The problem is the magazine racks, that canyon of frightening, emotionally paralyzing memories I must pass through on my way to the cashier. We – Debbie, Russ, Beth and I – were a typical young family of the late seventies and early eighties. Fridays, after reclaiming the kids from day care, we’d dine on fast food and go to the grocery store. Every week, the final item in the cart was a women’s magazine Debbie snagged from the rack as we waited to ch…

Going to the Store

Wednesday morning, I went to Mike’s Farm Market. Nothing unusual about that: when the weather is good, I’ll go there once or twice a week to pick up a few things. It’s a nice place with an extremely helpful and friendly staff, and it is well stocked with things I like. I enjoy going to Mike’s. And it’s handy, about a half mile from home – an easy trip in my wheelchair.When I got back from Mike’s, I realized just how handy it is. Somewhere on the Internet that day, I discovered that Sunday will mark the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. On July 26, 1990, President George H. W. Bush put his signature on Public Law 336 of the 101st Congress. As the website of the Small Business Administration (www.sba.gov/ada/index.html) puts it, “The ADA prohibits discrimination and ensures equal opportunity for persons with disabilities in employment, State and local government services, public accommodations, commercial facilities, and transportation. It also mandates the establ…

We're back

Well, we're back from vacation, none the worse for wear; except for Nancy, who broke a toe ten miles or so from home. We were joined by Mary and Ron on our sojourn, and we used Ron's trailer to haul the luggage and my electric wheelchair. When we stopped Sunday afternoon to drop off Ron and the trailer, one end of the trailer fell on Nancy's toe - the little piggy that had none on the right foot. Undeterred by several hours in the emergency room, a slight limp and some lingering pain, Nancy went off to work this morning.

Our first stop was Sackets Harbor, NY, in the 1,000 Islands area of the St. Lawrence River. There, on a beautiful Saturday afternoon, we took a cruise to the Singer and Boldt castles. The castles were the summer homes of the rich and famous of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, lasting testimonies to their wealth and egos. Still impressive after all these years, the castles were enchanting stops on a wonderfully relaxing cruise on the St. Lawrence.

Ther…

A policeman's lot is not a happy one

It isn't easy being a policeman these days, especially in Geneva, Ohio. Among the recent incidents handled by Geneva's beleaguered finest are the following, as they were listed in the Star Beacon of June 30:
* Officers apprehended a fuzzy black dog on West Main Street on Thursday.

*Someone left a pink bicycle on the sidewalk at the Redi-Go convenience store on Thursday.

* A concerned citizen reported Friday that a Surry Lane streetlight stays on all day and all night.

* Employees at the Circle K convenience store on South Broadway reported a rude, intoxicated customer at the store on Friday.

* Young adults driving recklessly down Burrow Street on Friday stopped to fight, a resident reported, though officers were unable to locate the suspects.

* Teenagers reported they gave a Geneva man money to "hold" and money to purchase cigarettes with on Saturday, but the man allegedly pocketed the money. Officers told the man it is illegal to purchase tobacco products for minors and m…