Until you read my book, Views From My Chariot: A Wheelchair Oddity, let me add a little more personal information, aside from the tidbits included in all my articles about my living with a disability.
I’ve been riding in my chariot, i.e., wheelchair for thirty-five+ years now, at break-neck speed—probably not funny because that’s what I did (broke my neck), but it made me giggle as I typed it.
In fact, I was making a phone call a while back checking on something, maybe accessibility, I can’t recall. My sister was at home with me. Midway through my conversation with whomever I was speaking, Candace reminded me—like a backseat driver—to offer that I was handicapped.
As I began to explain that I was disabled, my sister and I broke into hysterical laughter. The harder we tried to regain appropriate solemnity, the more boisterous we became. Finally, I just hung up. Neither of us could compose ourselves enough to explain. I’m sure they thought it was some sick prank—totally disrespectful of the disabled plight. What can I say? That’s how I roll.
Besides my sister, here are some of my favorite things: Nature’s cooperative communication—like a school of fish changing direction in a split-second (I used to scuba dive.), and a flight of birds swooping in a 180° turn in unison; expressive music (Carmen’s “Champion” is my favorite Easter song; for Christmas, Michael English’s “Mary, did you know?” and in general, the Chordettes’ “Mr. Sandman”—a VERY old oldie.); cashmere sweaters, scarves, and barefoot sandals; breakfast, spicy Indian food, and mahimahi; beets, turnips (boiled, roasted, and sautéed),and roasted garlic; the aroma of freshly baked bread, rosemary, and lemon verbena; the scents of gardenia, honeysuckle, and vanilla; azure skies, full moons, and shooting stars; the exuberance of orange, and the peacefulness of white; late winter daffodils, bright Gerber daisies, and red poppies; ancient Asian peonies, graceful crepe myrtles, and their leaping lizards (which will make sense when you read my book); a tugboat’s baritone horn in the night, a train’s distant whistle, soothing wind chimes, and a child’s voice; movies, movies, and more movies; cats, cats, and cats (I have three, and I’ll be posting some of their antics.); a good book, and time to read it; oxymorons (Are you thinking I’m clearly confused?); a smart joke, a fun game with friends, and laughter; champagne, dry red wine, Maker’s Mark Whisky, Glenlivet Scotch, Jose Cuervo Gold Tequila (I’m fasting liquor. Can you tell?); coffee (coffee candy, coffee yogurt, Tiramisu, anything coffee), and espresso.
I have been tediously repetitious with things that I love, but I DO LOVE LIFE! If you think about it, all of the above are simple sensory delights available to the able and the disabled alike.
And now, like any of you, after my coffee’s adrenalin surge, I am exceedingly alert with dilated arteries and accelerated blood flow. I think I’ll go run it off.
Uh-oh, I can’t run.