Living and laughing with a disability - cerebral palsy; ordinary life, extraordinary circumstances.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The chase we saw up I-5 last night...

Getaway Car Crashes Through Fence, Keeps Going -

Get your palm branches up!

God Needs You! - Our Daily Bread: "Someone once asked Francis of Assisi how he was able to accomplish so much. He replied, “This may be why: The Lord looked down from heaven and said, ‘Where can I find the weakest, littlest man on earth?’ Then He saw me and said, ‘I’ve found him. I will work through him, and he won’t be proud of it. He’ll see that I am only using him because of his insignificance.’ ”"

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Cell phone shopping

Jodie's cell phone stopped holding a charge and her 2 year contract was up. Eric was tired of his phone. In this family, that means Jodie gets Eric's old phone, and Eric gets a new phone.

He and I went shopping at T-Moble..

I wanted to stay away from the smart phones; our cell phone bill is high enough. Just to know, I asked the salesman how much the internet charge per month on the smart phone was. $25...too much.

Eric started looking at the non smart phones. Some of them seemed pretty inteternet ready. Eric found a T-Moble Tap. We asked the salesman if it did email and internet. Yes, for $10 per month. Why $10 and not $25? Well, the internet is lower quality, more text like.

I felt like they were trying to get me to buy a smart phone rather than the cheaper option.

Eric scored.

Now guess who wants what Eric has?

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Chess - more than just a game

For years I kept suggesting to my son, Eric, that he try taking chess at school from when he was in the younger grades, but I never forced him. Out of the blue this year he decided to take chess.

I took chess when I was in school. In junior high it was with Mr. Blanton in the library. At Beaverton High, I was president of the chess team. It was more of an honorary title. My game was not the strongest on the team, but the kids and our German teacher advisor supported me. I remember going to chess meets at Aloha High School and Catlin Gable. I always found in to be a thrill to be on a team representing my school where my disability was not a handicap.

Eric's school had a chess festival today. I was very moved.

There was a giant chess set up front. Plastic pieces just under 2 feet high. There were tables manned by kids, each showin g how different pieces moved.

At one point Eric was playing 2 little guys at once. Third or fourth grade, I'm not sure. They were trash talking Eric, how they were beating him. Eric took care of them.

I lost a close game to a high schooler. Then I played a dad who was particularly good with his knights...another close game, but another loss.

Two of the young guys played each other. The one who lost was overly concerned that his ranking would go down. The elementary schoolers are involved with much more competitive chess than the jr high/high schoolers.

A high schooler demonstrated blind chess. He sat with his back to the board. Eric wrote down the moves. Eric did not play blind chess today, but he has in class and he has the big Hershey bars to prove it.

Eric and other kids demonstrated how to play "Bug House". It drives me nuts! Four players, 2 boards. Pieces you gain from your opponent you can give to your partner to use against theirs. It is played at lightning speed. I don't begin to process that fast!

I went up front to watch the game on the giant chess board. Eric, kids his age, and older high school kids, jocks and nerds, were laughing and having fun. They were at the end of a game. They cleared away the pieces, and they had kids representing the pieces. They seemed like a band of brothers having fun.

Mr. Svehaug came and found me. "Mr. Wittren, we have another game set up for you."

My opponent was of Russian or East European descent. I could tell that chess was more than a game to him. I am good at chess at times, but not always consistent. This game, I was in a zone. We both castled and then I went on a very aggressive attack. I had forks in place that were so perfect that I never could have planned them. He was making incredible moves; I was making incredible moves. It was a blood bath. I had a king and a bishop left. He had a king and a pawn that was soon to be queen. We called it as a draw out of respect for the kind of game it was.

When I asked Eric how I would find them in the school when we first got there, he said "Follow the nerd herd."

Chess is way more than a game.

See, evidence right there that my end game in writing, as in chess, stinks!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

World's richest dude...

...basically owns Mexico:

Carlos Slim 'World's Richest' Person: Forbes Says Mexican Billionaire Is Richer Than Bill Gates: "Slim's conglomerate of retail, telecom, manufacturing and construction companies so dominate the Mexican commercial landscape it is often easy for Mexicans to find themselves talking over a Slim-operated cell phone at a Slim-owned shopping center waiting to pay a bill to a Slim-owned company at a Slim-owned bank. If the line is too long, they can catch a quick coffee at a Slim-owned restaurant."

Punishing the kids for having 2 moms?

Even if your faith allows you to judge others, what part of Jesus' plea to let the little ones come to Him don't they understand?

Archdiocese defends decision to deny children because of lesbian parents -

Dumb, da dumb dumb.....

Black Barbie Sold Cheaper Than White Barbie At Walmart

Special place for special people...

American Heart: Father Creates Morgan's Wonderland, a Theme Park for Those With Special Needs - ABC News

Monday, March 08, 2010

When you feel far from God...

...He is never far from you.

That was the message preached by my son, 14 yo Eric, at our church yesterday. Three services.

Eric drove the message home. A message so simple, yet so often forgot.

All the youth did a wonderful job with the services.

I'm so proud of Eric and all our kids. So much appreciation was shown to them afterwards. It is so nice to be in a congregation that values its richest asset, the kids.

RLC rocks!

Friday, March 05, 2010

Can we get in?

Last night, Eric had a basketball playoff game at a church over in north Portland. Eric jumped out of the van and ran into the gym as soon as we got there.

Jodie and I looked at each other: "Can we get in?"

No ramp. It looked like an old loading dock. 18 inches high I would venture to say. I walked around to one end and saw three, short, 10 inch steps...maybe higher. I could have done them, except that when you get to the top, there was no railing, just a pole and the dropoff.

There was a guy talking on the phone in his pickup. Don't know who he was, but he was our angel for the moment.

He went and got one of the dads from our team. They hoisted Jodie up. I could tell that it hurt Jodie's shoulders a bit...and her pride a bit.

Disability and pride...there's a topic. Life is hard and awkward at times. You could lose it if you over analyze those times. We would much rather deal with our own challenges without troubling anyone else, bear our own cross if you will. Sometimes we need the help.

I grabbed a poll and pulled myself up. I'm not going to ask for help!

This was the first basketball game this season where Jodie has not used her power chair. We have not been carry her crutches in the van. She has not needed them. I don't know what possessed Eric to ask me if we should bring her crutches in the van as we left the house to go pick her up for the game, but I'm glad he asked.

Jodie has gotten used to being in her power chair. My own stability has been less stable lately. I like using my scooter when we are out and about.

We used to try to call churches and schools where Eric was going to have a game to see if it is accessible. People usually reply with an automatic "yes", as if it is a legal test, or without understanding what accessibility. Like that church where Eric played a couple years ago where the game was upstairs. There was an one on site had a key for it, but there was an elevator.

Old churches do not need to worry about accessibility until they remodel. You could tell that the church gym we were at last night had not been remodeled for 30, 40 years...who knows.

I am sure that stand alone church gyms rank low on the need for accessibility. I know that most kids don't have a pair of disabled parents. I would think, though, that there would be many grandmas and grandpas out there who would have difficulty getting into that gym to watch games.

I know that the cost of accessibility is high, that churches lack the money for it. The cost for a ramp to the landing to the entry of that gym up to ADA specs would be high. It would need to be very long for one thing.

But I give you this: Jodie and I are your average crazed parents. Eric has made so much progress this year. He has gone from "I'd kinda like to have that ball, if your not doing anything with it" to "gimme that's my ball!"

Eric is our kid. We love him so much! We want to watch him every step of the way if...

...we can get in!

Wednesday, March 03, 2010


I shudder when I hear "Retard!"

When kids would make fun of me when I was a kid, that is most often the word I would hear. That one, and "Spazz!"

Words don't hurt; the intent behind the word does.

I am also offended by certain people trying to gain political mileage by trying to gain political capital by trying to ban a word.

I don't like the word. It does not describe my disability and it is mean way to refer to my developmentally delayed brothers and sisters who have their own tough row to how.

"Retard!" speech.

Educate people. Change their hearts and minds.

Don't ban a frickin' word! NBA supports Special Olympics in bid to 'End the Word'

Monday, March 01, 2010

Yes, Canada won

It was a very good hockey game. I don't watch hockey...I only watch during the Olympics.

I watched the Canada/USA game yesterday. I felt bad for the dejection on the USA faces after the game...they all played a great game.

Yes Glenda, Canada won. I eat crow.

BTW, I think you Maple Leafers were a wonder host for the 21st winter games.