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

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Curb cut, Mr. Mayor

Eric's baseball team had a game at Overlook Park in north Portland last night.  We played David Douglas.  Not sure why two eastside teams had a game way over there...

The parking lot was taken over by an outdoor festival.   We drove down Overlook on the north (?) side of the park.  We parked at the corner of Melrose and Overlook.  We were lucky to get a corner spot so we had room to let are lift down.

The baseball field was close, but there was no curb cut on the corner.  I thought about the pothole signs around the city that the Mayor had posted for people to alert the city of potholes that need fixing.  A public park should have curb cuts at every corner.  There should be a phone number for that!

Jodie and I motored wheelchair and scooter down Overlook, over the giant speed bump, until we found a driveway.  We drove on the sidewalk back to the field.  The sidewalk was old cement tiles crumple by huge tree roots.  One had a 4 inch drop!    I'm not going to complain...I realize this world is not made for us.

We sat on a very high, steep hill over looking the field.  Coach saw is and asked if we were going to  come down the hill...with a grin on his face.

Turned out the son of dear friends of our were on the other team.  We had a wonderful visit with Barby and Larry, and her parents, Jim and Judy.

Big unit pitched an  inning.  One hit...then 3 outs...bang, bang, bang!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Onward, Elizabeth Hovde, onward

I am a fan of Elizabeth Hovde.  She is a conservative columnist for The Oregonian.  I am not exactly a conservative, for anyone who knows me.  I don't believe all truth lies in one camp.  I like to read all sides.

Elizabeth is a conservative with a heart and a brain.

I sent her an email last May when she wrote about how special that foster parents are.  I thanked her for making such an important point, and for the way her writing has of  making me feel and think.

My heart was broken when I heard of her skiing accident last January 11 that left her with a traumatic brain injury.  I have been praying for her since I heard about it.

Oregon Public Broadcasting interviewed her the other day. I missed it when it was on the radio, but I found it online:

I applaud her courage for doing a radio interview.  Life is different for her now.  Two young kids and a husband.  Life is different for all of them.  Something like this could happen to any of us at any time.

Elizabeth wrote back to me last May.  I think the words of encouragement she wrote me is a wonderful prayer of hope back to her:

"Keep up the writing, the humor, the love of life.  Onward,  Elizabeth"

Onward, Elizabeth, onward.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Barriers will not keep us from Eric's game

Eric's single A legion baseball team has been playing tournament this weekend.

Gilmore Field in Salem. Beautiful ball fields with berms around them.

Friday's game was at the varsity field. Jodie and I motored all around to find a way up the berm. It is just too steep. We did find a spot where we could get on top of the berm, but I feared that a homerun ball from the one field could nail us, so we went down into this little hole behind the benches. We almost feel like buying batters hard hats ourselves to protect our heads from foul balls.

After the game we gingerly motored our way up the berm, across, and back down. The feeling of driving a scooter and a power chair on a steep slope - it is scary. You feel like you are going to tip. I rolled my scooter once and it was not fun. Jodie in her power chair...the prospect of her tipping frightens us to death.

Today's first game was at the jv field, which sits down below a berm. Jodie and I stayed at the end of the right field line. I used my walker today to increase my agility to maneuver the berm, but it greatly decreased my ability to go very far. I told Jodie she could probably get over the berm at one place, but she did not want to try...and she wanted to stay with me.

The second game today was at the varsity field. I just muscled my way up the berm, across the top, and over to the bench. Jodie followed. She kind of freaked when she stopped. We were on top of a narrow, steep berm. Bob, the dad of one of Eric's school friends...and a friend of ours, was with us. He walked with Jodie, helping her turn around and go back to a low spot where Jodie could get down. People had a tent up and were watching the other game in the spot where Jodie had gotten up the berm. The people were willing to move, but Bob was able to guide Jodie down the berm.

Places we need to go to support our son in his sports are often not accessible. It does not stop us. We wish places were more accessible, but we realize that many places just aren't. I am thankful for the kindness of friends, like Bob, and strangers, who help us around the barriers we come across.

I just wish that the designers of kids sports venues would be aware there might be a kid playing with a parent in a power chair, a scooter, or a walker.