Thursday, August 20, 2015

Moving along - and South

My Sister worries about me - which is a good thing. However, she really started to freak out after she started working for a new School District in Central Florida and was no longer around to "watch out for me" Having the broken foot and being placed in a wheelchair was something that disqualified me from independent living in her eyes. So, she insisted I move down South to be with her so she could keep me in line.

There may be a LITTLE truth to her viewpoint - it IS harder to live a "normal" life in a wheelchair ... BUT, it is done every day by many people. Could I live by myself - yes. Do I appreciate the help and love from my Sister? HELL YES! It does make life easier.

Sidetrack 1: That brings up a point that is being discussed in one of my online groups - what is "fair" when it comes to accessibility? When you see the following, which side would you see as fair and which side do you see as fair?

Some of you would say the left side is equal because they are all standing at an equal level and it isn't fair to give someone else a higher level to stand on;
Some of you would say it's fair for all of them to have the same viewing level;
I prefer to say the view on the right is not fair ... it's equal.
People with disabilities (in general) are NOT trying to game the system or gain an unfair advantage - they are just trying to have an equal access to life.

When I go to a theme park, I don't expect head of the line access - just the ability to access like anyone else. If it requires a special car or access line, that is NOT something special - it is just what it takes to level the playing field and let me into the rides. Still think I have an unfair advantage? I challenge any "normally abled" person to spend one normal day of their life in a wheelchair so you can see just how many obstacles there really are in life. Try opening those doors that don't have an assist or automatic opener; try getting around in that bathroom; try any normal activities and you will find something that makes it a lot harder on you.

Back on track: I now live in Kissimmee, Florida. A lot more people and traffic compared to the boondocks I lived in. With a little help from the GPS and a good deal of just driving around, I have figured out most of the short cuts (time and/or distance) to getting around this area. In a number of cases, I use toll roads to cut time from my travels even if it makes the total distance travels further - especially for my trips to the VA facilities in my area. I have even found some short cuts that don't show up as alternatives on your GPS mapping app.

There is SO much more to do in this area. Before it was an hour's drive to get to a limit selection of food or entertainment. Now it is just a few minutes to a vast selection of MANY ethnic restaurants; in 20 minutes I can be at Walt Disney World, with just a little longer trip to Sea World or Universal. Lowry Park Zoo is in Tampa - which is just over an hour away.

I have done MUCH more socially since I moved here in April than I have done in YEARS! Movies; Meet & Greet with friends; just get out and go ... Yes, I love it here. I DO miss the quiet, rural town life, but the pros outweigh the cons in my new life.

If you are going to be in the area, give me a head's up and I will try to give you suggestions about things or places to go.