Ah, the crowd’s starting to build up … the hurry-up-and-wait part of events makes me nervous, and there’s only so many times I need to check my To Do list, or line up the dishes and flatware on the serving buffet (but look, I lined up the napkins in rainbow order!)
Over in the bandstand, Shiva of Biodiverse Resistance is putting the final tweaks on the “Top 10 Unintentional Disability Anthems”. I had the pleasure of listening to audioclips to all of these on iTunes, and found some new pieces I really like. Shiva has eclectic tastes in music, so the selections are sure to have something for most everyone.
“Ooh shiny! A hummingbird on the hummingbird mint …”
Ah, the crowd is filling in, passing through the buffet and staking out spots in the shade or a place to soak up some of the abundant warm sunshine. “Do try some of the brownies — I got the recipe from Gluten-Free Girl and they are fabulous — even if (unlike me) you don’t normally eat gluten-free food.” After the usual nattering about trifles, we finally settle down to the topic of the day. If there’s a constant about being on holiday, it’s that one frequently needs to take a vacation after having taken a vacation — we need to rest up from having fun. Or trying to have fun. Or trying to get to the place to have fun. Or trying to find something you can eat at the fun place. Or funning with trying people…
In “Sun, Surf, Sand … and Seroquel”, Girl Anachronism finds that unlike some holiday-makers, her vacation starts after she gets there, as the journeying is the most stressful part. I’m tickled to hear that I’m not the only one who packs a cloak and headphones to shut out the world of mass transit! (And they say it’s just the way the medication makes her. Hah!)
“God, people can be dumbasses,” agrees Badgerbag, who goes on to describe her “frustration with ‘fussy’ accessibility provisions at BlogHer in Chicago.” (Badgerbag says she is “messy, surly, and full of books” — I’m sure we have plenty of things in common here.)
Even once you get where you’re going, the whole horrific setup can be enough to trigger meltdowns, which Astrid describes in “Vacation and Disability: My Challenges”. I would think that dealing with the Russian Police might be traumatic for everyone! (Obviously the Powers That Be forgot to tell Astrid that she’s only allowed one disability. =joke=)
Bev explains, “Vacations can be hard. Have you ever gotten to your destination only to find that you’ve left that very important toy or comfort object back at home? Sleeping in a strange bed, keeping odd hours, encountering God knows what kinds of foods–traveling can be a real nightmare for some autistic people.”
“Crisis!” exclaims MOM-NOS in agreement, “A boy’s favorite toy lost in the lake, with a thunderstorm threatening. But a thoughtful lifeguard and a lucky mom combine forces to save the day!” *whew* “A real life saver”, indeed.
Bev goes on to explain that she came up with a different rescue tactic, complete with her signature postcards, tees and such. Brilliant! Lorraine Hershon might want to check out the gravel postcard, as she endeavours to Keep Buggerin On, but finds that the nice little cottage is accessible, sure … after 150 yards of GRAVEL. “Gravel, I love it! Who the heck plans this stuff?!” And then she went on “A Trip to Blanchland” and guess what? That’s right, she found a Richard!
Ruth Harrigan (Wheelie Catholic) certainly agrees with Bev’s sentiment, “Vacation — you don’t have to leave home to have one.” Indeed, she found a variety of unknown attractions in her home town, and didn’t even have to cope with airlines, railways, hotels or other nuisances. She got to sleep in her own bed! Smart gal.
“I like vacations!” exclaims David cheerfully. “Sometimes the everyday “stuff” of living with cerebral palsy can drive me crazy. It’s nice to get away, relax, explore new places, and hang out with my family.” He goes on to explain that bike trails built upon old railways are excellent because they are so very flat.
Then Penny Richards points out that much of the trail around “Austin’s Lady Bird Lake” is chair-accessible. It’s an interesting story about how ecological restoration also leads to civil rights improvements. I nod enthusiastically, as wildflowers are also good for the butterflies and other beneficial insects, too.
Meanwhile, our latest visitor to the snack buffet comes by and stakes claim on a cushy chaise longue, noting, “Hey! I’m unable to work because of Chronic Pain. Fun! To those who are ignorant of our plight, it’s like I am on a chronic holiday. ‘Gee, I wish I wasn’t able to work like you!’ ” So naturally Donimo takes the piss outta all those do-gooders who think they know The Cure for what ails ya; “It’s just a few simple steps”, don’t you know.
By default, Zephyr (AKA Arthritic Young Thing) is “On Holiday … And Wishing I Weren’t”, and only too glad to join the social group, as being stuck home alone is driving her nutz, “I guess what I’m really whining about is the lack of company. Being alone all day for up to 12-hour stretches is really isolating and dull.” (Hmn, I don’t think she’s one of the autistic bloggers.)
All this news is a bit of a bummer, so this is my cue to pull out some cartons of Wonder Bubbles. “Okay, who wants a green bottle? Blue one? Pink one? Yellow bottle o’ bubbles? Let me know if you’re missing a wand…” Personally, I’m a big believer in Bubble Therapy to lift sagging spirits. Soon the patio and butterfly garden are adrift with streams of iridescent globes drifting aloft.
Linda and her partner Elizabeth decide that they really needed a break from things, and Linda thought that “The ‘almost accessible’ vacation” would be adequate, with just a little extra planning and oxygen. Linda reports on the unanticipated problems, including her own. (Linda is guest-blogging on Elizabeth’s blog, Screw Bronze!)
Thankfully, there’s good news on the access front, as the Rolling Rains Report tests the waters of Universal Design being applied to sailing, and finds them most excellent, with “Accessible Sailing & Good Design in Boston are Good for Tourism”. Hooray, someone in the tourism industry “gets it”!
Of course, I’m over 1200 kilometers from the ocean, so instead am looking closely while Katja of brokenclay tackles rustic “accommodations” and trails in the wilds of Colorado in Camping Trip, Part 1. We eagerly await the next installment of this serial, with marshmallows ready for the roasting!
Meanwhile, intrepid Englishwoman Jean Fraser is pushing her own envelope as she undertakes “The Journey” in the UK, from Whitstable to Hastings. You can read about her bicycling and artistic efforts in her blog, Drawing Breath. (I want to know how she keeps her derrière from going numb!)
On the other wheel, just arrived back to recently-flooded parts of the UK, Wheelchair Dancer updates us with “The trip SO far”, including reviews of the airline (a refreshing thumbs-up) and the limo driver who was “batshit AWOL”, which isn’t promising. Seventeenth-century building codes don’t quite work for her or her tall companion, Wizard, and then Wizard wonders how they’re washing the dishes at the Balti take-away, and …
Speaking of airlines, Peter Tan suggests flying Air Asia if you want better accessibility (here’s to hoping that this airline doesn’t mangle chairs down in the cargo hold, but they look quite promising). He has lots of photos, too. What’s a trip without photos, after all?
Candy Harrington chimes in with quite the horror story about booking a chair-accessible cabin on a cruise ship — only to discover to their astonished horror that yes, the cabin is accessible … (that seemed like good news at the time).
“Look out! Tiger Swallowtail coming through!”
“Sorry, easily distractible! Now, where were we?”
Oh, yeah. There’s a bunch of thankfulness going on at another corner of the patio, where Leticia with Cause of Our Joy briefly describes the regular adventure that is Our Special Children in Church. Barbara’s Tchatzkahs follows a not-too-dissimilar spiritual path as she quotes an article by Judith Fein, “Chronic Pain? List These D’s On Your Refrigerator”. (Note: blog has a flickering animation in the sidebar.) Jody DeVere describes both her son’s change of spirit, and how her family’s life has changed to before and after the accident that disabled him in “My Son Gets a Second Life”.
And in the end, Kara Sheridan wonders if it’s possible to go “On holiday from all things disabled”, just for a little while. “No matter HOW positively you view any aspect or piece of your world, ALL this focus on one area can be *overwhelming* and tiresome. Adam keeps me grounded with his reminders not to become an “extremist” but sometimes I long for a real break from it all…not forever, just a nice holiday.”
“Technically, I’m on holiday,” says Miss Crip Chick, who then describes all the attendant side-issues of organising activist conferences. “Even though these conferences take A LOT of energy (imagine having to always defend your every belief), fellow activists and I treat them like vacations because it’s when we get to see each other. How messed up is that??? I think community is a big part of the “vacation” concept because the main point of vacations and holidays is to give you energy.”
Woah, “time funs when you’re having flies” — the fireflies are out! How’d it get so late? Say, thank you so much everyone, for taking time to come by, and share all your stories. This has been a lot of fun!