Weekend Coffee Share

Image result for CoffeeIf we were having coffee, I’d tell you that the weather here along Lake Michigan has been the usual autumn type – cold and raining, cold but with some sun, and even a day that was pretty nice.  I’d tell you that the weather keeps me homebound from here on out, due to my intolerance of cold/hot weather.  I need a happy medium or the MS symptoms come raging flare up on me causing a never-ending pile of symptoms, from numbness and tingling, to vision problems (more than I already have), and a list of other things, too lengthy to mention.

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If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that tomorrow’s birthday comes with a variety of feelings.  I still get that excited child, who loves birthday parties and trick-or-treating, feeling, which makes me excited, despite my aging body.  These days, there is a birthday cake, if I bake it myself.  I don’t get a lot of that trick-or-treating excitement, because these days, the kids go trick-or-treating on Sunday afternoon, in the light, with barely a costume much more than a painted face.  I’d tell you how ages years ago, we went trick-or-treating on Halloween night (after that birthday party), without the fear of being preyed upon.  I’d tell you how we lived out in the boonies in the country, so my mother had to pile the three of us kids, plus any left-over party kids, and she would drive us from house to house, as the houses could be as much as half a mile apart.  I’d tell you how when I was in elementary school, all the kids were dressed up, and in the afternoon we would parade down through the town, and back again, with parents lining both sides of the road (we didn’t have streets).  Also, my mother would bake her famous chocolate frosted drops (a delicious chocolate cookie, with a topping of chocolate, and she would bring them to my class so that we could have that treat, before we paraded down into the town and back.  All the teachers wanted her recipe.  I tried to make them once and it was a horrible disaster.  Now, baking cookies from a wheelchair is just too messy and too much work for the clean-up afterwards.

Image result for CoffeeIf we were having coffee, I’d tell you how the next few days I get depressed, because that excited birthday response, is a big lead-up to a huge downfall, when my birthday is over the depression comes a calling, because that excitement I had as a child, and still feel as a post-middle-aged woman, always rushes in, because at best, the only real family I have anymore is two brothers and their wives, and the sons of my youngest brother’s wife.  Then there is my other brother and his wife, along with a host of 13 cousins, many second-cousins, and even third-cousins, whom are growing up fast faster than I am growing old.  My other brother never calls, emails or texts me, even when I initiate the contact between us.  I’d tell you that the name ‘Van Benschoten’ in my branch of the family tree, will end when the three of us are gone, because they had no children of their own, as well as myself, who has never even been married – not to say that means I couldn’t have children, being unmarried, but vowed long ago that I would not have children because I knew I would most likely treat them the same way I was treated, and I don’t want to put that on the shoulders of my children.  I would also tell you that a host of cousins, second and third cousins, will wish me a happy birthday on Facebook, and that makes me feel warm inside.  Have a great week and I’ll have you over for coffee again next week!

Weekend Coffee Share

Image result for CoffeeIf we were having coffee, I’d tell you I had a wonderful week of competition with other disabled veterans, in San Antonio, TX.  I’d also tell you the driver of the express coach to O’Hare, loaded me aboard the bus, then waved me off when I started to ask how much for the fare.  I’d tell you I made it to the airport in plenty of time, and breezed through security, without the usual hassle that I’ve experienced in the past, as a wheelchair user.  I would also tell you, that while waiting at the gate, the airline lady came over to me, and told me that a gentleman in first class was offering me his seat, if I would like it.  Well . . . yeah!  They were giving me drinks throughout the entire flight, as well as a choice of meals to choose from.  I had a delicious Asian Salad.  I would tell you about my experience, once I reached San Antonio.  I made it from the gate to the shuttle buses if a good amount of time, since I had packed light, with only one carry-on bag, my laptop, and my CPAP machine.  After waiting a considerable length of time, a shuttle with a wheelchair lift finally arrived, but they weren’t going to take me and had to go in and check that out.  He finally decided he could take me.  He opened the back door and let the lift down to the pavement.  I rolled on and he pushed the button.  The front end of the lift started to rise, but the back stubbornly remained on the ground, and the front would go sliding back to the ground.  I got off, he tried the lift again, and it still wouldn’t go up – without me even being on it.  I was afraid I had broken as my humongous large chair probably weighs close to 400 pounds, and that’s without me in it.  He finally got me aboard and we were off.

 Image result for CoffeeIf we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I did my best throughout the three events I took part in, one each day of competition.  I played table tennis first, and I did well in the first round, but not as well as during warm-up.  I would tell you that I got pounded to the pavement floor by a competitor, who it turns out just happens to belong to a national table tennis team.  He must practice for hours on end each day.  I didn’t think that was a fair go-around, but I gracefully rolled away, and joined my friends on the sidelines, one of whom had my phone, and took some very good pictures.  I would tell you that my second event was bocce ball.  I made it through the first two rounds, and then lost to the person I had played against, two years earlier, at an exhibition event for bocce ball.  I believe I lost to him then, as well.  Also, I don’t remember seeing any other women playing, but I could be mistaken.  The air rifle event, was really rough on me, physically.  The MS has progressed (probably why they call it “progressive”) and I couldn’t hold the rifle still enough to even see the entire target, much less those tiny little dots I was to aim for.  They got a stand for the air rifle, and one of the volunteers helped to adjust the sight, so that I could actually see the individual dots I was to aim for.  Another volunteer was helping, by putting each pellet in the rifle, and telling me which dot I was to be aiming at for my next shot, and telling me how far off I was with each shot.  I did a poor job hitting those targets, and didn’t even stick around to see what my final score was.  I would also tell you that the trip home wasn’t nearly as pleasant as the first flight.  We took off late, arrived late, and I waited about an hour for them to bring my chair to me.  I missed my shuttle bus and was screaming scrambling through O’Hare, trying to find the shuttle bus, and when I took the elevator to garage level – twice.  When I finally got to the ticket counter, the fare was $27, and I had $25 on me.  I ended up giving her the $25 in cash, and putting the remaining $2 on my debit card, as I wasn’t too sure about how much was left in my checking account.  The lift on the next bus was broken.

Image result for CoffeeIf were having coffee, I would tell you that the beginning of October is kind of bittersweet.  My mother passed away, four years ago, on the 1st of October.  I would also tell you that the end of the month not only brings Halloween, but a Halloween birthday as well.  When I was in elementary school, she would bake her famous ‘chocolate drop cookies’ and bring them to my school, so I could share them with my class.  All my teachers wanted the recipe of those cookies.  I  like birthdays, except these last few years, my age is starting to seem surreal, uncertain at times, and higher than it was a year ago.  I would tell you how, throughout the years when I was a kid, my mother would throw a ‘surprise’ birthday party, then we would all pile into the car to go Trick-or-Treating, after it got dark!  Imagine that.  We had to use a car, because we lived way out in the country in upstate New York, and the nearest neighbors were up to several miles away.  I would tell you that I always enjoyed those birthdays, and somewhere deep inside, that child who had wonderful birthdays and Christmas’s, is still buried deep within me, and that part of me, I might never let go of.  I would also tell you to have a great week.