Archive for September, 2012

Catching Up: Van Benefit, a Contest of Sorts, and Grimes Glen!

Monday, September 24th, 2012

Looking for info on the OSCAR GOES! WHEELCHAIR-ACCESSIBLE VAN BENEFIT, taking place on October 6? Click HERE.


It’s been awhile since we’ve posted an update. We’ve had a few other things on our minds. We were away the last week in August. We started the school year going into battle over Oscar’s Physical Therapy schedule (you’re likely to hear about in the not-too-distant-future) It appears as if this has finally been worked out. We’ve also been pretty busy helping the Oscar Ensemble with details of the upcoming Oscar Goes! Wheelchair-Accessible Van Benefit. There is great electric energy forming around the planning of this event. Also, I’ve been trying to spend less time on the computer, and more time reading. Books! For pleasure!


Something else pretty exciting has happened in the world of possibilities around getting a van. A dear friend from my moms’ group, Sarah White, also known (for her cool blog) as Mindfully Frugal Mom has nominated me as a Yahoo Woman Who Shines. There are currently about 350 women in the running, in eight different categories, who have been nominated by others as women who shine. The woman with the highest number of votes at the end of the contest will win $10,000. Naturally, if I beat the odds and win, we’ll be using the money toward Oscar’s van! I’m truly honored and quite moved by the lovely blog post Sarah wrote about me. You can vote for me here.


So, I mentioned that we went away in August. We spent the week outside the town of Naples, NY at the Writers & Books Gell Center by ourselves, soaking in the peace and quiet of the woods, visiting the beach at Canandaigua Lake, and taking some quiet time to read and play LEGOs!

I had first heard of Grimes Glen years ago when a group of Writers & Books’ students were going hiking there. They had been warned to wear old sneakers and plan on getting wet and muddy: they’d be climbing waterfalls! It sounded right up my alley; my family had spent three years in my early adolescence living in a house in the woods near a small stream with a small waterfall I’d happily scale any chance I got! Intrigued as I was, Grimes Glen did not sound like the kind of place we’d be likely to be able to take Oscar.

However, in the weeks leading up to our trip a couple people mentioned Grimes Glen to me, and the possibility that a stroller might make it through at least part of the path. My interest was piqued and David and I decided we’d give it a go. When we arrived in the parking lot we could see the beginning of a dirt path. It made a turn quickly and disappeared out of view, so we couldn’t really see ahead of time what we might be getting ourselves into.

We had borrowed Donna and Tom’s van again, so we had Oscar’s power chair with us, which can handle dirt paths pretty well. Thanks to a loan from the Oliveiris, we also had an all-terrain stroller. David and I got out of the car and, based on the little we could see, were trying to figure out whether the power chair or the stroller was the best option. The folks in the car next to us heard the word “stroller” and chimed in, “You won’t be able to get a stroller through. The path is full of rocks and tree roots.” That made up our minds. The power chair probably couldn’t handle it, but we’d take the stroller as far as we could, even if it was only a few hundred feet!

Near the spot David lifted Oscar and I wrestled the stroller up the embankment.

So, the path pretty much ended, almost right away, in the water! But the water was shallow (only an inch or two in many places) and Oscar LOVED the fact that his stroller was right in the water. We were able to continue along a ways like this. The stone of the creekbed was quite flat and smooth, and really quite easy to push a stroller on. The path did eventually pick up on the other side of the water, but not without having to scale a steep embankment. At that point in the trip, David carried Oscar and I wrestled the stroller up the edge. There were moments along the way when I hesitated, wondered if we should turn back, but David will stop at nothing to bring an experience to Oscar—or in this case bring Oscar through an experience! David’s determination is quite inspiring.

We continued on, through water…

over rock and under branches…

and together lifting Oscar in the stroller over fallen trees and roots, or through passages too narrow for the stroller to safely roll. We stopped when Oscar wanted to collect rocks from a pool of water…

or enjoy the view…

(we made it all the way to the first waterfall!), or relax with Dad…

or laugh with Mom…

or put his hands…or feet…into the waterfall! Had we not decided to turn back after reaching the first waterfall, had it not been lunch time, the path we would have continued on looked like this…Perhaps another day! It was challenging, at times, negotiating the physical space that was not in any way set up to be navigated by wheels, but it was also a pure joy and a real triumph!

(To comment on a post click the title of the post and a comment box will appear at the bottom of the post. Fill in name and email to the left of where it says, “name” and “email.”)