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I have a really epic family.
I’m serious when I say that. Each and every one of them is seriously epic, especially considering all we’ve been through together both before and since my injury. My Dad is the go-to fix it man who even prior to me coming home went around our house and measured the door frames to make sure I would fit through in my chair (little did he know now we have to worry about my big head fitting through…). You have all heard about Mom who puts up with way more razzing than any human being should ever have to (but to be honest, I think she secretly enjoys it:D). Then of course there’s my two lovely sisters, sisters I wouldn’t trade for the world and we still get into just as much trouble as we always did.
So when people used to make comments about being “like a family,” all I could do was chuckle to myself. Chuckle and think, “Yea, you probably don’t go to Costco enough to be apart of my family.” Let’s just say I didn’t think I, as a rather boisterous and proud “girl in a wheelchair,” would ever find another group of individuals so inclusive and comforting and open and fun and well, real as those 4 other people I share DNA with.
It’s funny how God puts us into crazy situations that force us to open our minds and challenge our current ways of thinking.
So what was my crazy situation?
Skiing. Downhill and cross country skiing with a bunch of people I had never met in a state I’ve never even visited before. A crazy situation very fondly talked about by people across the country and even around the world, known as the regional Black Hills Ski for Light in Deadwood, South Dakota. As a part of my Ms. Wheelchair America 2015 reign, I was invited to attend and participate in this amazing week filled with laughter, snow, really good food, and I guess a bit of skiing.
Ski for Light is a fascinating organization to say the least. It was founded to teach the basics of cross country skiing to visually impaired participants but has expanded to include individuals with mobility impairments as well as activities like downhill skiing, snow shoeing, and even snowmobile rides. Now I cross country skied once the winter before my injury and I loved it. I have not, however, done any sort of downhill snow-related escapade. So this week was going to be a first in many ways.
When you go to events, regardless of who you are, you never quite know what to expect. You think you have an idea, but you really have no idea until you actually get there. My introduction to Ski for Light began in the Minneapolis Airport where I met another participant from Chicago on his way to the same destination. This very entertaining gentleman had a visual impairment and we got to talking about a cruise he recently went on. Read the rest of this entry »
In case you aren’t super into current pop culture, I’m gonna start us off with a bit of a lesson in said topic.
There’s this thing called a hashtag that looks something like this, #. Yep, that’s a hashtag. It looks an awful lot like a number sign and that would be because it IS a number sign, but now I guess it’s also a hashtag. So hashtags are used as a way to basically group similar posts or topics in social media, like #gopackgo would be posts/pictures about the awesomeness of the Packers. Sometimes these crazy trends start and everyone will use a particular hashtag on a particular day of the week. For example #mcm is “man crush Monday” and people post pictures of their “man crush.” Don’t worry, I don’t use that hashtag because I would just post a picture of Oscar (our dog). And well, to put it in a non-offensive way, he isn’t technically a man (and I’m not talking about the fact he has four legs….) One of the other big hashtags is #tbt which is “throwback Thursday” and everyone posts pictures of them being cute and tiny or when they were in the womb (well, that second one might be a stretch). Here, I’ll give you a #tbt example…
Awe, look how cute everyone is…and how distracted I am. Unsurprisingly, that picture is a pretty accurate representation of our childhood…but I digress.
Yesterday, being Thursday, I did a #tbt on steroids meaning I lived my “throwback.” Yea, I may take the phrase “go big or go home” to the extreme. Read the rest of this entry »
Look at that, here we are, smack in the middle of the 2014 holiday season. If you ask me, the middle is the best part of something (generally speaking). You’re not dealing with the stress of something starting or the bittersweet ending. Just think about sleeping, that oddly comforting feeling you have if you happen to wake up in the middle of the night (thanks to a stupid, yet ridiculously adorable cat). Even though you’re awake now, you can just roll over and go back into peaceful unconscious bliss. What about an Oreo? I mean if you don’t lick off the creme center first, you basically aren’t human. I guess I should probably point out I am the middle child, but I promise that has no bearing on my opinion that the middle is the best….ha, yea….riiiiight (Note: you have to say that like Kronk does in The Emperor’s New Groove for the full effect, and if you haven’t seen that movie, you better get on that)
I don’t know about you, but I had a wonderful Christmas. It’s always great to have both siblings home and their remarkably entertaining cats. Add to that Mother Dearest, Fatherton, the two dogs, the fact that I’m a “wide load” (which I mean in the best sense) and well, it’s impressive that our house is still in one happy piece. Just for kicks and because I enjoy taking pictures, here’s a little Schroth holiday montage for your viewing pleasure:D
Way too much fun, now onto New Years and that whole New Years Resolution tradition. To be completely honest, I’ve never officially made a New Years Resolution. I don’t know, I guess in my mind it feels really flippant to just do something because everyone else is doing it. Not that resolutions are bad, I think they’re great and they can be really beneficial for some people. So if you’re someone that they work for, more power to you, you go and rock your 2015 resolution! I guess I’m just a bit of a rebel, so I can’t do something everyone else is doing. Yea, that’s gotten me into trouble more times than I count (#problemchild). Read the rest of this entry »
Alright, so before I officially start I have some news I need to get off my chest. News that if you aren’t a local and have been following my lovely little blog here, you will certainly be able to appreciate. But first, a back story…
I grew up in a house different than the one I currently reside. It was across the road from our farm with the milking cow herd and all the sheds that housed goodness knows what kind of necessary farm machinery. We moved out and our old farm house was burned down and that land has since been an empty piece of “prairie.” It appears it may no longer sit empty.
They want to put a Costco there.
Yep, I’ll just let that sink in for a little while.
They’re going to put a COSTCO where MY MOTHER used to LIVE. Wow….If you don’t believe me, you can read this article in the Post Crescent. I’m telling you, God seriously has a sense of humor.
Alright, back to the goods….(That is, if I can stop chuckling to myself. I mean just think how much gas we’re going to save not having to run to Green Bay! But I digress…)
I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving and your celebrations were warm and wonderful. I know, that feels like so long ago doesn’t it? At least it sure does to me. Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday and no, not because of the food. Awe, who am I kidding, that’s one of the reasons it’s my favorite. I just really love the atmosphere that surrounds Thanksgiving. I’ve always been a big “atmosphere” kind of person. I love soaking in my surroundings, like the warm cozy feeling of a coffee shop on a cold winter day with your hands wrapped around a warm mug of some delicious beverage. Sigh.
The atmosphere of Thanksgiving is simply intoxicating. The warmth of a home from all the cooking and the delicious scents meandering through the air (yea, okay, food is totally apart of it). The gentle buzz of familiar conversation and the rustling of Black Friday advertisements. That beautiful feeling of love and thankfulness. Read the rest of this entry »
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A year and a half.
It’s been a year and a half of life post-SCI and here I am, still kicking.
Well, I guess that’s probably not the best metaphor to use….
Sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever get to a point in my life where I stop counting the time that has passed. Stop making note of the injury anniversaries, hospital discharge dates, or post-SCI life accomplishment milestones. Sometimes I wonder if I’m even supposed to get to a point where I stop counting my “wheeling” time. I guess it’s a good thing I’m generally not too concerned about blending in and fulfilling whatever standards society has set as “normal.” I mean, I don’t think another May 25th will every pass by without it having a different “presence.” I guess that makes November 25, the half-way point to the year mark, a bit similar-just to a lesser degree.
It’s still strange though, having two days that I never thought would be anything more than simply dates on a calendar that now hold this crazy powerful reminder of a pretty drastic change in my life. This very powerful reminder that I have to figure out how to deal with.
Do I look back at where I was? Spend time reflecting on those frightening and overwhelming days back in the hospital?
The days where I had countless tubes and medical paraphernalia connected to me (Most of which I kept once they were pulled out, just for the record. I mean, I paid for it, so why not?) The days where all I could stomach eating was applesauce. The days where people pushed me around because I didn’t have the strength or desire to do it myself. Read the rest of this entry »
So there’s this story that I feel like I’ve heard or have referenced myself a bajillion times throughout my life. It’s nothing crazy or embarrassing, just something we, as a family, chuckle and shake our heads at. Of course it’s about Mom..
Apparently Mom wasn’t the most patient of children. I couldn’t really tell you the extent of this impatience beyond the now-classic story I was referring to in the beginning. I guess Mom didn’t have enough patience to wait for the toast to finish toasting and would attempt to fish it out with a fork. Needless to say, Grandma recognized the need for growth in this area and she set to work. Mom was quickly enrolled in the knitting project in 4-H as well as the dog project to attempt to improve said lack of this quality. If you ask me, I think it worked. Exhibit 1: She raised three of us crazy kids. Exhibit 2: She still puts up with me on a daily basis when there are days I don’t even want to put up with myself.
Ironically enough, I was enrolled in the knitting project myself as a 4-Her and I loved every minute of it. I’ve made some pretty crazy things (see below) but it’s always been something I’ve enjoyed.
I (like Mom) was also in the dog project and did the whole dog training song and dance in not just obedience, but showmanship and agility too.
So what’s my point? I always thought I had the whole patience thing figured out. I mean, I’ve even spent countless hours working with sheep, which although are wonderful and beautiful creatures, they aren’t very forgiving or trusting. I was also Community Advisor in college and let me tell you, working with some individuals was certainly trying. I have patience. Read the rest of this entry »
Who. What. Where. When. Why.
Pretty basic stuff right? I mean, we’re taught the five W’s in what, second grade? Those first four W’s are pretty basic stuff, but if you ask me, that fifth W can be a real pain in the neck sometimes. I guess the five W’s missed the memo about saving the best for last…
I think everyone has asked themselves “why” something happens at some point in time in there life. Why does poverty and homelessness occur? Why do young people die? Why do people get sick? Why does someone get injured in a freak accident, changing their life forever in a split second? Why. To be completely honest with you, that really wasn’t a question I’ve struggled with since all this happened. I guess I’ve always had this belief that everything happens for a reason. Keyword in that sentence, had.
Why past tense? Now that “why” I can answer…I’ve been volunteering with this awesome new organization called the ave. The ave. is a community built to encourage spiritual growth and provide a place of fellowship for high school students in local WELS churches. I guess just really giving them a place to connect with some peers and learn about God’s word in a “teen friendly” environment. We meet at a local coffee shop twice a month to “unplug” and “plugin.” We seek to refocus with music, God’s word, prayer, and often listen to a speaker (if you’re local and know of some students who could benefit, check out the website and have them come join us!).
I love going and chatting with some great students and other volunteers; plus as a bonus, I get to worship, listen, and learn (yeay learning!). This past session, Pastor Leon Ehlert (a teacher at Fox Valley Lutheran) was our keynote speaker who talked about how and why Christians suffer. Read the rest of this entry »