Saturday, July 16, 2011

The White Cane

As many of you know, I use a white cane to prevent me from running into things that I do not see. The cane is an invaluable asset and affords a hight degree of indidpendence as opposed to not using one. It also signals to people that I have a visual problem and most people will clear out of my path when they see me walking around. In fact, some parents of younger children will quickly scoop up their children as I get closer. But using my cane has also created some humorous situations. For example, while standing in line at a local sports store, the cashier wanted to ring up my cane thinking it was a pool stick. At Wal-Mart, one cashier thought it was a curtain rod. But the most amusing experience took place at a different Wal-Mart. My son and I were in the aisle that displayed the various corn and potato chip products available for sale. While my son was looking for the product I wanted, I began to twirl the cane around my fingers and wrist. (Yes, I was showing off a bit.) I inadvertently hit the cane against something and it rolled underneath the shelves. I laid down on my stomach in an effort to reach it but could not. I then laid on my back hoping to extend my reach and retrieve my cane. While laying on my back an employee asked if I needed assistance. Fortunately as this occurred there were no other customers around to laugh at me as I lay on the floor. I asked the employee if he could get a broom and use it to push the cane within my reach. He quickly found a broom and I was able to get my cane. The moral of the story is to avoid doing things in public that make you look foolish.

Monday, July 11, 2011


If you have been fowling my blog for a while,, you know that I am not particularly patient with drivers that occupy the painted cross-walk. You know, the area with broad white bands approximately two feet in width that signal to the driver it is a cross-walk, not a parking zone. (see posting, Smacking the BMW) Inspite of stupid and inconsiderate drivers, I have been making an effort to avoid sharing my displeasure with the driver as I have to go around the front of the car occupying my pedestrian zone. Despite this attempt to be more patient, I occasionally revert to my aggressiveness and one day expressed my displeasure with another inconsiderate driver. But this time it was different and the driver reacted in a manner that literally stunned me. After I went around the car, a female voice said “I apologize”. She didn’t make excuses or hit the gas as I went in front of her vehicle, she simply took responsibility for her action. When I got to the other side of the intersection, I tipped my hat toward her and continued walking. There are two morals to this story. First, I still need to work on my patience with drivers who are probably occupied with everything except driving. The second moral is that there are still people willing to take responsibility for their actions and have the strength of character to apologize for a misdeed.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Independence Day

Like millions of Americans, on July 4th, I spent the evening with my family watching an impressive fireworks display within walking distance of my house. In fact, we were so close that pieces of the detonated fireworks landed on us. As I gazed into the sky admiring the various shapes and colors, two thoughts occupied my mind. First, I was grateful that I could still watch the fireworks display, despite my diminishing eyesight. Second, and more importantly, I pondered upon the reason for the fireworks: the birth of this great nation and the Declaration of Independence. Of the 56 signers, not one recanted or capitulated to pressure and nine made the ultimate sacrifice. They pledged their lives, fortunes and sacred honor. What are you willing to pledge?