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TToT: Living The Life We Want – So Slam That! #NFB18 #10Thankful

It was my first Independence Day in the US (independence being the key word there) and I had an unexpected and unpredicted time away. I owe it all to the CFB, sponsoring me to see what the US’s national convention is all about.

The difference between what exists in the US and what we’ve got here in Canada was hard to miss while I was in Florida all week.

Ten Things of Thankful

I’m thankful to be representing Ontario in this national magazine.

July 2018 Issue of The Blind Canadian

I’m thankful for this travel agent.

ANITA PATON – THE TRAVEL AGENT NEXT DOOR

She’s awesome!

I’m thankful for UPS volunteers.

It is a convention, held once a year, and this one had nearly 2500 attendees who used a white cane or a guide dog. All of us were trying to get the hang of a large hotel and conference/convention centre and having UPS volunteers around, to give us a bit of direction now and then was a big big help.

I was so overwhelmed, my first time attending, that sometimes I’d get panicky and have to stop and take a few deep breaths and refocus. I could continue on from there.

I’m thankful for the experience at this convention because it fostered further confidence and independence.

Convention 2018 Agenda

I’m thankful I got to meet a friend, in person finally, whom I’d been speaking with for years online.

He was great to talk to in person. Thanks, Timothy, for the coffee and the dinner and the company. You brought a bit of calm in the storm that that week felt like at times, so wound up, rushing on all around me.

I’m thankful for a still night on a closed pool deck.

Florida was so muggy that I didn’t mind getting to spend almost all my time in freezing cold convention halls. It was not so bad though, when the sun was down.

I’m thankful I didn’t have to change into my dress in a restroom stall.

I had to get it right, being back in the States and in Florida again (my fourth time) that they there were referring to washrooms as restrooms.

We had the banquet on our final night there and I didn’t want to have my dress on all day, through the final business hours. We weren’t staying on site, so I could have gone back to change at some point, but really there just wasn’t time.

So, thankfully, the
Canadian Federation of the Blind
president generously granted me her room and better bathroom to change in.

I’m thankful for a final, early morning solo swim.

We’d been so busy, all week long, that I finally had to wake up earlier than everyone, on our final morning, and go down as soon as the pool opened, at six.

A security guard had to help me find the door out, from the lobby, but once out I had my pick from the lounge chairs and I used my white cane to get the layout of the pool deck.

My chair was straight out from the bar of the stairs into the pool. Once I was in the water, I slowly made my way around and discovered the shape and the depth.

It was just what I needed and totally worth the waking up so early part.

I’m thankful for an inspiring speech in this room. A table full of fun people. A delicious salad and platter of desserts.

FFCvPbK.jpg

I’m thankful for a flight, gone by too fast.

Life’s full of metaphors, including lift off and landing, and living in the moment are all important.

Here’s to living the life you/we want.

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Blogging, Feminism, History, Special Occasions, TToT

TToT: The Great White North

Since I started taking part in TToT, I have wondered, am surprised constantly, at how I have been able to come up with ten whole things to be thankful for each week.

TEN THINGS OF THANKFUL

Well, this week started with Canada Day and has ended with Independence Day for the US. This is a time when people are thankful and grateful for the blessings in life. So, here I go again.

First, I’ll start off with literature and feminism.

For a remarkable woman who is a star at both of these things.

In Conversation With Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

This week I have been learning more about other cultures and ways people live.

When I was young, I thought Africa was nothing but poverty, but that is the simplistic view of a child who doesn’t know any better.

Chimamanda goes on to talk about her mother, using words such as: “cool” and “warm”. It’s clear, the powerful influence and strong role models her parents have been to her.

So you go on to learn, I learned through listening to interviews, that this Nigerian girl’s mother was the cool mom and a warm person. This is basically the same as my own mother. We’re not so different, us who come from different parts of the world.

Canada to Africa…it may seem a world away, in distance, but not in human spirit.

Chimamanda is a brilliant writer, a commanding speaker, and a strong advocate for feminism and she is fast becoming someone I admire for all she has accomplished.

Monday: for my wonderfully helpful sister.

She is there, always just there for me when I really am in need.

Like, say, when I start to panic and then am thinking about backing out of a first date and she talks me down with help on my hair, wardrobe choices, nails and the rest.

She knows me best and I trust her opinions more than anyone. I can be confident she wouldn’t let me leave the house looking anything like a slob. Nice to know.

🙂

Thanks, KH, for even dropping me off.

For first dates, in themselves.

Because, even if first dates never lead to second dates, I am thankful that I get to go on a date of any kind.

They teach me, every single time, about the different people there are in the world and, more importantly, about myself.

It helps when there is over two hours of flowing conversation. This, of course, is much preferred, to long pauses and awkwardness.

Tuesday: for a visit to the library on a rainy day.

The first time we took my nephew to our local one of these, I think he was so overwhelmed by the setting he found himself in, that he did well. Of course, we only stayed a few minutes, until he chose a book with no real words. It was mostly a picture book about a cat and a spaceship.

:Don’t…eat…space!”

This time he was more determined to climb the stairs, but unfortunately that was where the adult sections were and the people up there did not enjoy what happened next.

So all my two-year-old nephew wanted to do was run up and down the isles of books, hiding behind the shelves and have me chase him.

I wasn’t about to do this. Part of the reason is that being quiet in a library is the common rule, I was much too enthralled by all the books around me, and there was a place he could be louder in. This was called the children’s section.

I love libraries and I know he will too, one of these days.

🙂

For the chance to be introduced to other cultures and people who share this country with me.

Some beautiful Aboriginal music. Check it out.

🙂

It was unfamiliar to me, but I soon found it to be quite catchy.

For Canada.

As the above video shows, Canada is made up of so many different cultures and ethnicities. This is what makes this a great place to live and to learn and to love.

The Great White North, we are known as.

What makes us great is our acceptance of other people. I know this has not always been the case, as I’ve said in recent posts, but it is what I want for myself and everyone. I know Canada has had our struggles, like any country, but I am still proud of what we are known for around the world and here at home.

For a view you just can’t beat.

I celebrated, July 1st, with my family and an amazing view of the fireworks display my city put on.

Sure, it may have cost thousands of dollars.

Fireworks – Canada Day, 2015

But it certainly was a show, and right from my lawn too.

For the small bit of sight I still have.

I know I can complain sometimes, about all that I can no longer see or never could, but when I can still make out the bright lights, exploding in the night sky, I am lucky.

Friday: for summertime because that means fresh peas.

You can’t turn green from eating too many peas? Does anyone know?

Ever since I was young I’ve looked forward to, not just the eating of the peas, but even more it’s the podding that I love.

Does this make me strange?

*Crickets*

Nah.

It’s a zen thing. Very relaxing.

Saturday: for family gatherings.

Every few months we get my whole family together. Sure, it’s hectic and chaotic, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I’m used to having nearly twenty cousins and those gatherings used to get unruly. Compared to all that (three siblings, siblings-in-law, and only three niece and nephews) is nothing in comparison to that, when it comes to size.

There’s a lot of food, drink, catching up, laughter, and play.

My family is the best!

And so, whatever may happen in the next little while (whatever is to come), I will still remember to be thankful for the family I have and the country where we all live.

Happy Canada Day and Happy Independence Day too.

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