November 29, 2011

Matthew's Great Idea: The Store

Dinnertime conversation with my son, Matthew (9):

M: I'm going to open a store in my room!
C: Your room? That kind of limits your potential customers.
M: YOU guys can buy stuff! Grommy and Granddaddy and you and Mommy.
C: What kind of stuff are you selling? We already bought the Yankee Candles and ButterBraid Bread from your school fundraisers and Popcorn for your Cub Scouts.
M: I'm selling my own stuff.
C: The toys and stuff WE bought you? We already paid for it once already, why would we pay YOU to have it back?
M: Well, there's some cute stuffed animals that Mommy would like, maybe you could buy it for her? *pause, stare*
C: You mean that you're going to charge your mother money to have a stuffed animal that she probably bought you herself?
M: She'd like some of them.
C: No. You're not even going to tell your mother this. You want to sell something? You can start a lemonade stand, or God forbid, do some CHORES, help out around the house and we'll pay you an allowance.

He didn't like that idea. But he persisted. At bedtime, he set this little flag (the one we bought him at Medieval Times) in a bucket outside his door and reminded me that his shop was open.

Greed? Sloth? Not honoring thy Father and Mother? I'm not sure which Commandment and/or Deadly Sin to lecture him on first.

November 05, 2011

Vacation, All I Ever Wanted...

Hey folks! Melissa and I are back from our week's vacation. Well, we were back last Saturday, but it took us a week to get back on track here, with the jetlag and everything.

Yes, you read that right, we actually took a plane. And with a wheelchair like Melissa has, that's a REAL HOOT, believe you me.

They See Me Rollin'

I had to do a lot of homework to make sure we were able to keep this wheelchair on the plane, and make certain it was still operational when we got to our destination. I had to verify that the batteries were a certain type, the weight and dimensions were within specs, and I even put together a sheet of instructions, labeled "HOW TO DRIVE THIS WHEELCHAIR" in large, friendly letters and taped it to the rear so the ground crew would be SURE how to move it. So it took a lot of pre-planning, but it did pay off, and we had the chair in working order once we de-planed.

As some of you may know, we actually had to miss our own ALS Walk to take this trip. It was nothing serious, as I said, we weren't in the hospital or anything. But some friends (who would prefer to remain anonymous) put together an awesome vacation package for us as a gift, and since it was kind of a time-share thing, we had only certain days that we could do it. It was a hard decision to miss the Walk, but I knew you all would understand.

But a big thanks goes out to all of you who braved the chilly morning air and walked for FIVER'S FLAMINGOS! ALS Walk 2011 - Flamingo Sign Thanks to everyone's awesome efforts, we raised nearly $8000 for the ALS Association of Georgia! Good job you guys!

But back to the vacation. We actually flew out to Los Angeles! It started out a little rough though. There was a LOT to pack up, and we were late getting to the airport. We missed the cut-off by 15 minutes, so they had to bump us to a later flight out. Not a huge deal, but we lost our nice well-planned seats and were stuck in the middle of a row. BUT the people around us were very nice, and the staff were quite helpful. We de-planed, but it took a while to get our wheelchair out from the cargo hold and up to the terminal. Then it took a while LONGER to get our baggage, as it had been sent to a completely different airline. And then it took another couple of HOURS until we could get a handicapped accessible van to take us to our hotel. We didn't get into our room until about 3:30 AM PACIFIC time (6:30 AM our time), so needless to say we were completely exhausted.

Because we got in so late, our plans had to be set back a day, which was all right I suppose. We really needed to sleep in, and besides, LA was strangely covered in FOG, so we really couldn't do much. We spent most of Saturday adjusting to the new timeframe and having lots of Room Service delivered. Los Angeles - Fog Los Angeles - Room Service

We tried something different this time around and hired a Travel Consultant to plan a Wheelchair-Accessible Itinerary. This was a wonderful thing!l. We had a rented Wheelchair Van and a driver/guide to take us everywhere, and that took so much of the usual stress off me that *I* actually got to relax on a vacation! The guy's name was Frank, and he was a Godsend--very helpful and patient with us.

I won't bore you with more details, but we had a great time, and we are SOOOOO thankful to our friends who helped put this together for us. We hardly had to pay for anything! (Which is a great relief, since we just ran out of Insurance-covered nurse visits, so we're paying all out-of-pocket for the rest of the year.) We missed seeing everyone at the walk, but this was an opportunity that we couldn't pass up. So I hope you all forgive us. We're glad to be back now, and finally caught back up on Eastern Standard time (and I'm nearly caught up on the work I missed).