Meet the Blind Month October 1, 2020

October 15th is white cane day . This is my attempt to entertain and educate my readers while raising awareness of the blind and their canes.Stick WorkI have a habit of referring to my white cane as my stick, using the cane is stick work and people that use a white cane are stick people. This has given people overhearing my conversations with my husband a chuckle.I love to go out to the mailbox in a fresh layer of snow. The sounds are muffled and there is a small resistance against the tip of the cane. In addition my husband smiles, watching the snakelike path form on the driveway.I have found that the cane is a great way to find my husband when he tries to speed up while shopping or at church. He will often do this behavior when he has an audience watching . They laugh while I reach forward sweeping with my cane to find him.I use the white cane as a walking stick when traveling rough terrains. I have traveled up Mt.Hood, over rapids on a log bridge and through rainforests. I give people we meet pause when they realize the stick is a white cane and the person using it is a blind person in a place they don’t expect.This was brought home when my family was walking on a horse trail in the Sierra Mt. Range. My daughter and husband wanted to climb a large rock formation to get a view of the river. I stayed on the narrow trail to wait their return. We had not seen any travelers in 3 miles , so I was surprised to hear a group approaching. I called to them to go around and I stood on the edge of the trail. The walking stopped but I didn’t hear any voices until my husband yelled, ”She is blind don’t you see the white cane?”. The group that I heard approaching was a small group of horses and their riders following a guide. The guide was motioning for me to get off the trail. The guide did a double take when my husband called to her. He helped to get me safely get off the trail and as she passed she said ,”Welcome to Wyoming “.I love broadening people’s expectations of what a blind traveler can accomplish !

Stick work
Not a dance,coordinated moves left to right and back again.Steps move opposite of the cane.I walk forward with safe confidence
copyright October 1, 2020

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