Blind Theatrics When I was in my early twenties, I was a part of a community theatre group. We performed musicals once a year in the local theatre.The first year we put on the musical ,”Brigadoon”. I was young enough to be cast as a dancer in the chorus. During the practice sessions, I wore my glasses so I would be able to learn the steps and see where all the props and cast members were located.As opening night approached, the director pointed out that young women of the 1600’s didn’t wear glasses. I was forced to perform without them. My sight was very poor without the glasses but I had learned all the dance steps and knew where all the props were to be placed.On opening night, We had a dance number dancing around a large trunk as the leading lady was packing her possessions to be married. Unfortunately for me the stage hands didn’t put the trunk in the correct position on the stage. It was in the way of a dance line. Most of the dancers adapted and went around the trunk. I however, danced right into it and flipped over it. The vibration could be heard below in the dressing rooms!One of the rules that you learn as an actor is never break character so after I did my flip I brushed myself off and continued to dance. I must have done a good job because my parents in the audience didn’t notice anything amiss.When we performed our next musical, ”Fiddler On The Roof”, the director cast me as an old grandma. He explained that I could keep my wired rim glasses on in that costume. I would be forced to move much slower . I didn’t have a problem and performed flawlessly. Performing with low vision has its challenges and dangers. With a little problem-solving, they can be overcome.
On the stage, everyone wants to be a star.
But they don’t want to stick out for a mistake.
Blending yourself with your character is the key.
So the mistakes aren’t yours but the part you play.
This is what many of us do every day.
We play a role formed for us.
If we act out of this role.it is perceived as a mistake.
Can we step out of our roles to become the people we were meant to become?
After the Vote, Then What?
November 3, 2020We will wait for votes to be counted.Glad to not hear more political ads.No more calls to get out and vote.But what will change? Little at first. One party will having bragging rights and the other party will challenged votes numbers in close states. We will be happy or disappointed depending on our vote.The important lesson is Americans exercising their right to choose their leaders.With the grace of God, we will overcome this virus and the divisions that limit us as a people.With help and guidance we will become the leaders in caring for each other
With Our Hands
with our hands
we can wave in greeting
or shake our fist in anger
With our hands
we can offer help
or push another away
with our hands
we can pray for another
or curse those in our world
with your hands
what will you choose to do today
Halloween has been a safe activity for children and adults. Allowing trick or treaters to don costumes and masks to experience the dark while getting treats from smiling neighbors. Its been a traditional day for children to look forward to. This year, parents are racking their brains to provide a safe Holiday. Some neighbors are putting out treats on a table in the middle of a driveway. Others are participating in Trunk or Treat during the day. Still others will turn their front lights off during the early evening. This is real fear. The corona virus will change this holiday celebration as well as others to follow.A day that should be filled with fun can be really scary.No matter what your choice it will effect our children.I believe that children can be masked with their costumes to prevent virus spreading. Walking with your children to point out safe treats areas. Finally , households can watch the trick or treaters from a social distance with masks to comment on costumes and greet their parents. Let’ us think about a safe Halloween and leave the scary practices off the streets.Wishing you a happy and safe Halloween.
O scary night
The moon is brightly shining.
It is the night of really scary stuff.
We are all in fear ,for the virus to catch us.
Do we follow recommendationthat doctors request.
Packaged treats for kids can be handled safely.
With masks and distance.trick or treating can be done.
I have talked with several aquaintances in the last several weeks. They are complaining about the politics and the upcoming election. Predicting that if their party is defeated on November 2nd, there will be economic collaspe, rioting and the need for military intervention to maintain social order and security. All this even without the Carona Virus.I listen to their laments trying to understand their concerns and fears. I just don’t get it! Do my friends think so little of the American people and the democratic system to have so little confidence in us to fear the worst?A look back in our country’s history will show that we , as a people , have been at many crossroad and flurished. About every 20 years or once in a generation such a crisis has occured.From our country’s founding up to the bombing of the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, we have been faced with chalenges.Whoever becomes our nation’s leaders will have a long road to heal the nation. It is up to each of us to do our part to heal ourselves and our communities. Why wait? Lets start today before the votes are counted to go forth greeting each other with kindness. We know that not all of our choices will be accepted. Instead of throwing our hands in the air and giving up, let us strive to work with the newly elected by phone calls, letters and email . This helps to know the people’s needs.I hope that we can see the importance of the whole forest and not focus on individual trees. Trees come , grow and disappear but the forest remains.
All must stand together.
Merging to become one people, under God.
Each has the right to an opinion.
Rights that can compromise.
Individuals stand joined as one nation.
Can we put aside our differences?America
All of the kids in my family were expected to learn to read music and play an instrument. We had a piano in our home so the instrument of Choice was to learn that first and if there was an interest, then another instrument could be included in the instruction.I started my lessons with a wonderful older woman , Miss Helena Christian, who had been taught at Juilliard School of music. She was very patient with all of her students.I tried to learn to read the notes on the score but I had distortion when I tried to read the Bass cleft. I had sufficient vision to read the Treble cleft. I learned to memorize the chords while I read the melody line.My teacher realized that I would never be able to read both clefts at the same time. She bought me a music book that had the words and guitar chords above the melody line. I was able to play most of the songs in the book.She struck a bargain with me. If I learned the fundamentals of music on the piano, she would teach me to play the guitar.During this time I started to sing along with my music. She listened and put aside a part of the lesson time for singing lessons.I went from dreading the piano lessons to looking forward to each weeks lesson.With some insight and understanding my teacher was able to modified my lessons to get the best result and pleasure in playing music.I will always be grateful to that teacher, and others who took the time and allowed me to learn in my own way.
Notes with words
waiting to play aloud,
explode with joy
Tech versus an old brainWe live in a wonderful time when there are many assistive devises to help blind people with mobility, identifying, labeling and using computers and smart phones. All this technology can be confusing to an old brain.The other day I was using my smart phone to participate in a blind teleconference. My phone lost the phone page just as I was asked a question. I had to hang up and redial. This took several minutes. When I finally returned to the conference, I told them that I had technical difficulties . The whole group understood. We all have had difficulties with assistive devises.I have a blue tooth speaker that talks into my hearing aids. But I have found that if I an too close to my husband who is also using a blue tooth listening devise I will get a echo of his book. It sounds like gibberish because he plays his books very fast.I have used my I-pad to look up recipes and information. Usually I ask the assistive helper Siri to find the information. Many times Siri misunderstands and can’t locate the information quickly. When I finally locate the correct web page, I find that I must sign up for access to a website. I have not learned my limits. I have recently signed for a virtual eyes program, digital tags to use in the kitchen and a recording devise that will help me with locating and storing my patterns for knitting . I can just see this happening , I go to find a yarn color that has been tagged. The tag tells me the yardage, weight and material but not the color, is’t a number rather that a color. I get the recorder to find a pattern and find I must listen to several hours because I forgot to insert titles and bookmarks for each pattern. I go to get the phone to find the printed pattern in the book. The apps reads part of the pattern but starts over when it thinks that it had a better angle for the document. When it finally reads the pattern it makes little sense because the knitting abbreviations make no sense to the program. II find that would be easier to get my husband to help me. But I am determined to be independent . Technology takes a lot of time and effort I hope that this old brain of mine can handle it!
Too much to grasp
Easy for others, not for me
Could I use a cheat sheet
Hovering over the latest devise
Nothing is staying in my brain
Others use assistive devices
Lots to learn and remember
Old brain in cells are taxed
Grasping concepts with lightening speed
I am sharing a guest post that I wrote last year for the”Handy Uncapped Pen.com” This a personal coming to terms with using a white cane. White cane evolutionI , we have a love\hate relationship with our white canes . When first given a cane to use we reject it.Yet Usually we get into a situation where we find that is better to use the cane .My incident came at a fast food restaurant . I was eating lunch with my family. During the meal I got up to use the restroom. I bumped into several tables on the way to the wall where I felt my way to the restroom. I repeated the feeling and table bumping until I was back at my own table. When we were ready to leave, I unfurled my folding cane with several loud clicks. As we were exiting the restaurant I heard one of the employees remark,””I thought she was drunk!” To be seen as drunk or blind , I would rather be blind.Eventually my orientation and mobility instructor convinced me that I would be safer with the white cane. I was a novice working the cane. When with my sighted guide I would hold the cane in a defensive position . If I became nervous I would swing the cane wildly in front of us, people would part like the Red Sea in front of Moses. I believe that they were worried about being struck by my wild antics with the cane.Eventually, I learned the two techniques of bouncing the end from to side to side or dragging the end of the cane from right to left. Both cane movements were coordinated with walking .When we traveled to Scotland I had good cane use but the novelty of a white cane user convinced the pedestrians to give us a wide berth, some people were so intent to get out of our way they jumped into doorways or off the curb .As I gained confidence and training in cane use I never left home without it. Even with a sighted guide, I still hold my white cane at the ready.When walking with my daughter I was using my cane and talking to her. Unknown to me ,she veered us directly towards four young men walking in a line. She stopped the end man and asked,”Don’t you see this lady is blind she will not get out of your way!”. He mumbled a “Sorry”? I quizzed her about the incident and she replied that they needed a lesson about others in their environment.I have made peace with using my white cane and never leave home with out one. People still want to help me cross streets or grab my elbow to propel me forward because they see the white cane , not me. With patience I explain what I can and can not do. By interacting , I help people see the person behind the cane. **********
It is my companion
folded in my purse
to be unfurled
at a moment
ready to guide me
where I need to go long or short
fiberglass or wood
you serve me well
would pay heed
to the white cane
Sent from my iPad
Daddy Bruce October 7, 2020
Today would have been my Father’s 101 birthday. He was known by many names. Dad, Bruce, Mr. Turnbull and Mr Northville. But my favorite title was coined by my Brazilian sister Adelia,”Daddy Bruce.” He answered to all of them but his favorite was the use of Dad. He was delighted when my husband chose to call him Dad. John said it was a term of respect and love.Dad loved parties especially when they involved his birthday. Large celebrations were held on his 90th and 95th birthday. At the 95th, he made a toast hoping all would be present for his 100th celebration.Though he was not here physically, I feel his spirit and love of life every day.I look at my brothers, nieces and nephews noting a love of growing plants, telling jokes, and enjoying friends and family.Personally, he taught me to be generous with my time and gifts. Dad nurtured a strong faith in the Lord and Creator. He blended Baptist, Methodist and Catholic doctrines into his personal belief system.On one of the last visits with Dad before he passed. He said,”I don’t know how you do it… getting around blind!” “I tried and ran into the wall and couldn’t find the bathroom.” He went on to say, ”But you are always smiling,keep that joy.” I could have said the same about him . He was always full of joy and life.For my part, I will keep the joy of you as my Dad in my heart. Thanks, And Happy Birthday Daddy Bruce
Old GrowthOld Growth is precious.Densely packed withrings of knowledge.End of a line,But not quite…Though the old tree. is gone,The seeds remain.Not exact copies,but having the strength of core.
They grow strong and tall.Encircling the memory of the stump.
My husband had a medical issue with a piece of calcium that lodged in his brain after his aorta valve split. This caused issues with his memory. Consequently, he is my eyes and I am his memory. John will ask me if I remember this or know where an item is kept. When he loses an item in his workshop, he will buy another. This sometimes results in more that one item.I was confident in my memory until last week. I was looking for the steam iron. I was sure that it was on the high shelf between the washer and dryer. I hadn’t use it for many months but I went down to retrieve it.I looked. There was no iron. I searched all the shelves in the basement including the storage boxes on the shelves. No iron.I enlisted my husband’s aid as we searched the whole house. No iron. Finally, I had to have an iron so I opened Amazon to look for a replacement. I found that I had 20 dollars credit and the iron I wanted was 18 dollars. I ordered it and it arrived on the weekend.Yesterday morning, I was putting away bath towels and found the pile had fallen over. Picking up the towels to replace then on the pile, I discovered the old iron on the shelf. I have no memory of putting it there or bringing it up to the main floor. Do you wonder what I will do with two irons? Taking a clue from my husband, I will keep then both, at least for awhile. One upstairs and one in the basement. As we age we all have a little slippage now and then.
I remember my deceased parents birthdays,
But I can’t remember my daughter’s birthday.
I remember to take a list to grocery shop,
Then I leave it in the car.
I remember to call in for a group conference.
But I forget the correct number
As a senior citizen,I should expect a bit of slippage.
Copyright October 6, 2020
Sent from my iPad
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 !
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