Stranger on the plane

As I wrote yesterday or the day before (damn the last week is a blur), I was pretty paranoid about leaving vegas after what happened last time I said goodbye to a friend.  All the bullshit I went through at the airport in Houston to get to vegas, had me dreading the trip even more.  (another story for another time)

As I walked through the door of the airport, a sudden calm washed over me.  Maybe it was the xanax kicking in, maybe it was that I was going to home to see girls, I honestly don’t know what it was.  Maybe it was exhaustion?  Either way I had not a care in the world.  I didn’t take more than 10 steps into the door before I found a porter ready and waiting with a wheelchair for me.  When I showed him the boarding pass on my phone I realized I was in seat 8F  ( yah window seat….maybe I could sleep?).

I barely remember that pat down, even though the foley catheter (who’s name is boppy, for bag of pee) set off the metal wand, I really don’t remember much about it.  We stopped for coffee and I was deposited at the gate.

I was the first to board the plane (after the pilot and flight attendants.)  The agent that took me to the plane even stashed my bag overhead for me.  I balled up my sweatshirt and laid my head on it closing my eyes to let the world drift away.  I couldn’t have slept more than a few minutes, before being awaken by this sight.flight home (9)

Meet Timmy

Timmy is the service dog for my new friend Bob…… Bob has Retinitis Pigmentosa, and is going blind, or as doctors have told him, he should have been completely blind years ago.  But I am getting ahead of myself, let me take a few steps back.

So I open my eyes, see this beautiful patient dog looking at me and let my eyes wonder up the harness to the man holding it.  He asks, “Are you ok with dogs?”…. I kind of shook my head and muttered, “um yeah, but where is he going to sit?”   thinking….Does he get a seat? are you putting a seat belt on him? is he going to sit on your lap?  The stranger responded, “oh he’s just going to sit down under our legs”   HUH?  (remember I have a German shepherd, who always TRIES to lay under my legs)…. Again, Ok.

Sure enough, Timmy laid under the seat in front of the stranger and between his legs.  As the other passengers finished boarding, the stranger allowed me to take several pictures, an introduce myself to Timmy.  At one point he said, I have RP and this is my service dog.  I actually knew what RP was…..well kind of, I knew how to say it, and that it meant he was going blind.  I think I surprised the hell out of him that I had heard of his condition.  You see, I follow and greatly admire the writer Susan Richardson, the author of Stories from the Edge of Blindness.  Susan has also been diagnosed and living with RP for 16 years.  If you don’t know Susan, please check out her blog, you won’t be sorry.

So back to the “stranger” on the plane, His name is Bob by the way, and by the end of the flight, he really was no stranger at all, but an incredible, smart, friendly guy.  We talked for the full four hours of our flight ( although it really felt much shorter than that)  We discussed politics.  yes I said discussed.  We disagreed about a few things, but I think we both LEARNED from each other.

When we were discussing how to find happiness while living with a health condition, he taught me a new term, “stamp collector” to describe a person that holds on to any and every misdeed that someone has done to  them.  We both agreed the secret to happiness is NOT collecting stamps, both literally and figuratively.

I could go on and on about the things we talked about, but I guess the whole point of this post, is that I am glad a “stranger” took a chance to open up about themselves and took the time to listen to another stranger’s stories and opinions.

I’m not a religious person by any means, but I do feel like I was “blessed” that day on my way home, and I am grateful for it.  I am also very grateful to have met so many wonderful new friends here on the interwebz.  Sincerely, I Thank you all from the bottom of my broken heart.

Soon, I’m going to have to tell you all about my Best Friend Gary, (the reason I went to Vegas), and about all the things he did to keep my mind occupied while I was there.  I really am a lucky girl.  For now though, I have the pleasure of Dutch’s company while Dan’s family finds a new home back in Illinois.

dutch

Is it a guy thing or a puppy thing that makes them take EVERY toy out of the bin?!?!?  lol

You’re doing what? With who? Where?

Phone conversation with Thing One:

Grace :  “While I am in Boston I am going to meet a couple of friends that live in the vicinity whom I met in the blogging world.”

Thing One:  “OK, mom, don’t forget the “proof of life” pictures.”

Grace: “you got it kiddo”

Friday, April 6, 2018

proof of life
Grace Fullnot….last seen wearing pic

Grace:  Good Morning kiddo

Thing One:  What’s wrong?

Grace:  Nothing, just sending you proof of life, Bill will be here in a few minutes to pick me up.

Thing One:  Why aren’t you smiling?

Grace:  Seriously?… Because I am freezing my ass off, and besides I wouldn’t be smiling if I was kidnapped 😛

Thing One:  I’m gonna need another picture

smile
The things you do for your kids….

Grace:  Better?

Thing One: 😀

SMH….for those of you who don’t know…SMH is Shaking my head.  (I really do that A lot!)

narrow streets

 

 

 

 

Superman was supposed to pick me up by 10.  I’m expecting a little Honda Civic to pull up…. he tells me when he’s on his way that he will be driving a truck instead…..ummmm……. itty bitty roads….

“Let me know when you’re close, I might have to meet you on the corner?”

Before I knew it, ( early even ) there he was loading mine and my companions suitcases in the truck.   Bill and I were heading to Salem for the day, where we would be meeting Karyn and Steve after exploring Salem for a bit.  My traveling companions were going to Pax East at the Boston Convention Center, and we would meet up again at a new airbnb apartment near Salem for the night.

Superman Really Does Exist

superman
To keep his identity a secret…this is the only picture of him I will post

Before we ever decided to meet in real life, Bill and I spent hours on the phone.  (not all at one time, though he did provide a big shoulder when I was struggling with Sara’s death) but we’ve talked about our illnesses, our common expression of saying, “are you really sure you want me to answer that?” when people ask for our opinions, and so on and so on.  Not only is he a great writer, but a great friend.

The real reason I am not posting his picture, is because he wasn’t feeling well and hasn’t been for awhile.  That’s HIS story to tell though, if you want to check it out.    As I said, he is a great writer, and just an all around great guy.

After eating breakfast at a little restaurant in Salem, we wondered around to find the Salem Witch Museum (my choice, not his)

I’m not going to say much about the experience, because hearing about the amount of hatred that people endured during the witchcraft trails still gives me the chills, but I did want to share this postcard.  The last room of the museum  is painted with the words on the postcard….. Very thought provoking!

Of course it was snowing in New England…AGAIN

snow in new england
Just flurries though for the time being

Let me tell you a little bit about the other two bloggers that I got to meet.

First of all there is Steve Markesich

grace and steveOf course you can read his About ME page, but I want to tell you about the man I met.  I’m not sure exactly how our path’s crossed.  ( I think he was doing the “my publisher said, I need to add as many people on social media as I can for the book I am writing thing”)  Either way, Steve’s is the first blog I ever started following.

I love the honesty, openness, and determination he displays when he writes about living with Primary Progressive MS.  MS is a nasty monster, and while I would not wish the disease on anyone, it is good to know you have people like this with you on this scary ride.  Poor Steve has also become a dear friend (didn’t know what you signed up for did you?”)  Please take a moment to check out his blog MSich Chronicles.  He does a great job of sharing how he overcomes the challenges that MS has laid at his door.

I had the privilege of meeting Karyn who writes Karyn’s Domain.

grace and karynKaryn and my paths first crossed around the time she wrote this The best blog I ever read.   She sent me a message saying that she had found my blog after reading Superman’s posts in their entirety, and looked forward to getting to know like minded people….

As many of you know lately my life has been filled with Drama, drama, drama, and I haven’t had much time for keeping up with ANY blogs, but the day after we met, I went to her website and saw this post.  (Honestly at first thought from the meme, I thought she was talking about me….lol).  This woman quit her job, and hiked the Appalachian trail!!!  How can you NOT want to know more?!?!?!  Actually , there is much more to Karyn, I encourage you to follow her on her journey as she discovers where she is headed next.  I know that I will be.

I would like to tell you that our “little get together” lasted until dawn and that we all just barely escaped being arrested for a noise disturbance.  But to tell you the truth…. we got together and just talked…..and it was perfect!  (in hindsight, they might have brought duct tape for MY Mouth)

Thank you all for making the trip and spending your time with me.  I look forward to our ongoing friendships!!!!

The Morning After….”THE VIDEO”

Yesterday, I posted a video I did as a self challenge to put myself out there and face something I was terrified of.  I didn’t watch the video again until today and this morning “Pre-coffee” I made another one after I finished watching the first one.

For anyone wondering “Pre-coffee” should have a clinical definition and be categorized as some other kind of disease.  ( At least for me it is)  I am not a doctor, so I won’t attempt a clinical definition….. but picture this….

Or check out other pins I have collected .  If you have any to share, please add them too!!…But I digress….I wanted to share some things I have learned both about myself, and about making a video, just from doing that ONE VIDEO….. Caution though…the following video was made PRE-COFFEE. (ok while having the first cup or I wouldn’t have been able to turn on my computer)  But as usual I digress…

Here is my second video if you want to see

Other things I learned from making the video:

  1.  How to upload a video
  2. I really DO NOT Enunciate ( which is why I attempted to add captions) to this one… not perfect, it’s alot of work, but yah I learned something new.
  3. I HATE  the way I LOOK and SOUND precoffee
  4. My goofy first video encouraged someone that I consider a VERY SUCCESSFUL blogger to try something she has been putting off…. DOUBLE WIN!!!!
  5. I’m gonna keep “doing me”.  I know that If I did this or that when making a video, it would be more successful, but baby steps for now.
  6. Drink coffee before EVER attempting to blog or video

Ok Now I’m just rambling…. Thank you again to everyone that is following me on this adventure!!!! I am really enjoying it and learning lots of new things!!!!!