Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Reminders of the way things were

Oliver and I made our way to the Goderich beach on Sunday. It was just him and I for the day - Theo and Ella were out - so we decided we needed to "do" something - because we could! So yes, I am driving, got my official licence with restriction class 2A (hand controls). The next step is working on getting my chair in and out of the car - not an easy feat. We could have gone the route of the robotic arm, but my peers don't all have rave reviews and they take up a lot of space in the back...so I am going to try without and see how it goes. More on that later. We gave it a dry run in the morning, to see if Oliver could haul my chair in behind the driver seat and get the door closed. He (the 10 year old boy) is strong enough (and very determined) that he made it work! Tada! Mom and boy are free to go - so off we went.

We thought that a trip to the beach was a good choice on such a beautiful day. And the boardwalk is nice and flat, right? You would think so, until you get into a wheelchair and give it a try. I was glad to have Oliver's assistance. He was on his scooter and stayed behind me, ready to give me a push when I needed it up a slope or through the sand that had blown over the walkway. Here you can see my free wheel attachment (between my knees) - it is working well on uneven surfaces (the exception being my farm yard).

If you look beyond Oliver you see the beach and then the lake. What you don't really see is the beach grass that is growing between the playground and the beach. Three or four years back it was a group of grade 11 biology/enviro science kids that planted that grass. It is doing so well now they have been able to take away the snow fence that was there to protect it from feet. It made me think (again) about how I will do this kind of stuff in the future. I was the queen of the field trip at Madill. I used all my contacts, got grants for bussing and had volunteer drivers. I am sure some kids signed up for my classes just to escape the classroom. And why not? There is a whole world of possibilities for learning beyond four walls. We did tree and beach grass planting, beach and garbage clean ups, we hiked, toured renewable energy projects, visited the trout hatchery, recycling plant, landfills, sewage treatment and more that I have forgotten right now. How will I do these things with my students in the future?

Oliver doing his Ninja training at the beach - you can see the beach grass behind the swings.
Here are some more random thought that I have had lately - they don't make for a full post, but I thought I would share:

  • Does it mean something that I just deleted "Total Footcare" from my contacts list?
  • House plans are coming along nicely - the front yard is currently staked out with one plan.
  • I have achieved enough core strength to do "bird dogs" at physio - even got applause yesterday 


  1. I haven't posted on here yet but I have read every one of your blogs. I first met Theo in elementary school but we had not stayed in touch. We have a lot of friends in common on FB though and I heard about your accident through them. My brother's best friend and business partner went through a similar ordeal a few years ago when he struck a moose with his car although his injury was higher up and he had only limited use of his arms and hands. Reading about your recovery has been a real eye-opener revealing the ongoing battles that you are fighting, and winning. You may not realize it now, but sharing your struggles, your successes, your thoughts, and your emotions is very inspiring. You sound like just the kind of science teacher I would have wished for in high school. I am sure that when you return to the classroom, you will continue to engage your students, even if you have to use some different methods. Not only that, you will show them that you can achieve great things if you just set your mind to it. And you will no doubt inspire some of those students to go into careers in the medical and research sciences because of the circumstances that have led you to where you are. Please keep writing as I look forward to your updates. Oh, and we too LOVE the Outer Banks ;-)

  2. Hey Julie - I have been following your blog forever. I would love to talk to you about being a content provider for a project I am working on.......if you are interested, can you send me an email? julie@juliethurgood.com