Wrong Turns

31 Mar

One of our wrong turns led to an afternoon in this used book shop

I turned the wrong way driving Terry to Target. What with the stoplights and crosswalks, the mistake cost us another ten minutes of our afternoon. I wasn’t complaining. It is rare to have time with others, time in which there is nothing else to do but just be and exist. No lunches to make, no bathrooms to clean, and no tables to prepare for dinner. Terry and I listened to the radio and talked about what it must be like on the other side of the world. We watched people cross the street and talked about how lucky we were to have food and houses and Easter egg hunts. In a different world, I can see Ford inventing the car simply out of a need for time, telling his wife to put down her knitting for God’s sake and spend an afternoon enjoying the scenery.

When you have a disability, life begins with what society would call a wrong turn. A great deal of time is spent trying to get back to Normal Street, therapies and surgeries and medicines trying to make it right.  Forgotten are the parks, restaurants, and opportunities you pass on this new road, a road you didn’t realize you’ve been on since the first clicks of the seatbelts. It is how we go on walks, assuming we are lost, until Cathy exclaims in mock surprise that we just happen to wind up at IHOP.

Maybe the map of life for people with disabilities has a few detours, a significant number of closed roundabouts, but I am learning to make sure I don’t already know where I are going before I stop to ask for directions. We are a dysfunctional family, at times being led by a soccer mom that only realizes upon reaching the game that none of the kids play soccer. We are wearing high heels instead of cleats, the grass is muddy, but there’s no doubt there’s a good coffee shop down the street. More often than not, hot chocolate was what we were looking for in the first place. It’s true that sometimes the GPS will take the scenic route without permission and sometimes a disability will be a reminder that turn signals are only suggestions. I guess no one ever found the ocean by driving straight. Terry and I made it to Target eventually, but who cares about Target anyway?


3 Responses to “Wrong Turns”

  1. theelectriccane March 31, 2012 at 12:28 pm #

    I am curious by nature and very adventurous. Getting lost has led me to some great places. Also, I remember my mistakes and usually don’t get lost again.

  2. morrisandcrary March 31, 2012 at 10:13 pm #

    So glad you are blogging again. Your writing is so beautiful and I love reading it 🙂 can’t wait to see you in May.

  3. dbfitts April 2, 2012 at 8:35 pm #


    Your recent blog reminded me of a book I read at SJSU when I was doing my Spanish thing called “Niebla” by Miguel de Unamuno. The main character’s chore in life was, when leaving his apartment, to decide which way he would turn once he hit the street, go right or left. Nothing more. Life was a detour. The story ended badly for him when he hit ‘normal street’ and right now I can’t remember why.

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