Last week Aaron was on spring break. He spent much of the week cleaning and organizing our apartment. We had planned to go to Joshua tree national Park and also the Huntington library and gardens. It was raining the early part of the week so we did not go to Joshua tree when we had planned. On Thursday Sarah and I were planning on going to the library but then decided to go to the beach instead! I had not been to the beach since before we had left on our extended “vacation” last summer. So it was my first trip to the beach in my wheelchair. I did not drive through sand, obviously; but there was a well paved walkway and also a pier. The pier was not smooth for the most part, but we went slow and I was able to maneuver over the boards. We also bought a kite and flew it off the pier and got quite a few strange looks -- which were very entertaining. Actually, I think we were the entertainment.
On Friday Aaron and I were able to go to Joshua tree. This is one of our favorite places to go in California. Did you know as a handicapped person I can get into any national park for free? There are some perks to being handicapped! We were able to go on three hikes that were handicapped accessible. It was fun to be out in the desert again doing one of our favorite activities. There should be some pictures that will be posted on our web site from our time there. Between my trip to the beach on Thursday afternoon with Sarah and my trip to Joshua tree on Friday with Aaron, I think this was the happiest I have been and the most normal I have felt since last July. Going to Joshua tree gave me confidence to be able to continue to do the things we love to do. Certainly there were limitations -- I was not climbing on any rocks or taking any trails that were too rocky, but I was still able to enjoy the beauty of the desert with Aaron.
This past weekend we began plowing through the incredible mountains of paperwork that had accumulated over the past several months. It is quite overwhelming but it will feel good to have it done and have the papers filed. Our apartment is far from being settled but we have resigned ourselves to be content until summer when Aaron has more time.
It is hard to believe that we have been home for nearly 4 months and that our accident happened almost 9 months ago. In some ways the accident seems that it never happened -- obviously the fact that I am in a wheelchair is a constant reminder, but it feels so normal to be at home in California it seems as though we never left. But in other ways and at other times the accident is all-consuming. I mostly feel this way when I'm out in public and notice so many people watching me. I am getting used to it -- sometimes. But mostly it is very annoying and it makes me very self-conscious. I remember in the past couple of years two specific people that I saw in public who were quadriplegics. One was a young man in a hotel lobby in Washington, DC. The other was a woman in a restaurant in California. I looked at them in the same way that people look at me now. And now when people look at me I wonder if any of them will someday be a quadriplegic. That is a very sobering thought. But it is hard to not think that way.
This weekend for Easter Aaron's father Richard and his wife Linda will be with us. We are looking forward to their visit. They will be our third set of visitors since coming back to California. In January Aaron's mom, Alice, and brothers Dan, Bryan, and Rick and Desiree came to visit. And in February my sister Cyndi and her husband John came to visit. By the way, John and Cyndi are expecting their first baby in the fall! We are very excited for a new niece or nephew!
My new computer and new software are working beautifully. And just today, finally, my new cell phone is working! If you had my cell phone number and were getting a disconnected message, it is now reconnected. There has been no change in phone number.
Also several of you have asked to hear my sermon that I preached a few weeks ago. Our church does record them and I am going to try and get the recording hooked up to the web site. That way I don't have to send out several copies of the sermon and you can just click on a link and hear the sermon online. I don't usually listen to my sermons after I preached them -- but I will listen to this one since so many of you have requested it!
I think that is it for now. I will continue to do updates for a while. We will be making some changes to the web site eventually. I don't know when those changes will happen but we are working on some ideas to update the site. So keep checking! I am amazed that we still get almost 200 hits a day.
Thank you again for your unfailing support and prayers. We could not get through this life change without all of you.
With all our love and thankfulness...
Kari and Aaron