Saturday, 7 December 2013

Winter Travel

It's going to be a cold day today. Right now the temperature is -27 Celcius and it is expected to get colder today instead of warmer! One would think that anyone with an ounce of common sense would stay indoors today. Apparently I am not just anyone, and I don't have an ounce of common sense. I have not one, not two, but three separate Christmas related events to go to today, and one of them is an outdoor event.

Dressing warm in a wheelchair is not as easy as you might think. Certainly I can sit on my rear end and the pillow provides some level of reflective warmth, but my lower legs in particular, with their poor circulation and lack of muscle movement, are prone to becoming really cold. I have learned from previous experiences, such as my moose hunting experience, that I need to pay particular attention to keeping this part of my body warm.

Fortunately for me, I own a snowmobiling suit. It has bib-style pants that are double insulated. I've only worn them a couple of times while out hunting; they are in great shape. I wore the double insulated jacket in hunting camp recently and I should have worn the pants too. They say that the basis of all true learning is experience, and trust me, I have experience in needing warm pants. So down came the bag with the down filled gear, preparation for my 2 hour outdoor excursion today.

The rest of my events are indoors, but even getting my wheelchair out of the truck is a chilling affair in weather like this. I need not just my regular wheelchair gloves, but extra cold weather gloves to protect my hands from the freezing ice and snow that attaches itself to the wheels as I transit the various parking lots. A couple of minutes outdoors is no big deal except that that's how long it takes to unload me and the chair. Then I get to wheel over the snow and ice to where I am headed. I am thankful for handicapped parking spots in this weather.

My friend Kay has done that for me tonight. She is hosting a Christmas party for all of us this evening. I'm taking the Chocolate Martini fixings as my contribution. When she posted the instructions, she told everyone that there was lots of parking on the street, but that they were to leave the driveway for me. That kindness means a lot to me. I didn't have to ask; she knew that it would make a difference to me.

Winter can be a challenge, but it doesn't mean I have to stay home. All it takes is some extra planning and some very kind friends.

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