Thursday, December 12, 2013


I hate winter. I realize hate is a strong word. A friend once told me never to use it.  They suggested I use the term strongly dislike instead. In the case of my feelings about winter, however, the phrase strongly dislike is too soft a term to describe my feelings.

When I was little, if there was ice or snow on the ground, my school bus could never make it up the hill to my house. My mom would drive me to the bottom of the hill where we'd wait for the bus. Sure, there was heat in  the car, but it was still not very warm. My mom would call the street department every year and explain the situation. It took years, but finally, a truck put salt on our street.

When I was in college I would have to wait for people to open doors for me as automatic doors were only a dream then. I would get very cold if there was no one around and I had to wait for someone to come help  me. On the plus side, It was a good way to meet people.

I don't like having to wear heavy coats (or in my case capes) because I have to ask people to help me take it off and put it back on. I try to dress in layers and not wear a cape whenever possible, but sometimes it's too cold to go without my heavy cape.

My power chair doesn't go through snow very well. If the wheels get too wet the tires just spin.  One year, after it had snowed, I wanted to walk to the library because it was my day to volunteer. I didn't realize how snow covered my street was. The library was just across the street. We could make it. My caregiver and I started out. We didn't get far when my chair got stuck in he snow its tires spinning.  My caregiver tried, but couldn't budge the chair. Luckily, my neighbor saw us and helped me down the hill.

Cold weather never bothered me when I was younger. The older I get, it seems, cold weather bothers me more and more. I get cold much faster now and it takes longer for me to get warm again.I cannot imagine having to wait in the frigid temperatures we've had for public transportation, but i know  there are people with disabilities who do because they have  no other choice.

Winter weather may  force people with disabilities to stay home because it's just too difficult to get around. I have cut my days at the library to one day a week until spring.  I'll be home more, but I'll keep busy writing, reading and playing games on Facebook. I'll volunteer at the library wham the weather is good.

Snow is pretty, but to someone with a disability is just another obstacle, another challenge. Technically, it's not even winter yet, but i'm already asking, "How many days til spring?".