As we head in to the New Year, I would like to dell out some encouragement to help our readers welcome a strong and hopeful 2014.
Blind Architect, Chris Cowney, gave this incredible TED talk on designing cities with the blind in mind, and how this not only benefits the blind but also offers major advantages for the cities themselves.
My favorite take-aways from this talk are:

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In honor of blindness awareness month this October, I decided to finish this post!  I drafted it this summer and then abandoned it because I found it difficult to write.  For me, it’s like trying to describe my favorite type of movie– I can’t put the exact description into words but I know it when I see it.  And if I think about it enough, I can find words, but it does take some thought.  I don’t like to be cynical, but it would have been easier to come up with a list of 15 ways NOT to help people with RP!  I decided to take the more positive approach, although I couldn’t resist throwing in some of my personal pet peeves. Continue reading

 According to many surveys, going blind is something people fear most, right behind cancer.  I’ve written plenty of posts related to fear and grief and challenges.  But I’ve seldom touched on all the fringe benefits of blindness.
Some readers may think I’m joking, but honestly there are parts of my life that have turned out to be pretty great because of low vision.  So I put together these top 10 reasons blind people lead the best lives: Continue reading

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I have never been good at letting go. Tense conversations, goodbyes, friendship changes, job transitions, moves….all keep me awake at night far longer than it seems they should.
So it wasn’t entirely surprising when my plane touched down in Seattle 2 weeks ago, and I couldn’t immediately let go of real life to enter vacation mode.
I’ve been in this quaint, picturesque Bavarian-themed village in the Cascade Mountains since the beginning of July, and I’m only just starting to decompress. Prior to leaving for this trip, there were a lot of stresses at home and I pictured this serene, oasis trip in which I just played and played with my children without worrying about my typical daily to-do lists. I had this vision of myself, unplugged and ultra-present. Continue reading

liebsterawardIf there’s one thing writers really need, it’s community with other artists. I have this amazing friend, Emily, who shares my love of writing. We belong to the same writer’s group and have fun drinking tea and/or wine over topics involving creativity, editing, publishing, and the like. She writes a hilarious blog and recently nominated me for a Liebster award. Thanks Emily, for your encouragement and for being someone with whom I can share writing joys and frustrations and engage in super-nerdy conversations.

As part of my acceptance of the Liebster, I had to answer the following 11 questions from Emily: Continue reading

2011 - Birthday girls with Grandma

The call came at 3am Wednesday. Grandma is dying. She probably won’t make it through the night. If you want to say your final goodbye, you should come.

The lights at grandma’s house were dim when we arrived, and the air was heavy. Short, labored breaths rattled out of her lungs, sounding like a child with croup. She lay tucked under blankets in a hospital bed in the middle of her living room; my cousin leaning over her, inserting morphine tablets under her tongue to keep her comfortable.

Being on hospice for the past week, the call had not been entirely surprising, though she had been so alert and responsive the prior few days that we had thought it might be weeks until the end.  But here we were, in the middle of the night, beginning our final farewells.  Some family members sat perched on the queen-sized bed near her hospital bed, while others lingered on the couch in the adjoining family room, taking turns leaning over her and whispering words of love and gratitude. Continue reading

Orchard - The New Artists Discussion
I’ve always been hesitant to call myself an artist, or even more specifically, a writer. Since I don’t earn a living writing and am not famous, two of our culture’s main measurements for success, I’ve never thought my art really matters.
But watching some artist interviews during “The New Artists” series at The Orchard the past few weeks has helped me realize that my art does matter.  It not only matters in my life, but it matters in the lives of others, no matter if it’s just a handful of readers or tens of thousands. Continue reading

One of the things I love about writing is that it helps me organize and connect the many thoughts, facts, emotions and analysis scurrying around in my head.  Basically, it helps me make sense of the world as I’m experiencing it.

Sometimes these connections happen while I’m working on an essay, but other times they solidify after I’ve already posted, often through follow-up conversations and comments people post.

There were definitely some reactions from friends and readers regardling my last post on my recent travels.   Through these conversations, I came to some realizations.    Continue reading

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So the doublevision family has grown, as Jenelle welcomed Baby Ben into the family on Easter Day!
 
I just had the privilege of heading out to the northwest to spend a week with my favorite twin and her new, little (well big– now almost 10 lbs!) bundle, along with her adorable, active preschooler and amazing husband.
 
Obviously, traveling from the Midwest up to the Cascade mountains took some traveling. And if there’s anything that stresses me out about traveling, it’s airports. While I’m still stubborn about not using my cane, airports are one place that I really won’t enter without my trusty colored stick. Continue reading

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Winter funk first hit me a few weeks ago (no, not that scary, Australian super-virus though the threat of it definitely adds to the funk). Like many Midwesterners with cabin fever, I tried escaping it by going on a short girls’ getaway (though we couldn’t afford anywhere warm!). And that sufficed while I was away, but the day-to-day was still waiting for me when I returned.  Continue reading