My Aunt Debbie came over the other day and gave my girls the best present, a picture book entitled, What Does it Mean to Be Present?. It’s a beautiful book in a whimsical font on a topic that I haven’t seen many children’s books tackle. Lots of books on friendship and sharing and learning. But not many on “being”.

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My daughters love this book, although I’m the one who can’t stop flipping through it, hoping it will rub off on me. My mind being the hamster wheel that it is, I really struggle with being fully present. Continue reading

The following is a parody of my favorite Dr. Seuss book, describing my hesitancy to use my cane, before trying it but then my relieved delight when I realize it’s actually pretty helpful to have around!

I do not like white cane in hand.  I do not like it, Joy I am!

Would you use it at a park?

Could you use it in the dark?

I could not, would not at a park.

I could not, would not, in the dark. I do not like white cane in hand. I do not like it, Joy I am!

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Growing up, we were the best of friends.

Joy: Except for that time, in utero, when she sat on my head for nine months, and then made me wait four laborious minutes while she made her grand entrance into the world.

Jenelle: Or that time when we were 18 months old and she sunk her teeth into my arm after I stole her stuffed bunny.

Joy: Or that time when we were eight, and she poured a glass of milk over my head at the dinner table.

Jenelle: Or that time when we were nine, and she signed my dad’s Father’s Day card, “Love, Joy. p.s. not stinky Jenelle.”

Joy: Or all those times as teenagers when she chased me around the house trying to whip me with a wet bath towel, while I ran away, chanting “Violent lady! Violent lady!” Continue reading

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It was a typical night at the movies, except for one thing..

I could “see” the endearing Paddington Bear, with all of his slapstick British humor, thanks to audio descriptions at a nearby theater.

Audio Description is commentary and narration which guides the listener through the movie or play with concise, objective descriptions of new scenes, settings, costumes, body language, and “sight gags,” all slipped in between portions of dialogue or songs. Continue reading

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

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