Saturday, July 3, 2010

Another Picnic, Another Adventure

Almost a year ago, I wrote about an interesting experience that happened at a picnic. That was then, this is now. New year, new thrills.

This year, I was thrilled to be allowed to borrow my church's big van to help transport friends up to the park. That was exciting, because at least eight of us (and one wheelchair) would be able to ride together instead of several of them taking separate public transport vans. This would give us time to talk and make each other laugh. In addition to this, I was also asked to help transport city bus riders to and from a bus stop at the bottom of the hill. Great! I've got a whole van full of seats!

Here's a photo of me driving the van. (I took this while alone, so no riders were in any way endangered by this photograph.)

I picked up six friends here in the suburbs, and we drove without incident to the park. Shortly after arriving and disembarking, I went with another lady to see exactly where the coming and going bus stops were located. Fine and dandy.

The neighborhood near this park is old, expensive without being pretentious, and beautiful. As I waited for incoming Metro buses, I enjoyed the streetside gardens.

A large group of picnickers got off the next bus, and I happily drove them up the hill. One more bunch came on the bus after that, and included was a man who didn't know exactly what the ACB does, but he heard there would be fellow blind and visually impaired people here so he came to check it out. As we went up the hill, I talked a little about the ACB and about Lutheran Blind Mission so he'd get a taste of what each group is about.

Once at the picnic to stay, I ate too much (same as last year), watched a game of tug-of-war (didn't participate this time), and escorted a few folks to the antiquated comfort stations. Yep, it's that park. While waiting outside, I enjoyed the flowers and the sunshine:

All in all, it was a lovely day. But what, you may ask, was the adventure? What was the one fly in the ointment, the ants at the picnic, the rain on your parade? The van, my friends, the van. Although my church uses this van to take children and teens and the occasional adult to various activities, I don't think it usually takes only adults anywhere. The step to get up into it is quite high, and the seats are very close together and run just a few inches short of the side door. Getting into and moving inside of this vehicle should not be attempted by the faint of heart. Not only that, but anyone with a mobility issue is going to have a heck of a time of it.


It seemed like such a good idea.

In spite of that, I had a lot of fun, and I hope my friends did, too.

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