Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Party on the River

What a long, exhausting, yet amazing day.  It began leaving my home in Northwest Kansas bright and early in the morning.  It was a rather leisurely trip to Wichita with no hurry to be there. The event didn't officially start until 4:00pm anyway.  But, I thought since I'd never been to Riverfest, I would come a bit early and check out all that Riverfest has to offer.  I arrived to find out the weather forecast was threatening to cancel the Celebrate Abilities event.  While we waited on the final decision, I found out, they could use me in the KidFest area.  The great news was I had my books with me.  :)  I have discovered that I love reading to groups of all ages. 

Throughout my appearances this year, I have discovered that reading stories is a great way to make people of all ages more comfortable asking whatever is on their mind.  As I read about wheelchairs, they are more likely to ask about wheelchairs because they are asking about the character in the story.  As I read The Secret of Saying Thanks, it is yet another way to get my platform communicated and opens up conversation about being thankful every day.  What an amazing way to open up conversation.  (plus we got to sit in the shade--BONUS) 

 Well, the weather report cleared somewhat and Celebrate Abilities happened as scheduled.  The one difference the weather made was the inability to set up canopies to keep us out of the sun (and the inability to set up my table display).  The wind was threatening to blow everything away, but by laying things flat and anchoring them to the table, we managed to keep it all within our space.  What an amazing concept.  There were tables displaying several different organizations available for those with differing abilities.  :)  I had the opportunity to talk to several people who had never heard of the Ms. Wheelchair program and even pass out a few contestant applications/nomination forms.  I had a great time watching the Laughing Feet organization perform for us on stage.  There was a mix up about me speaking from the stage and it just didn't happen, but I was mentioned by the MC and people were encouraged to come over and check out my table.  They also checked out the other tables and could even watch a game of wheelchair tennis in progress. 

Check out my sun burn beginning
The following morning my PCA, daughter, service dog and I headed back to the KidFest area so my daughter could enjoy all there was to do.  I did not have my crown and sash on, but was recognized anyway and got to spend time talking to a couple of groups of day camp kiddos especially about my service dog.   A big thank you to the Riverfest volunteers for taking time to make us feel special and make sure our needs were taken care of.  Thanks for the great experience.

To see more pictures of my sunburn check out my post about the WaKeeney Public Library.

I had another special BONUS on the way to Riverfest.  We stopped in Newton to personally thank one of my sponsors, Tracbout, Inc.  I had an amazing time meeting and thanking them, and an even greater time trying out a Tracabout.   I can't even begin to describe the feeling of independence and freedom as I tried it out on grass and gravel.  It was an amazing feeling to never get stuck with my wheels spinning.

Thankful thoughts for today:
Air Conditioning
Easy Fix to Problem
Learning from mistakes
Winning a door prize

"Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation."                                                             Brian Tracy


  1. Angel, you are an amazing woman. So glad our paths crossed. What a wonderful voice you are for disabled woman and for the virtue of thankfulness. May God bless you!

    1. Thank you for your kind words. I am also thrilled our paths crossed and plan to stay in touch and see you again at least at the next Challenge Games