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Words by Julie - Living Life With Paralysis

Writing Holiday 3

Several months ago I started to hunt for an accessible cottage. I know what you are thinking: “she just built a brand new house!” Which is true. However, I counter that with the fact that my home is also my workspace. I take people on tours of my home, I exercise in my home and I write in my home. You see, writing is my new Work. I write this blog, I write for The Citizen and I am writing two books. [In case you missed it, one is about building an accessible home and the second is about recovering from a spinal cord injury.]

When you go on holiday, you don’t do it in your office or your school, do you? And we all like to get away if we can, right? Can you even relax in your own home? Nope. Hence the cottage. And it couldn’t have happened at a better time. The Lawnmaster crew is at our house, as I write. They are not there to cut the grass (there is none). They are there to lay the back patio. To do so they have to compact the crap out of all the loads of gravel and sand first. They started two weeks ago before having to leave for a week, and I was there when they turned that sucker on. I thought the whole house was going to fall apart, and it went on and on. I am VERY glad to NOT be there right now.

This is our most recent attempt at a family photo. I include this for two reasons. First, to show everyone’s life themed t-shirt that happened by accident. Theo=Cowbell Oliver=Pokemon and Ella=She is not alone (Captain Marvel). Everyone but me. Second, to show you what the patio stone looks like. This is the front porch, to the right is the door. Perhaps I should have posted this:

See the patio beyond my boots and kitsy-cat?

Instead of staying home and actually feeling the house vibrate, I am here:

Because I love my new boots, right @pickaposie!
Those are my feet on the lounger, laptop on lap, with the perfectly calm lake Huron just beyond. I’m trying to write.

That is Lake Huron, just about at the edge of the deck, it’s so high this year! It’s a beautiful, accessible spot. But alas, I am still left wanting. There are kayaks I’d like to paddle. I want to dig my feet into the sand. I want to ride my bike. None of which I can do on my own. Accessible only goes so far. I’m lucky I can get into a cottage and use the bathroom, let alone get into the lake.

It’s lovely being here and very hard at the same time. But I tell myself that I am here to write. Undisturbed. So I try. And anyway I can tell by the fact that no one is IN the lake, only ON the lake that it is WAY too cold. Not even the kids next door are wading!

Theo was here for a night, which was lovely. That whole “you can’t have a holiday at home” bit applies to relationships too. Relationships need a holiday. A break from the “who is driving who, which way” and “what are we having for dinner” to “I have a meeting/dinner/appointment” and ‘can you please help me with this”…

He came up after work yesterday and stayed 24 hours. I know, that doesn’t seem like a long time, but for us it was. Although we do spend a lot of time in the house together, we are very rarely alone. Even when the kids are in school, there has been someone working on our house/property just about five days a week for the past six months (which was when we moved in). Anyway, it was lovely. Truely. We actually got to talk, and finish sentences – gasp – even full thoughts.

Here I am, then, writing. Trying to work on my books, but writing a blog instead. I wanted to share some of my funny ironies of life. I’m here to write (which requires concentration) and I have a string of bad nerve pain days. Theo left this afternoon after putting up a grab bar in the bathroom and hovering around the cottage for a few minutes “I just have to make sure you are okay?!?” My response is that I’m fine, I’ve got my reacher!

Not 20 minutes later the giant triple size deck umbrella blew over with hardly a whiff of wind. The neighbours came to right it for me once I got their attention. Then, it started to rain and I had to move the 34 (no joke and I can only take two at a time) pillows off of all the furniture (no longer covered by the umbrella).

So now I am writing.

Wish me luck.

But first I have to go try out that new grab bar…

#notwater

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