To learn more about and donate to the center written of here visit:
Spark | Knoxville, TN: Connecting people with disabilities
Good morning everyone.
I hope this message finds you doing super great.
First, let me tell you of the wonderful trip to Knoxville Tennessee I took yesterday. I went to Knoxville to a tech center there which caters to the needs of those who are disAbled in some way. Not to just blind persons mind you, but all persons who are disAbled.
I’d like to stop here, and have you note the way I write the word disAbled. See where the emphasis lies. Give that some thought. Screen reader users, arrow through the word.
Anyhow, getting back on track, I’ll start with the trip there. The driver was polite, and helpful. He was also conversational which was nice all by itself. After a while though we were on the interstate, the traffic had thickened, so he settled down to concentrate on his driving, and I used my phone to read and answer emails, catch up on Facebook, then once those tasks were done I sat back, turned on an audio book I’d picked up from Audible.com and settled in for a few chapters of pure reading pleasure.
I’m always amazed when folks especially writers tell me they don’t have time to read. Pish Posh, but ah, well, there’s a post for another day.
Once we’d arrived at the center, I was pleased yet again by the driver’s polite assistance. He assisted me out of the van, described the layout of where we were parked in the parking lot as it was adjacent to the door, and then surprising me once more, he walked with me to said door, and saw me safely inside. “Humph, there are some drivers at KATS who could take a lesson from this guy.” I noted. While most KATS drivers are helpful, there are a few who… Ah, I’m getting sidetracked yet again.
Anyhow, once inside, I told the front desk receptionist who I was and who I was there to see, and she directed me to a seat, and went off to let the technician Brian know I was there.
After only a short wait, during which I employed the assistance of another worker to show me to the bathroom, Brian came out and guided me back to where we’d work on the computer equipment I’d brought.
Once we’d settled in, I began to unpack my backpack and lay out the computers, and other things I’d brought, explaining what needed doing as I went. Brian asked good questions, and soon the two of us were working away on the problems at hand.
The thing I enjoyed the most about working with Brian was that he included me in the process. It wasn’t just because the display on the old computer didn’t work and he needed me to run it because we couldn’t get it connected to a monitor either. It was because he felt I knew my needs and equipment better than did he, and I could best help by being directly involved with what was being done. At one point though he declared, “Well, this is a bit unusual. You do have the advantage here considering that screen won’t work, and I cannot see what’s going on.” We laughed, and soon with he giving instructions for a few things, and me working the machine we were on our way toward accomplishing the goals I’d come to see done.
As we worked, another worker, Laura came in to see what we were up to and say hi. I’d worked with her once before while I was there, and it was good to see her. After a while, she went out but was soon back with a new person who had just begun there at the center. I’m embarrassed to admit, my short term memory loss has me firmly in its evil clutches this morning and the new girl’s name escapes me, but what I do remember is that she asked good questions, seemed to be genuinely interested in learning more about me, and the ways in which I worked with a computer, and I found this a refreshing change from other experiences I’ve had at centers which work with multiple disAbilities.
Because I found her focus was indeed on visually challenged and totally blind persons and their needs, I stopped what I was doing, dug round in my pack, and brought out the large print weekly planners I’m marketing for Edward Coen of, EZ2SeeProducts. As I handed them over I explained about Edward, and his mission. When she tried to hand them back I said “No. Keep those I have plenty. Just remember, if you should order a box of the 2020 calendars, or his new Sticky notepads, please let him know from where you heard of them.”
“Yeah, I know. Always working no matter where I go.” I laughed. “Speaking of that, this neckless I’m wearing,” I said, fingering the beautifully crafted piece of jewelry hanging around my neck. “One of my clients made this for me. Her name is Lynda McKinney Lambert. She’s an accomplished author, and multimedia artist, and I represent both she and her daughter Heidi who also runs an art studio and makes wonderful handmade jewelry, soaps, candles, and more.”
We spent a few moments talking about what exactly it is that I do and all my totally talented clients, as we finished up.
All too soon the allotted two hours I had there were up, my driver was back, and while we’d not accomplished everything I’d come there to do, Brian had set me up with all the things I’d need to come home and complete the tasks we’d begun.
Climbing back into the van, settling into my seat and readying to depart I felt very satisfied with the day. There was only one dark cloud. Campbell hadn’t made this trip with me. As many of you reading know, he is mostly retired now, and for me to have taken him would’ve required a long time in harness, and I felt this would’ve been far too much to ask of him. So, he boarded at Colonial Heights Animal Hospital where he has been receiving great veterinarian care since 2014 and though I’d been a bit uncomfortable leaving town without him I knew that he was being well looked after.
I got home with no trouble, and though it stormed mightily throughout the afternoon and evening, the rain couldn’t dampen my spirits.
Sounds like a great day, right? Well it was, but that’s not all the good news I have to share.
When I finally got home, checked in with my boy, and let the folks at his vet’s office know I’d be to pick him up the next afternoon, I sat down to plow through the mountains of email I had accumulated during the time of my visit and trip home. I’d not looked at it on the way home because my driver and I had gotten into a great conversation about how our needs are always met and that life need not be nearly as hard as we make it and so there were quite a few to read. It was in fact, while I was reading mail that, yet another blessing revealed itself to me.
Upon opening my inbox, as the email began pouring in, I noted one that had something to do with a newly constructed apartment building for the disAbled downtown and I quickly highlighted and opened it. As I did, I felt my heart skip a beat with joy.
It appears, there are new apartments being built for disAbled persons in need of good, safe, affordable housing. They would be available to rent either at the end of November or the beginning of December, and as I continued to read, I learned that I could apply for one. To say I was excited and filled with joy would’ve been a huge understatement. I was also rather pleased that yet again another person tasked with public service was actually “Serving.”
Earlier in the month of July, as I previously wrote of, I’d contacted the state representative for this district, and one of the things I’d written of had been my concerns having to do with what seems to me to be a bit of a housing crisis in our area. We’ve got one low income housing project torn down and a new one being constructed in its place, another two being remodeled, and yet another which experienced a fire earlier this summer and this leaves a lot of persons needing housing and not enough places for them to go. The representative had in turn emailed one of our city alderman whom he knew to be involved in real estate, he had written back to say he knew of this new apartment building being constructed for the disAbled citizens of Kingsport and had said he’d put me in touch with those in charge of that project, and for a blessid wonder had done just that.
As I sit here this morning writing this to you, I’m absolutely amazed at how fast the needs I’ve prayed about have come to be filled. Not because I don’t believe that can happen but because for many years I’ve struggled and flailed, and it has only been recently that I stopped fighting the current of life, learned to practice the faith I claim in total commitment and it was only when I made the decision to absolutely believe without fail no matter what that I’ve found true success and more importantly peace about all things in my life.
“Believe and it shall be so.”
“So a man think, so shall he be.”
And now, I ask you join me in prayer. Take a moment to clear your mind and say this simple prayer with me. Moreover, believe it is so.
“Thank you for the sun.
Thank you, now day’s begun, all our needs, wants, desires they’re met.
Thank you for what we have and have not yet.
Thank you when day’s through, we will still be we and you will still be you.
Light our path. Guide our way.
Give us what to do and say.
So mote it be. Blessid be. Amen.”
*** This post is sponsored by…
Edward Coen of EZ2SeeProducts found at: http://www.EZ2SeeProducts.com
Colonial Heights Animal Hospital found at: http://www.colonialheightsvet.com
Author Artist, Lynda McKinney Lambert: http://www.lyndalambert.com
Heidi Lambert McClure Sassafras Hill Studio Found at: https://www.facebook.com/SassafrasHillStudio
I thank you all for reading if you have, may harmony find you, and blessid be.