Tuesday, March 11, 2008


"Could you do me a favour, could you write a blog that has 5 or 6 things about you that have nothing to do with your disability or your work with disabled people ... just some facts." This letter comes from a woman who says that she reads Fat and "I just can't get a picture of you in my head, I just have an image of a one-dimensional person who has really limited his life. That image makes me very sad."

Well, we can't have you sad. So, I'll do that ... kind of reluctantly. While I figure its my job and my mission to look at disability, to talk about what I think, notice and learn - getting away from that into more private areas is a tad more uncomfortable for me. But here goes:

Fact One: I can cook without a recipe. Joe's a great cook but he has to follow a recipe. When we want something to eat, if we're just winging it, it's up to me. I can look in the fridge, see the food that's there, and come up with a recipe on the spot. This has led to us having family meals that are uniquely our own. Vegetarian Open Faced Sandwiches, Cabbage Roll Casserole, Mexican Stuffed Canaloni - all are home grown recipes that we now have often. It's fun inventing new combinations of food. I love cooking for others - it's, to me, kind of a spiritual thing.

Fact Two: My obsession with tea had reached the point that, on this trip (I'm sitting in a hotel in Framingham right now) I made my own tea bags. That's right. I bought empty tea bags, got a special spoon for measuring tea into tea bags and then sat at home and filled the bags with my favourite loose tea. I then packed them carefully in a small container and worried that when we crossed the border I'd have to explain little white bags of "yeah right it's tea" to a border guard.

Fact Three: I have a sense of humour that was forged in grade three and has remained there. I find burping funny and fart jokes - they are the best. I remember saying to someone that I thought a burp was just an uppity fart and getting a look that was even funnier than the line. That being said, I don't like slapstick comedy and never laugh at it. I find words funnier than silly faces, silly walks and silly pratfalls.

Fact Four: Though Joe and I have yet to find a church home in Barrie, my faith is deeply important to me. I can't imagine, for me, a life without prayer, a life without faith. It's true that I'm often really critical of the sin/disability connection - and the 'let me heal you' kind of faith, but that's not faith that's prejudice. I'm talking about faith as a bedrock part of personality, and an almost unconcious set of practices throughout the day.

Fact Five: Sometimes I complain about getting tired of it, but I do like being on the road. Staying in hotels, eating restaurant food aren't the greatest, but meeting people, doing presentations, seeing how things are done in other places - that's so cool. I'm up and eager to go to Seven Hills where I will be presenting for the next three days. I'm doing a series of classes for their staff. What a kick. So I look forward to each and every trip and each and every training that I do.

Fact Six: I have always thought that the guys who work in the produce section of grocery stores are better looking that the guys who work in the meat department. Could someone explain that to me?

Well, now there was an entirely frivolous blog. I hope that you are no longer sad and that I am as well rounded in your mind as I am in real life. I had got up this morning wanting to write a blog about three families I saw yesterday on our 10 hour drive - but your plea caught me when I checked emails this morning. And, well, I live to serve.


Kei said...

Not frivolous at all~ I loved reading these and getting to know more about you!

I identify with your tea obsession, though I've yet to get my own little teabags to bring my own. I just discovered some great varieties from tetley that serve me in a pinch!

Have a great day!

Anonymous said...

I completely agree with you observation of the men in grocery stores...and my opinion has nothing to do with the fact that for a brief period of time my son worked in the produce section!
Unfortunately, I can't tell you why. I think it is just one of those mysteries of life that we are not meant to know while still on this earth. The answer is out there, rest assured we will have it one day. Hahaha.


All 4 My Gals said...

I think it's interesting that anyone reading your writing could see you as anything other than well rounded.

I guess it's like people who think I'm obsessed w/t21. What if my obsession makes me happy? It's not the ONLY thing that makes me happy, but if I'm happy why aren't I then simply well rounded? Okay, maybe that didn't make a bit of sense to anyone's brain other than mine. :)

Shan said...

OH MY GOSH YOU ARE SO RIGHT ABOUT THAT. The produce guys are way better looking. It's not just the hair nets either.

I think the meat guys have to be, you know, butchers and stuff. I've never seen a meat department guy under the age of about 45 or 50. Maybe that's part of it - young energetic dudes get put in produce first because the job is easier and doesn't require any experience or formal training.

And young energetic dudes are often more eye-catching than their thick-necked, hair-net-wearing, meat-slicing counterparts. Call me shallow.

FridaWrites said...

I see your life as totally well-rounded. I completely envy the ability to cook without a recipe--I can only do that for basic foods. When I've tried to invent, the recipes have been food gone totally wrong.

The people in the meat department have to be really cold. That may deplete energy levels?

Anonymous said...

Well, I really enjoyed this post today! Sometimes, it's a great sidebar to learn new and funny things about a writer who is so passionate about topics on the more serious side of life.

You made me laugh over the fart giggles...jebus, our whole family, including Gabe, still chuckle over wind! :P

Ettina said...

I think you're plenty well-*rounded*. (silly pun)
Actually, that's a joke my dad often makes, then pats his belly.

Betsy said...

See...we did learn something cool about you today! Here we were thinking you were a vegetarian because its the hip thing to do - or because you were a big supporter of PETA or something with some great, deep meaning to it...

Well, you're busted now, buddy - we all know its the view in the produce aisle that converted you ;)

rickismom said...

You may not have meant for this blog to be about disability, but it is. You have shown that you are an individual, and there is much more to know about you besides where you work and that you use a wheelchair.
I am always vexed that people view my daughter soley as a being with Down s, rather than as a person and INDIVIDUAL in her own right.
I would like to suggest that all of us with blogs (those that are in some way connected to disability) post 6 things about ourselves (or our disabled child or student) that are unrelated to disability.
Problem is, I am posting this at the end of the day and no one is going to see it.

moplans said...

I wish so much that I could cook. I'm also very jealous of your teabags.
Good tea really is a wonderful thing.
Worth risking being frisked at the boarder.

Anonymous said...

I really like getting to know you better, Dave! More of these posts, if you have a day where you feel like taking a break from the great outreach you do through this blog. :)

Anonymous said...

Ok, for "fact three" - this is compliments of my ten year old. So a guy meets his girlfriend's parents for the first time at their house, but he really has to fart, so he decides to let it out a little at a time. He lets a little out. "Spot!" yells the mom to the dog. The guy is happy they are blaming the dog, so he lets a little more out. "Spot!" mom yells again. Feeling really secure, he lets a little more out. "Spot! Get away from that man before he poops on you!"

Nancy (joke from Samantha)

Anonymous said...

I loved this entry too Dave. I think it is great to post more personal things about yourself as well. You are more than an advocate and a person with a disability. You are many other things as well. We want to hear about those too.

I think it would be great if you did a blog like this once a month. :)

Joyful Fox said...

It's nice to get to know you better and a compliment to your character that you listen and are willing to oblige your readers.

I like your sense of humour. Saintly bars got a giggle or two from me.

Glad to be sharing the journey with you.