Being that today is the first official day of fall, I thought I would say good bye to summer with a story about about a staple of summer wear, flip-flops.  My husband and I recently celebrated our anniversary.  We were married at a winery in the Finger Lakes Region in Upstate New York.  We celebrate our anniversary by packing a picnic, visiting some wineries for tastings, and spending the night at the inn where we were married.  Wine is one of our hobbies.  We love just visiting the various wineries and trying something new.   Let me issue a disclaimer, though.  We only do sweet, white wines.  If there was only red wine, neither of us would be wine drinkers.  I can hear all you red wine lovers groaning and calling us nothing more than sophisticated grape juice drinkers!

Onto the flip-flops…..I love to wear them in the summer and actually try to wear them well into October.  I rather be barefoot, but when I need shoes, flip-flops are the next best thing.  So I of course had them on while we were at the wineries.  By the way, in case your wondering, flip-flops do not give me the best support and I often have to be very focused on my steps so that I don’t trip while wearing them.  Some people may not think this is wise, given my affected mobility.  But I want to wear flip-flops, so I have taught myself over the years – and through some falls – how to walk in them.  I do not feel the same way about four-inch heels, though. My life is just fine without heels!

Now the wine…while I love wine and those “fu-fu” drinks served with an umbrella, I’m not really crazy about the affects of alcohol.  I already have balance and motor issues, as well as affected speech, so when that gets intensified because of something I consumed, it’s not a terribly pleasant experience for me.  And remember, I’m really just a sophisticated grape juice drinker, so it does not take much.

That brings me to the late afternoon at a winery on our anniversary trip.  The winery was located on a big hill overlooking the lake.  I got up the hill with little problem, gravity was on my side.  The good news is the climb was worth it.   Scott (my husband) and I discovered we really liked this winery.  The bad news is after sampling their sweet reisling, I faced going down the hill.  Oh no.  Wearing flip-flops, realizing my coordination is already affected from the luscious samples, and not having the advantage of gravity equaled a slightly precarious situation.  I took a couple steps and then reached for Scott’s hand.  We laughed as I came to the realization of flip-flops, wine, and cerebral palsy not being the best combination for tackling a steep hill.

We made it down the hill with no injury.  I had a momentary thought of flip-flops not being the most practical apparel for me, but it didn’t really matter. What did was I was so happy that day.  It was another experience of feeling I am living my life, enjoying the days, being with those I love, not allowing cerebral palsy to become a barrier (even in footwear).  Sometimes we just need to reach out and hold a hand to get us through those moments when our disability throws us a curve ball in the path of living life.

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