We ventured to Waterfront Park on Lake Champlain. The sky was overcast, visibility poor ("You can't even see any mountains!"), temperature low and the snowflakes were by now tiny and greyish. They were mean looking. Over the Lake to the north was this funnel shaped cloud-wider than a tornado, actually more like a wall of cloud, coming down fast. You know the look of a cloud sweep? It was coming. We didn't care. We were tickled to find the little hairpin ramp into the park from the street and headed for the north end. It's always interesting to see what is accessible to the handicapped and what isn't. We trundled over the tracks and began to notice that we were now in a freezing cold cloud of whipping wind. Snowflakes aplenty. Our glee was only slightly dampened but I did worry that the wind would overturn Chico and his chair. I held tightly to the handles and walked fast until we got to the photo op for "Chico and the Lake" which really doesn't do the treachery justice.
Once back at the Leahy Echo Center we went to see if there was room in The Skinny Pancake for a wheelchair rider. It looked like there wasn't as we peered inside giving way to all kinds of wind and snowflakes. As we shut the door and turned to leave this guy named Alex came out and assured us that there was room for a wheelchair. There surely was! Chico's first meal in a restaurant in ninety nine or more days was a big success. He had Eggs Benedict and a maple crepe dessert. Unusually fervant appetite.
The weather had cleared when we left. We went for another lap around the park and had a look out toward Juniper Island-I recently learned its name.
When we got home we sorted out a few things and then I headed off to Michael Chorney's fiftieth birthday celebration in Montpelier. Chico stayed home with his disappointment and stiff upper lip. He assured me that this was an event not to be missed, and that I would hear great music. Michael's musical genius was reviewed through a retrospective of twelve bands who came together for the event. It was amazing. I felt such delight listening to the music and marveling at the passage of time. (We watched this movie about Ram Das post stroke the night before; it kind of framed my experience.) Michael played intermittently throughout the evening. I also saw all kinds of great people that I haven't seen in awhile. Thank you Anais, Rob, Beth, Mark, other organizers and all you musicians. That was an Event.
Today Katy, our neice who lives in DC, came for a nice long visit. She wanted to see all of Chico's progress, hear his story. We got to learn about her life this year, her classes, the work she is doing with Globe Med (one aspect of which will take her to work in Rwanda next summer) and her plans for the next Rugby season (nationally ranked top ten team)! She has a lot going on. Chico, "I like how she is still herself." She is open, intelligent, inquisitive, vivacious, sincere= lovely.