Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Accessible Fall Festivals and Upcoming Events

Autumn has arrived with refreshing cool temperatures and color changes in the landscape! Celebrate the season by attending an outdoor event! Here are several upcoming festivals and events in eastern Massachusetts and beyond that feature good accessibility. If you know of others, please share!

Saturday, September 29

Blue Hill Weather Observatory Open House & Kite Festival 10:00am –4:00pm

Things are looking up atop Great Blue Hill at Blue Hills State Reservation just outside Boston! Enjoy the amazing view, fascinating history and fun activities at the oldest continually operating Weather Observatory in the country. Join us for an open house and fun festival for all ages. Free admission to events; donation for some activities. Rain or shine. For details and parking info, call 617- 696-0562, especially if you need accessible parking as spots are limited at the top. Learn more at People can bring their own kites or they can buy them from the gift shop.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Recreating Oneself Via Recreation - Posie's Story

I met Posie Mansfield at our horseback riding program last month and was amazed by her end-of-the-summer adventures. Within the week she had been kayaking, surfing and horseback riding, and was aglow with stories of her recent outings. Embracing recreation has clearly helped her transform her life in a positive direction after suffering two major losses. I was delighted when she agreed to share her story and I hope she will inspire others to find new ways to enjoy life. Thanks for your Guest Post Posie and for all you do to help others find their way!

In late December of 2010, I developed a serious and near-fatal staph infection in my left knee, the same knee that had a total knee replacement in May of that same year. My doctor tried IV antibiotics, but there came a time when it became a choice between losing my life or losing my leg. There really wasn't much of a choice. My children and I met with my surgeon, and on January 5, 2011, they amputated my left leg above the knee. Just a month earlier, in late November, my husband of 46 years died suddenly and tragically from a massive heart attack. I thought my life was over. Losing him left me with my heart broken and my life forever changed.

Instead of seeing the loss of my leg as another tragedy, I decided to see it as an opportunity, a chance to start a new chapter, to rewrite my future and travel a new journey. Never having chosen this path or surely never expecting it, I had to make a decision to do one of two things. I could either retreat into myself, sit alone for the rest of my life, or pull myself up, head held high looking ahead, not back, and push myself to take on my life's challenges with as much strength, dignity and grace that I could muster. Quitting was never an option.

Since losing my leg, I am now stronger, healthier and more active physically than I ever dreamed I could or would be. I miss my husband every day, but I have channeled that emotion by trying new adventures to honor his memory, taking on challenges like sailing, kayaking, rock wall climbing, skiing, horseback riding, skydiving and surfing. I have discovered a whole new world of adventures available to me through many organizations like Spaulding Rehab, DCR, Waypoint Adventures, New England Disabled Sports and more.