About Me

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My passion is helping others defend themselves and their families. I am an NRA Certified pistol instructor, a NRA Chief Range Safety Officer, leader of TWAW Shooting Chapters - North Cincinnati, and the state leader of TWAW Shooting Chapters - Ohio. I also have a heart for the Lakota people and lead mission teams to the Pine Ridge Reservation each year, am founder and director of Backpacks For Pine Ridge,, and do various volunteer work in my own community. My greatest joy is being a grandma and hanging out with my husband of 30+ years.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Dancing With the Clients

I am just home from an 18 hour shift. Tonight I go back for another 18 hour shift, then I'm going to crash and celebrate being out of there for the week.

Yesterday afternoon when the girls got home from the MRDD workshop they attend, I was informed that there was a dance at the MRDD workshop that evening and I was supposed to take them. I wish someone had given me a head's up about it so I could have been a bit more mentally prepared. Not that I mind dances, the MRDD dances are a blast; but it is hard to take Ms Cranky anywhere in her wheelchair. I used to think I appreciated what handicapped people went through until I started working with Ms Cranky. I had NO IDEA. EVERYTHING is a hassle.

So I made dinner for them and then we were off to the dance. What a trip!

Those dances are both sweet and hilarious. You see everything there. And I do mean everything. Some of them, including the 21 year-old drama queen that I take care of, think they are really sexy and when they shake their groove thing it's both hilarious and heartwarming. It's great to see someone who the world generally looks down on feeling so confident.

A former roommate of Ms Cranky was there who I used to take care of. She squealed when she saw me and gave me a hug that will probably last me a while. Never mind that she was squealing and spitting in my ear as she hugged me. The only other soul that greets me that enthusiastically is Taser.

Then there are the sweet ones. The young girl in the wheelchair who can't speak. She was all gussied up with her white pantyhose, white patent shoes, and her navy and white polka dot dress. Her boyfriend stood behind her wheelchair and danced as he swung her chair back and forth so she could enjoy the dance too. I don't think he ever left her side the entire evening.

There was another young couple who were fun to watch. He was all dressed up in a suit and tie and it was obvious he felt proud. When they slow danced together their smiles were worth a picture. The DJ cranked up Chubby Checker's "The Twist" and one of the older men there twisted like nothing I've ever seen. I really don't think I've ever seen a behind move that fast before.

There was also a very large older man who did his own type of dance complete with a small child's cowboy hat sitting on top of his head. Another dances in such a way that he looked like a puppet with his foot attached to some string that was tied to his hands. With every move of his hands, his leg would lift. I'm not sure what to call that. Then at times he would break out of that and play the air guitar. So many different people but all dancing like nobody was watching. That's the thing that is so sweet. Not one of the cares what anybody else thinks. They just go do their thing. It may some sort of contorted dance that no one has ever seen before or it may be the slick steps of the latest dance craze, but no one seems to care. When they dance, they are all great dancers.

Funny, the only people on the sidelines looking self-conscious were the staff - the so called "normal" people.

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