Thursday, September 06, 2007

Just a minute

Sahara, Amy, Shannon, and their collection of critters are all doing well...very well. And next week, with the Jewish New Year, we may have more to tell...

Don't you LOVE a good mystery?

Now that I've got you all interested, I'm going to lecture, beg, and tap dance for a moment so that all you soldiers in Army Aldridge can conquer a problem in your part of the world. As you know, Sahara uses a wheelchair (a very funky red one!) to get around her world. Her parents have handicapped parking permits for when they're driving her to important places like Target. Or the mall. Those up-front, wider spaces not only make it easier to take people with disabilities where they want to go, they often make it possible.

Unfortunately, in this season of busy-busy back-to-school, some people without permits feel justified in parking in those spots, because they have a million excuses: I have the kids! It was only a minute! There's no one handicapped who needs them! There was no other parking!

None of those are valid. I got into a virtual shouting match with someone yesterday who gave all those excuses because her car was towed and she had to pay a $108 ticket, and she lost her cool in front of her kids, screaming and cursing at the store and the tow truck driver.

To my shock, many people defended her reaction. I tried being nice and asking her to imagine what it would be like to not only have all those excuses, but be in a wheelchair, or on crutches, or unable to walk far... and now not be able to go to the store at all.

She didn't get it, and that makes me mad, and sad. My old boss used to tell me "You can't get into a pissing battle with a skunk." I guess so... but I can gently remind the world that doing the right thing can remove so many obstacles for those of us who have challenges.

So today and always--even if it's raining or icy or there are 50 spots for people with disabilities and you're going to have to walk 300 feet with 12 kids, all of whom are hungry and have 67-item school supply lists and no shoes--don't park in the accessible spots without the permit. Please.