To be sure you didn’t miss any of the ten most read Nuggets articles of 2015, I’ve listed them below. If you’re anything like me, a title isn’t enough to refresh your memory of articles already read. Included is a brief summary.
Pushing, shoving and angry crowds are a blind person’s nightmare. For this reason, I limit my serious shopping to that one special day each year—Black Friday.
I’m not being sarcastic and haven’t taken leave of my senses. I think Black Friday’s been given a bum wrap. So, I decided to share three joys of Black Friday to offer an alternative opinion.
Gliding the fingertips of my left hand over a large volume with complicated raised dots, I faced the shattering reality of blindness. I lived in a completely black world. Learning to read braille paralleled the difficulty I had acquiring facility with a new language. Even if I could speed up my snail’s pace reading with hours of practice, where would I find such books in Africa? For me, the question of how can totally blind people read? wouldn’t be answered by braille.
Before darkness enveloped my life twenty-four/seven, I had books open all over the house and office. Typically, I read several chapters in four or five books each day.
When total blindness entered my life, fear engulfed me. Even if the school rightly boasted the friendliest faculty in the world, the idea of living in an entirely unfamiliar environment–without sight, friends, or family–petrified me. How can I adapt without spending months in a blind school?
My brain and other senses functioned normally, so with the sighted assistance of competent colleagues, the jungle medical clinic hours remained the same. I navigated the darkness by using a scrolling mental diagram
At the age of forty-five, darkness suddenly enveloped my every waking moment. Since I lived and worked in a West African jungle village, assistance in independent living skills couldn’t begin until my return to the States. Had I known to find blind help under L in the phone book, I’d have received assistance nine years earlier.
For the first three years of blindness, I utilized improvised aids with the help of my mission colleagues. I unscrewed a short-handle from our mop to serve as my cane. Mostly, the tapping of the thick, round stick provided the noise I needed to ward off reptilian ground-slitherers.
Soon, a Sacramento friend sent the real-McCoy, which sprung to life at the opening of the padded envelope. Of course, I had no idea at all how to use the white cane properly. As it turned out, my ignorance of local nomenclature interfered with my search. I looked under B, not realizing I’d find blind help under L in the white pages.