This year, football season means that every Sunday I get to do whatever the hell I please. I am officially claiming Sunday as MY day, as I leave the wildebeests to their pig skins. I love it though. I love the passion in these Fener men as they yell and cheer at the hunky spandex clad athletes who punish each other, vying for possession of an oblong, bumpy brown ball. Pure passion, vibrant life force, American Football fans!
Yesterday we hung out with our friend Ke and met his beautiful girlfriend Chalet (here is her heartfelt blog). I had the crazy idea of going to the beach and renting sand wheelchairs and going for a stroll along the waters edge. It was a perfect day. Wispy white clouds streaked the blue sky. A delicate cool breeze brushed away the suns intensity. There were swarms of people, the beach is just so inviting.
It’s an interesting public social experiment having two young, fit dudes in wheelchairs accompanied by two smiling red heads. After fifteen months of living like this, Nick and I are accustomed to the stares, the comments, and the colorful interactions with strangers. We expect it. We always have wonderful experiences. We expect that too.
The kindness of strangers never ceases to amaze me. I am truly grateful any time a stranger offers to help me load Nick’s wheelchair in the car, even though I always decline. I offer an emphatic Thank You to anyone who holds a door, or steps aside to let us pass by. Nick goes out of his way to turn potentially awkward intimate moments with strangers into light hearted encounters. He loves to say hello to everyone he can, and never misses an opportunity to blurt out a good foot joke.
So yesterday, when Nick flipped over backward in the sand wheelchair, and I was unable to get him back up because I was laughing too hard (and he was on a slope), it was only natural that men came running from several nearby families to help out. It took three guys to get Nick right-side-up again, and one even insisted on helping me push him the rest of the way to the car, which wasn’t too far. No Feners were hurt in the making of this story, but I know we caused one hell of a scene.
Between falling over backward and just the general visual oddity of the four of us cruising along the sand in those funny looking chairs, I’m sure many people on that crowded beach were in awe of us. One man was brave enough to approach but Nick answered his question before he could even ask it, “Skydiving. It happened skydiving.” You see, we were in Oceanside, a bustling military town. I’m pretty sure the common assumption was they are veterans. I’m surprised more people didn’t come to say Thank You to them. It’s happened to both of them many times before.