Sunday, August 15, 2010

Shoppin' with Barnabas Friends!

I skipped blogging last night, as I was wiped and just wanted to crash. So, today I wanted to post about my shopping experience with the girls.

I am not typically a "go to the mall and shop" girl. I am a gal that likes to go to a store, find what I need, and leave. However, I will do the mall thing if I have friends to go with and hang out. That's what I did yesterday.

Kortney, who was one of our campers, wanted to go to Oak Park Mall. So, I went and picked up Kortney (Her grandmother lives in the same neighborhood I do!) and we headed to Oak Park. After various Detours and Traffic Jams, we made it! At the mall we met Lauren and Carmen! It was SO MUCH FUN to be with my Camp Friends again!

We had a lot of fun going through several stores and watching Kortney shop! I also enjoyed using my sign language skills from time to time to communicate with Kortney. She is such a sweet young lady, and she makes me smile all the time!

Perhaps the thing that I didn't expect to learn about was shopping in a wheelchair. Carmen is wheelchair-bound, so I had never really thought about steps versus ramps at a mall! I mean, why would I? I can walk on both steps and ramps, so it has never really mattered to me! For Carmen though, it is an obvious thing that she has to think about. And, once we started walking around the mall, I was a little perplexed. The ramps and steps on the upper level of the mall alternate between the two sides of the mall. Meaning, on one side there are steps, then a ramp a little while later, and then steps, and then a ramp. It's weird. I agreed with Carmen's comment that they should have made one side steps and one side ramps. I mean, she could make it all the way down the hall, it was just more of an obstacle course than I thought it should be. Of course, we laughed about it, saying we got the scenic tour of the mall, but it still left me scratching my head.

The other thing that amazed me about Carmen was that she can text on her cell phone. Let me remind you, God didn't give her arms or hands! So, she used a pointer thingy in her mouth to text! It blew me away! Of course, to Carmen it's not a big deal, it's just what she does. I just sat there thinking that Carmen is probably the most amazing person that I know.

I was also left with one other thought. I have ALWAYS taken my arms and hands for granted. After shopping, we ate dinner at the Food Court. I got pizza (shocker!) and Kortney and Carmen got Sonic. The girls came back over with their food, and I opened up Carmen's Sandwich. Then I thought, "Crud, I didn't ask her if it's okay to help her." So, I asked and she grinned and said it was fine. I felt so honored to get to help her! I had never thought much about getting food and eating it with my hands. For Carmen, she has to have someone help her to eat. I LOVED helping her! She went on to share with me that she has had friends in the past who really struggled with that, and refused to help her. She also said that not-so-kind things were said to her as she explained that she needed help with food. That absolutely broke my heart! Meanwhile, I thought it was neat to get to help her! That was cool!

Our next outing is going to be eating at Zio's and seeing a movie! I can't wait. Of course, we haven't chosen a date yet, what with school starting and all, but I'm sure it will be as soon as possible!

After I dropped Kortney off at home yesterday, I was left thinking what amazing friends God has blessed me with! I am one blessed gal!


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