The blind Post classified news
August edition 2020
The Blind Post classified news
From and for the blind and visually impaired.
August edition 2020
Current subscribers to date: 1,205
Contents for this month’s issue:
This month’s feature- Worship Unlimited.
From the editor, by Lori Motis.
New and used.
Wanted, to trade, or to give away.
Services and training.
Business and employment opportunities.
This month’s articles:
Living with low vision- When Frustrations Abound by Donna Williams.
Tips and tidbits from the Food Lady- Two products and a recipe.
Uplift, inspirational—A DANGEROUS, HATEFUL, UNFORGIVING, ROGUE! by Ruth
Driving Miss Donna- “Amazon Day Times Two” By Lynn Anderson.
Blind people talking- My Summer on a Greyhound Bus (Part 2) By Donna Kimball.
Other important info:
How to post and pay for an ad or announcement,
2020 word counts and costs.
What can you post to the Blind Post?
Subscriptions to the Blind Post.
This month’s feature.!
Worshipping Jesus in all areas of our lives.
My name is Alex Banwell, and I am a resident of the UK. I have known the Lord Jesus as my personal Saviour, Lord, and closest friend since my earliest childhood, and following him is the most wonderful and exciting part of my life.
I began broadcasting a weekly Christian radio show called Worship Unlimited in 2011, and it can still be heard on various internet radio stations at different
days and times.
However, the website is about far more than a radio show, because I believe we can worship the Lord in every area of our lives, and through our varied interests. So, you will find different things to enjoy published 6 out of 7 days of every week. Even the Lord rested on the seventh day, so I guess
I will too.
On Mondays, I will share a list of useful links to podcasts and encouraging teaching you might enjoy during the week ahead.
Tuesday is our devotional day. Sometimes, it will be written by me, but watch out for some brilliant guest posts from some of my closest friends. Since
this page has been created as a blog, please feel free to interact and comment on what you read.
Wednesday is all about worship. I’ll share a link to a Christian song for you to enjoy, plus chat about the lyrics, and what they mean to me.
Thursday is for bookworms. If, like me, you enjoy fiction and non-fiction, you’ll look forward to my weekly review of a Christian book.
Thursday Bookworm’s Corner
Then, since we all have to take care of our bodies as well as our souls, on Friday, we’ll share a recipe to impress families and friends over the weekend
with our culinary skills!
Friday Food For Thought
Finally, Saturday will be the day I share the link from which you can stream my weekly radio program.
Please feel free to explore, ,comment, stop by regularly for the daily updates, and join in the chatter amongst the Worship Unlimited family.
Wishing you every blessing, and much fun as you explore the website.
ABOUT THE RADIO SHOW
Along with my co-host Lou Beard, I will bring you 3 hours of Christian music from all genres, interspersed with thoughts on the lyrics, Biblical meditations,
friendly chatter and lots of laughter, song requests from listeners, and prayer requests.
When And How Can I Listen?
Worship Unlimited airs for 3 hours, and can be heard live every Wednesday, at 2 PM EST, which is 7 PM for listeners in the UK, by going to the following
ACB radio Interactive Cafe
There are also replays on Sundays as follows:
1 AM EST (6 AM UK) on: The Global Voice
2 AM EST (7 AM UK) on: Phoenix Radio 1208
12 PM EST (5 PM UK), on: Praise Radio
3 PM EST (8 PM UK) on: MCBVI Radio
4 PM EST (9 PM UK) on: The Listen Factor
From the editor:
Please forgive me here, I will be venting a bit:
Well here we are within that last five months of 2020. The rest of the year does not appear to get any easier either. Life is not what we are used to by
any stretch of the imagination. I sure hope 2021 is better. What we thought was only going to be 15 days to stop the spread to extending it to 30 more
days. Well that was over two months ago.
Up here in Idaho we are at the highest level of confirmed cases of the virus and have had more deaths. My county is one of the hot spots.
Mandatory masks when in public. Well, I am not in the public much except for the few times I was able to take the senior bus to Walmart and Trader Joes.
Also, for shopping with my sister and vet and doctor appointments. I cannot stand wearing those masks., but I will do it, if I have to, I guess.
As a totally blind person, I am finding this quite depressing. I have much to be thankful for though. I have a nice home that I share with my husband who
is also blind. I enjoy reading lots of books and listening to many YouTube videos. I have enjoyed listening to Disney movies with description using the
Disney plus app on my phone. As far as exercise goes, well I have not done well in that area. Of course, my guide dog Stan has had his little health issues.
The most recent was a broken tooth that had to be surgically extracted and dental cleaning, of which the teeth were great so that just did the cleaning
while he was having his tooth removed.
He reacted to the meds and anesthesia and his digestive track went crazy. That in itself was a messy challenge for me, but thanks to a wonderful sister
down the street, I was able to feel less stressed over my inability to keep the yard spotless, if you know what I mean.
Also, I got a wonderful digestive kit from the vet to calm his system down. I know many of you that have guide dogs, have probably been through this type
I do not do well in the heat. Neither does my husband or my dog. We have had some high temperatures lately, well since the beginning of July, with only
a few days of slightly cooler days sprinkled in. I am looking forward to September. I am very thankful for air conditioning, but do not like to turn it
on until we really need to.
I know I am rambling, so I want to share a few things concerning the news.
First one is, when I do not have a sponsor, I will be featuring a blind person’s website or radio show or other hobby or business that I personally find
interesting and think you would enjoy too.
Secondly, each month there will be a few emails from subscribers that pay for an “Extra Extra” notice that is time sensitive and cannot wait for the next
Thirdly, I want to encourage anyone that has a story concerning themselves with any topic about yourself and how you as a blind person deal with this virus
or a comical story or about your service dog or travel or cooking or anything. I want to be able to share how others are getting through this year.
Also, as far as the website is concerned. I am still working on archives and how best to arrange them. Also, the news is uploaded and sometimes it may
take me a while to create the html for the headings, emails, and websites. I am still dealing with several health concerns involving my hands, back and
chronic pain, and now it seems I have peripheral neuropathy happening in my feet and legs.
These are just physical complaints, and I am really doing well and rejoicing for each day I have.
This month we have some excellent notices and articles. I hope you will share them with others.
Thank you for letting me share my frustrations. Hey, did you know that September is the Blind Post’s tenth anniversary? Wow, it is hard to believe I am
still publishing this news. I could not do it without all of you.
God Bless you all,
Lori AKA Food Lady
Publisher & editor of the Blind Post classified news.
A great place to share and sell!
Have you ever wanted to post a time sensitive announcement or several notices before the next month’s Blind Post classified news edition?
Now you can. If you have ads or announcements that are time sensitive, or just have several items, then you can include them in a special Blind Post Extra
Extra edition. The word count costs are the same as the monthly news, but not free notices. This works best when you might have more than one item for
sale, notice for an event, or a special class or training that is of interest to the blind and low vision community.
It will go out to all Blind Post subscribers within one day of approval.
your submissions and I will let you know if it is suitable and what the cost is.
New and used:
Beautifully Personalized On the Go Tumblers, from Out West Gifts
Hi, it’s Jenn with Out West Gifts and I'm a new maker on Etsy! I am excited to tell you about my awesome, reusable tumblers!
Etsy is an American e-commerce website focused on handmade or vintage items and craft supplies. All my creating happens in a tiny apartment that I share
with my fiancé and two dogs in Northern California.
I’m currently personalizing really cool, high grade, on-the-go drinking cups. These are perfect for a walk on the beach, a road trip, a fun night out or,
as a gift for your bestie. Honestly, you can take them anywhere! You have a choice of personalizing the tumbler with either your name or a themed design
in various areas around the cup. You will also have the opportunity to select your font style and color.
I’m proud to offer these tumblers:
- 16oz, tall skinny tumbler, matte finish, in a variety of pastel colors and black, with matching lid & straw
- 16oz, classic style tumbler, matte finish, in a variety of pastel colors and black, with matching lid & straw
- 16oz, tall skinny clear tumbler, lid & straw in various colors
- 20oz, tall skinny tumbler, stainless-steel, satin finish, in white, with clear lid and stainless-steel straw
*Due to the high quality vinyl personalization, these cups are hand wash only.
My goal is simple - make cool things for fun people!
The brand New Scentsy Fall/Winter Catalog and all of its amazing fragrances and products are now available.
Seasonal fragrances which include notes like: apple, cinnamon, cranberry, peppermint, pine and pumpkin.
Contact Nini Urschel, Independent Scentsy Consultant, 916-206–151 (cell),
Cordoba classical acoustic/electric guitar with gator TSA hard case,
Ibanez AZ2402 Prestige electric guitar with hard case, G and L bass
guitar with hard case, and Sony active noise canceling true wireless
earbuds with voice prompts and charging case.
for more info, please e-mail:
Wanted, to trade or give away:
Rich De Steno has created a free talking draw poker game for Windows Computers.
It simulates the individual poker machines found in just about all casinos.??
If you want a free copy, send a request to the following email address
and he will send you a download link:
Mary Kay zoom party
I am a Mary Kay distributor and I am trying to increase my business. Therefore, I am asking everyone to please allow me to host a zoom party with you.
You only need 5 people and you will receive a free gift. If interested call 917-696-8115 Thanks for your help in advance.
Hello, I'm an Independent Sales Rep for Avon.
To try some of the wonderful products Avon has visit.
Join me every Sunday for "Peace In The Midst Of pieces,"
You can tune in Sunday mornings at 6:00 Eastern time at
You can hear the same show replayed at 1:00 Sunday afternoon Eastern time at:
or at 7:00 Sunday evenings Eastern time at:
I hope you will allow me to share some of your worship time with you each Sunday.
Russ and Zoe
Hi, Have you ever considered having the daily Mass homilies as a podcast.
You can get them from the EWTN website and they have a podcast
and it is also on youtube. However, if the customer is on youtube they must hear the Mass in its entirity to hear the homily for that day.
Eyes on success shows and podcasts:
2028 The Case For and Against Service Animals (July 8, 2020)
There was a time that a “service animal” was a trained and certified guide dog for the blind. Now it seems that service animals are everywhere and the
rules of acceptance have become considerably relaxed. Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with Deni Elliott, a blind professor of Media Ethics, about what
has changed, the implications, and what we can do about it.
2032 Navigating Health Care (Aug. 5, 2020)
Navigating the ins and outs of the health care system can be a confusing and daunting task even if one is sighted. But what if you’re not? Hosts Nancy
and Peter Torpey talk with Deborah Kendrick about her book “Navigating Health Care: When All They Can See is That You Can’t” which offers useful suggestions
and strategies when you might most need them.
to find a full, searchable archive of nearly 500 episodes on nearly any topic or subscribe to the podcast if you don’t want to miss an episode!
You can listen on your Amazon or Google smart home device by saying “play Eyes On Success podcast”.
Services and training.
The time has come to decide which of our free TTJ courses you would like to take during the Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 Training Seasons.
Registration will officially open this Friday, August 14, and registrations will be handled online via
To help you get ready, we are now announcing exact course dates and schedules for the entire season below:
All free courses will take place on Mondays and Wednesdays from 3PM to 5PM Eastern. That's 2PM Central, 1PM Mountain, and 12 Noon Pacific Time. Courses
are open to everyone and are completely free, though first priority will be given to new students.
Course 1: Connected Digital Life Mini Courses (See Below)
Mini Course 1: All About Apple IDs and iCloud:
Monday September 14, and Wednesday September 16
Mini Course Continued: An Introduction to Apple Services - Apple Music, Apple News Plus, Apple TV Plus, and More:
September 21 and 23
Mini Course 2: Cord Cutting and TV Streaming:
September 28 and 30
Mini Course 3: Home Automation and Home Security:
Mini Course 4: Staying Safe In the Digital World:
Course 2: Learning Voiceover In and Out - 2020 iOS Edition:
Every Monday and Wednesday from Monday October 12 through Wednesday December 23, 2020
Course 3: A Month With the Mac, All About Mac OS and Voiceover:
Begins Monday January 4 and ends Wednesday January 27, 2021
Course 4: Mini Course Series (See Below):
All About HomePod:
Monday February 1, 2021
An Introduction to AppleTV:
Wednesday February 3, 2021
Intro to Apple Watch:
February 8 and 10, 2021
Apple Pay, Apple Card, Best Financial Practices, and More
February 15, 2021
See the Possibilities - Why Use an iPad/What to Buy (No Registration Needed):
Wednesday February 17, 2021
iPad For All Computing - 2021 Edition:
Every Monday and Wednesday, beginning Monday March 1, concludes Wednesday May 26, with possible rap up session on Friday, May 28, 2021
Our incredible courses are extremely limited, so don't wait. For questions, please use iMessage or email to get in touch with us at
Business and employment opportunities:
Living with low vision
When Frustrations Abound
By Donna Williams
There has been so much going on in recent months that it is easy enough to become overwhelmed. First the pandemic, then the much needed outcry for social
justice, and finally the events of last Tuesday when the unpronounceable storm came to visit the East coast. I say the storm has an unpronounceable name
because I heard so many different news and weather casters attempt to say the name differently. I’m just going to take a page out of my best friend’s
book and call it that unpronounceable storm.
Prior to its arrival I had already begun to feel frustrated. Although I am out and about a little more I still need and want to take precautions in order
to avoid getting sick. I don’t go out any more then I have to so I end up doing the same things over and over again it seems. I love reading a good book
or being on my computer but there are times that I truly hate looking around and seeing the same old rooms.
A few months ago I rearranged my kitchen when
I put up the shelves that replaced my cabinet and there aren’t too many ways to make changes there. The same is true for the bathroom. The problem I
had to solve was in the living room and bedroom. In both places I have to stand on furniture to open windows. In the bedroom it’s my bed and in the living
room it’s my couch.
This worked ok when I was in my 30’s and 40’s. Not so much now that I’m in my mid 50’s.
You might think to yourself well, move the furniture. It isn’t that simple. Since I’m short I still need something there to stand on. If not the couch
then what? My bedroom is long from front to back and narrow from side to side so under the window is where the bed fits best. Surprisingly this room
was easier to tackle then the living room. I ended up putting a small hassock between the bed and nightstand. I can step on this unlock and pull the window
open. However before I do that I need to walk around the other side of my bed and raise the blinds. When I used to stand on my bed I’d be able to do
it all at the same time. However now taking this extra step is worth it in order to reduce my chances of falling.
The living room still baffled me. I kind of liked the way it was arranged and decided that if I were to get out more the furniture placement wouldn’t
bother me so much. As a result I put off moving things around there. That is until the last nice day we had. In spring and summer I love opening my windows
whenever the weather is not hot and humid. This particular day was destined to be a nice one. Early morning sun shone on my blinds and I heard there
was a refreshing breeze outside. I stepped up on my couch as I’ve done so many times before and was unlocking the window when I felt my lower leg start
to give way. The other one began to shake and I almost toppled. I grabbed the windowsill in a hurry and saved myself from taking a massive tumble. I
then leaned all my weight on the back of the couch and quickly finished what I was doing. At the end of the day I dreaded climbing back up there but knew
I had to since it was supposed to get more humid the next day and I’d want my air-conditioner.
Speaking of which that is another summertime challenge for me. I have a remote so I can just push the on button and all should be well. Not quite. This
unit has an energy save button on it that can not be successfully accessed by a blind person via the remote. This means I need to stand up on something
to reach it every time I turn it on. Again my very soft couch was the option. Unfortunately because I’m short I need to stand on the very edge and stretch
to reach that stupid button. It’s a worse position then the one I’m in when attempting to open the window. This issue was easier to resolve. I brought
in one of my kitchen chairs and parked it under the air conditioner until summer ends.
Now back to that horrible storm. The night before it was due to arrive I was pondering how to make changes in my living room. I knew I couldn’t put it
off any longer. When I went to sleep I kept thinking about my dilemma. At 4:30 AM I was rudely disturbed by loud thunder. I don’t mind telling you I
was scared. I knew I wouldn’t sleep again for a while so I proceeded to start my day. As the storm raged outside I began to come to a decision as to
how I wanted my living room furniture to be arranged. I had the TV on with the news playing in the background. Suddenly my phone sounded that harsh alarm
indicating an emergency alert. I stopped what I was doing and checked it out. I thought it would say something like we were under a flood warning but
instead it said we were expecting a tornado within the next 2 hours. Here I was with furniture all over the place with barely room to move between and
suddenly there were more important things to do then moving my room around. I began shoving things out of the way in order to make a clear path to my
hallway which is where I’d need to go in an extreme hurry should this tornado actually come our way. I grabbed my water bottle, meds, flashlight, and
battery operated radio which I hurriedly took to my bathroom. I then put my cell phone in my pocket and continued the task I’d already started. I figured
2 hours was a long time to just sit and wait. I also knew the distraction would help me feel less fearful. The newscasters were still on the air yammering
on about where this particular tornado was and for a while I was able to continue what I was doing. When I heard that this cell had entered the county
I live in, it was moving very quickly, and that there was still rotation showing I knew it was time to run. I turned off the TV, shoved more stuff out
of my way, and ran into my bathroom shutting the door behind me. I continued praying as I turned on my radio. Thankfully I didn’t have long to wait.
When I’d been in the bathroom for around 10 minutes I learned that the tornado warning was cancelled. This was about 8:30 in the morning. However the
weatherman said it wasn’t over. Our area was under a tornado watch for another 7 and a half hours.
I emerged from my bathroom and continued what I was doing before I took shelter away from windows and when I was done putting everything in its new place
I was satisfied.
Now my window opening problem is solved and I’m enjoying the change of scene. My boredom and frustration over all that’s going on in this world has been
relieved by something so unexpected. It has helped me refocus and appreciate everything I have even when it all seems the same.
I’d love sharing in your experiences of living with low vision. Feel free to write me at:
Tips and tidbits from the Food Lady
Hey there readers,
this month I am sharing with you an air fryer recipe and two products that you will need for this recipe. Many of you already own them. If you have an
appliance or kitchen device that you enjoy using and would like to share, please email me at email@example.com
COSORI Smart WiFi Air Fryer 5.8QT
(100 Recipes), Digital Touchscreen with 11 Cooking Presets for Air Frying, Roasting & Keep Warm ,Preheat & Shake Remind,
Works with Alexa & Google Assistant,1700W
Food Lady and Hungry use this air fryer several times a week and love it! The app is accessible, and we have it programmed to use with our Alexa. We named
our unit "Bob" from the movie "What about Bob?" and then Hungry just asks the lady device to start "Bob" and she asks "at what temperature?" and then he
usually says" at 400 degrees for ten minutes: and she says “Dot" which we have not figured out why she says that. The air fryer immediately starts and
stops when the ten minutes is up. Food Lady has used the iPhone VeSync app successfully as well.
We have owned our unit since December 2019, and it is still working great!
• The COSORI Smart WiFi has arrived on the Kitchen scene! The first air fryer can now be controlled and monitored with your mobile devices. Special improved
ergonomic angled display provides better viewing, without bending over. Slimmer footprint fit on your countertop and save your space. With the Smart WiFi
COSORI is taking your meal preparation to new levels of convenience
• WiFi & Alexa & Google Assistant Enabled: Remotely control your fryer through the VeSync app or through voice commands with Alexa or Google Assistant.
Enjoy control from anywhere to schedule, adjust, and monitor the progress of your meals. Get a head start on dinner by scheduling cook times up to 4 hours
• Over 100 Recipes: Find over 100 original pre-programmed recipes in the VeSync app to get you started, with new recipes being added weekly. Find even
more recipes from Cosori users themselves in our online community
• Large Dishwasher-Safe Basket: Our 5.8-qt square basket can fit an entire 6 lb rotisserie chicken or make enough food for 3–5 people. The nonstick basket
is removable and dishwasher safe, made with PFOA-free and BPA-free basket materials. Product Dimension: 11. 8*11. 8*12. 6 in; Basket Dimension: 9*9*3.75
• Want to eat healthy, or give the gift of healthier eating? Give the gift of 85% less oil, with fewer “deep-fried” odors lingering in the kitchen. Enjoy
the same delicious, crispy textures and taste as traditionally fried food
• Easy to Use: Cook your favorites using 11 built-in, one-touch presets: Steak, Poultry, Seafood, Shrimp, Bacon, Frozen Foods, French Fries, Vegetables,
Root Vegetables, Bread, Desserts, and a Preheat option. Uses presets manually, or pick a recipe in the app and the settings will automatically adjust
• Cook Faster: Cook your meals in less time than it would take in a conventional oven, but with crispier and tastier results. Constructed with safety in
mind, the air fryer is ETL listed and FDA compliant with Automatic Shutoff and Overheat Protection features. The cool-touch handle and button guard prevent
accidental detachment and touching of hot surfaces. The original air fryer accessory set is also available for use with this fryer: just search for “C158-6AC”
• Requirements: This smart air fryer requires a 2.4GHz WiFi network to operate with the VeSync app. The fryer can only be used with a voltage of AC 120V,
60Hz, which only applies in the US and Canada
Go to amazon.com or smile.amazon.com if you are interested in supporting a charity. The charity we support is Global Cane Outreach.
Air fryer salmon
A super simple recipe
Perfectly cooked salmon which is a little crispy on the outside and moist on the inside.
Get two fillets of a wild caught salmon.
If your salmon is frozen, either thaw it in the refrigerator overnight or place the salmon packets in a bowl of cool water for about ten minutes or until
Remove the thawed salmon fillets from their packaging and place them skin side down in a glass dish and pat dry with paper towels.
Brush each of the fillets with a little bit of olive oil.
About a half of a teaspoon or so for each fillet.
Sprinkle the fillets with just a bit of sea salt, garlic powder, and a little bit of ground black pepper.
Note: Optional to spray your basket with some cooking oil, avocado or olive or other kinds.
Take the salmon fillets from the dish and place them in the basket of your air fryer.
Note: Some air fryers need to preheat at 380 to 400 degrees for five minutes prior to putting the salmon
in the basket.
That is what Food Lady did.
After you have preheated your air fryer, you can cook the salmon for about 7 minutes at 385 or 400 degrees.
You can check them at six minutes to see how cooked or crispy they are.
This is easy with most air fryers to just pull the basket drawer out and then push back in and the cooking will continue from where it left off.
You can use an instant read thermometer to check the temperature done at 145 degrees.
When done you can serve them with a little bit of fresh lemon.
ThermoWorks RT8400 Digital Talking Thermometer
Food Lady and many other blind cooks recommend this thermometer.
• Press the button, it says the temperature!
• Great for the sight-impaired or multi-taskers
• Use it when you cannot read the display
• Super-Fast reduced tip reads in about 5-6 seconds
• Big LCD digits
• Hanging clip
• 0.1 degree resolution
• °C/°F setting on back
• Range: -58 to 572°F (-50 to 300°C)
• Designed in Utah by ThermoWorks
The Digital Talking Thermometer is not a novelty! This digital pocket thermometer is a serious measurement tool that reads temperature with extreme speed
and speaks the temperature readings at the touch of its single large button.
Reg price is $39.00
, but they are having a 15% off site wide sale currently.
If anyone is interested in the review that was provided by one of our subscribers, over a year ago, let me know.
Uplift, inspirational articles from Ruth
A DANGEROUS, HATEFUL, UNFORGIVING, ROGUE!
Summary: The Covid-19 Virus is on the mind and the lips of everyone. If it could be classified as an entity it would qualify as a Monster, without feeling
and rending others to also have no compassion for death of life. Many think that it can not be stopped; but it can with sacrifice from all.
There is a new Monster in the world, not in the town, but the world. It has every person deceived-hoaxed, and not in the same manner we have previously
been acquainted. This monster is
Stealthy, consumes, and destroys. He has no favorites; but pretends to cooperate with ignorant Good Time Worshipers. Those who can not for even a moment
keep a distance between themselves and others whom they have appointed an expected date of disposal. Those who must see their victim’s smile just one time
more, and feel that any type of covering of the nose and the mouth is
Disrespectful to the Constitution and to We the People.
I apologize if my words seem a bit trite for a Christian writer; last count, there were hundreds of thousands of people affected by this foul monster;
millions of people who have been sickened, maybe not until death but sickened non the less. I would mention to say how many children are without their
parent, or parents because of Covid-19. Just in the United States, alone there are millions of jobs lost, homes foreclosed, Renters evicted, tables without
substantial nutrition, thousands and thousands without health insurance, no lights, no water, no gas, pets dying, elderly neglected, education frozen for
our most vulnerable children, EYES CLOSED, HEADS TURNED, NOSE UP, WHO CARES?
What good is our marvelous education system when we can’t teach and learn to fight to keep one another alive? What good is Freedom that results in death?
What good is motiveless death?
Answer: No Good!
Who desires to live a ‘No Good Life’? Who desires to watch the counter keep boastfully placing another soul’s number in the total Death tally. Who was
it that didn’t wear a mask and pushed the digit up?
There is a word here to fore has not been mentioned. Evil. Yes, Evil. To purposefully place this amount of souls in peril is evil. Anyone who predicates
his good fortune and pleasure within the life of another is evil. Anyone who cannot feel the hurt of this world, yes, the world, not just America… take
a stand … is evil. I pray that no one thinks that this article is humorous, it is not meant to be, not at all.
Heavenly Father, in the Name of Jesus, Christ, the Son of the Living GOD, I pray. LORD Jesus, thank You for this reminder that there are so many hurting
people because of this Covid-19 Virus. LORD, if they happen to see this message, please sooth their hearts according to Your Will and Your Way, let the
Oil of Joy and Love replace the heaviness of grief, morning, loss, anger, loneliness and despair. Let all know that You and You alone can and will turn
ashes into Joy, bring from night, Light. Only You have kept the tears cried in hopeless fears in a bottle to know what the tongue cannot and probably will
not ever attempt to pronounce. LORD Create in us a new heart and renew a Right Spirit in us for the
Propitiation of our Souls.
In the Name above all names, we pray.
In Christ I Remain… Ruth.
Driving Miss Donna
“Amazon Day Times Two”
by: Lynn Anderson
Donna is a client and volunteer at our local Vista Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired. Vista Center has offices in Palo Alto, San Jose and here
locally in Santa Cruz. Before she became vision impaired, Donna had worked with the Vista Center through her job at the Department of Rehabilitation, helping
the blind community obtain services and job search assistance. Then when Donna began losing her own vision, she became a client as well. Through the efforts
of several hard working and driven volunteers, the local office has become quite a hub of activities in the community and Donna and I have been blessed
with being able to attend many of those events. Some of our favorites are the tech labs that were held monthly at Louden Nelson Community Center (pre-Covid),
and also a yearly tech conference that is usually held at the Palo Alto office. At those events vendors show up with the latest in technology for the blind
and visually impaired, and you get an opportunity to try the latest in high tech gadgets. Some of them are quite amazing and also quite expensive, but
there are many items that are practical helps and also have better pricing. At the yearly tech conference, there are several workshops held by leaders
in technology for the blind community, and I am amazed by the work that these individuals and companies are doing.
Donna was attending many tech training sessions on her own that were held at the Santa Cruz office, and I would drive her for her appointments, then pick
her up afterwards where we would take a drive and Donna would fill me in on what she had learned that day. After one such appointment, she was excited
to tell me that she was selected to be a volunteer for Amazon to test a new product for blind and visually impaired that they were now in the testing phase.
I said, “that’s great, where is the Amazon office?” I was wondering if I would be driving her to San Jose or perhaps even San Francisco. “Downtown Santa
Cruz,” she said with great excitement. “What?” I said, “there isn’t an Amazon office in downtown Santa Cruz!” I speak from experience here, as I have lived
most of my life in Santa Cruz County. “No, it’s there, and I have the address.” I have to confess that I didn’t believe her, but then I thought, well,
I’ll look up the address on Google Earth and check it out, which is what I did when I got home. That address did show up, but I was still skeptical.
Donna’s appointment was in a few days, so she arranged for the Para Cruz to pick us up at her apartment, then take us to downtown. Now downtown Santa Cruz
isn’t anything like downtown New York City or downtown San Francisco, in fact, it is quite small. However, parking is terrible and you usually need to
park far, far away to be able to go there. With Donna’s mobility issues and needing to use a walker for a walk of any length, we decided it would be better
to use the Para Cruz, because they would let us off right at the front door of the business which would mean minimal walking. We also decided to treat
ourselves after Donna’s appointment to a wonderful Mexican food restaurant downtown, which we were rarely able to go to, again, because of the parking
situation. All was set. I just love a good, well thought out plan!
Amazon day came and the Para Cruz driver was late. Actually, very late. Although we had allowed a lot of time before the appointment prior to our pick-up,
it was beginning to get dicey. I was very nervous, pacing and wondering out loud what had happened, and Donna kept trying to reassure me that they were
just a bit late, and that everything would work out just fine. I kept pacing. Donna encouraged me to just sit down and relax, but as I was watching my
perfect plan slowly disintegrate, I kept pacing. I was just about to ask Donna to call the Para Cruz office and ask what had happened when our driver showed
up. The poor guy looked frantic as he helped Donna into the van and helped me to buckle my seat belt. I didn’t ask for help buckling my seat belt, and
as I was already irritated with our driver for being late, I really didn’t want help buckling my seat belt. But, in what I thought was a huge waste of
time, I had to wait while he buckled my seat belt. I kept glaring at my watch to let the driver know that I knew he was late, and he kept trying to avoid
my gaze. I can’t say I blame him!
Somehow, the driver made record time, every traffic light was green, mostly, and he pulled up at our stop just a few minutes past Donna’s appointment time.
The driver helped Donna out of the van, I unbuckled my own seatbelt and met Donna out on the sidewalk. The driver made some notations on his computer,
waved goodbye, and was on his way, even further behind in his hectic schedule. It isn’t really the driver’s fault that he was so late, as the need for
the Para Cruz service is huge and many times the dispatchers will need to make what they call an add-on to a driver’s schedule, which can further slow-down
an already difficult schedule. That being said, we were safely in downtown Santa Cruz, presumably right in front of the building where Donna was meeting
with the representative from Amazon, and all was well with the world!
But, was it? We were standing in front of what looked like a vacant storefront. There were no signs on the door that said, Amazon, Donna, please wait right
here, or Donna, you’re in the right place, just stay put. Nothing like that. “So,” I asked Donna, “where is Amazon?” She looked around and just shrugged
her shoulders as if to say, beats me! Great, I was thinking, so where are we supposed to go? I started walking to the other businesses to ask if they could
tell me where the Amazon offices were, but no one could tell me. One very nice man at a deli said that he didn’t know, but he thought that he should since
he thought that they were nearby. Sorry, sorry, sorry I don’t know, I heard several times. Donna was exhausted from trying to follow me around with her
walker, and I was about ready to give up. Donna finally walked back to where the driver had originally left us off and sat down. At that moment, a young
man wearing glasses and an ID badge around his neck walked up to Donna.
“Are you Donna?” He asked very quietly. “Yes,” she answered smiling at him. I wasn’t feeling much like smiling at him and wondered what he was trying to
sell, after all, we were in the big city now! Well, not so big, like I explained earlier. “I’m with Amazon,” he said, again very quietly. Why is he speaking
in such hushed tones, I wondered, most irritated, why didn’t he just speak up? Why did everything have to be so quiet and mysterious? “I thought you might
be Donna when you got off the Para Cruz, but I wasn’t sure.” He saw us get off the Para Cruz? Why didn’t he say something and save us walking all over
the place? Why isn’t Amazon marked? Does he just enjoy watching people wander around looking puzzled? I had many questions to ask Mr. Quiet Guy, but he
just escorted Donna to the door of the vacant looking storefront and told me that he would have her back in an hour. Then they were both gone, just like
that. How did I know he was with Amazon? Sure, he wore glasses, had a pocket protector and an ID badge, but that badge could have said anything, as I never
got to read it closely. Should I call the police, the CIA, the FBI? Was Donna’s life in danger? Why did she just walk off with him? I know she couldn’t
have possibly read the ID badge. Well, I’d just have to wait an hour to see if she actually came back outside or was transported to some alien universe.
OK, so maybe I was being a bit dramatic, well maybe a lot dramatic! I spent the next hour shopping downtown and unfortunately found my way into a candy
store (how did that happen?) and came out with a large bag of homemade taffy, chocolate candies and chocolate covered nuts. Purely by accident, of course.
True to his word, Mr. Quiet Guy had Donna back within an hour, and she looked ecstatic. She had a great time and ended up with a nice Amazon gift certificate
for her time. “So, what’s the new product?” I asked as we headed to the Mexican restaurant for our lunch. “I can’t tell you,” she answered as we walked
past the downtown shops. “You can’t tell me? Why not?” This was not good news, as I was dying to know what had happened. “I signed an agreement and I can’t
tell you what the product is until after it is released. I promised.” Oh great, I thought. No matter how much I nagged Donna, she wouldn’t spill. Interpol
would be lucky to have Donna in their service!
So, why Amazon times two, you’re wondering? Well about 6 months later, Donna was offered another chance to test a new product in development at Amazon
and she said a resounding yes! She was so excited and asked me if I would like to ride with her on the Para Cruz and we could eat at our favorite Mexican
restaurant again. I was happy to go, but this time I had a better plan! “Since the Para Cruz was so late and you almost missed your appointment, I’ll just
drive us downtown and we won’t have that worry and can avoid all of that stress. There is a handicapped parking spot on the street right in front of the
building, so parking should be very easy!” Donna looked at me and just said, “I think we should take the Para Cruz, that way we won’t have to worry about
parking.” “What’s to worry about”, I said with a lot of confidence, “no one will be using that handicapped parking spot and we’ll park right in front of
the building, what could be easier?” “OK”, Donna answered, but she didn’t look as confident as I felt.
Amazon day arrived, and I was set! I got Donna and her walker settled in my car, and we made the drive to downtown. It was a beautiful, warm sunny day
and we had an early start, just in case, and we were set. When I pulled up outside the Amazon storefront, the handicapped parking spot was already taken.
No problem, I thought, I’ll just cruise around the block a few times until that car has moved along and park right in front of the building. Donna just
looked at me and gave a deep sigh. “We should have taken the Para Cruz,” she finally said. “It’ll be just fine, don’t worry,” I said as I quietly worried.
After circling the block about 5 times, the offending car hadn’t moved and I was faced with a big problem. There wasn’t any parking to be had within several
very large blocks of the downtown. Donna had an anxious look on her face and I was getting even more worried.
“I know,” I said with enthusiasm, “let’s park at Trader Joe’s (it is a very large 2 blocks away from the Amazon storefront) then we can go shopping after
our lunch. What do you think?” “That is a very long walk,” Donna said, “I don’t think I can walk that far. Not only that, it’s getting warmer outside.”
“It’ll be fine, don’t worry!” I smiled and drove us over to Trader Joe’s. The handicapped parking spots that were close to the street were all full. As
I drove through the parking lot and kept hoping that someone would move their car, it wasn’t happening. What’s wrong with these people, I grumbled to myself,
someone needs to move and now! No one moved. After circling the parking lot several times, I finally found a handicapped spot on the far side of the store,
and very far away from Amazon. I parked the car, hopped out and grabbed Donna’s walker from the trunk. “Here you go!” I smiled as Donna got out of the
car. She wasn’t happy to put it mildly, not happy at all.
Donna and I made the death march, as she later called it, in parts. We had to walk through Trader Joe’s, as walking around the building to get to the street
would have added an extra block to the walk. The store was packed with shoppers and getting Donna and her walker through the store was not an easy prospect.
People wouldn’t move out of the way of the walker as they were too engrossed in their shopping. Donna couldn’t see any of the obstacles in her way, so
I walked in front of her moving people out of the way so she could get through. I felt like I was trying to part the Red Sea! When we finally got out of
the store and made our way to the street, Donna was exhausted and had to take a break. The time until her appointment was quickly approaching, so I tried
to encourage Donna to keep up the good work because we were almost at Amazon! Not really, but I didn’t want Donna to lose all hope. When we reached the
street, I realized another problem. The crosswalk with the traffic light was another block up the street. If you don’t use a walker for mobility, that
isn’t really a problem as you can just jaywalk and quickly cross the street. With a walker on a busy street, that isn’t going to happen. Plus, once you
cross the street, you have another block to walk to get back to where you want to go. Donna gave me the look as she realized what I had just figured out
about the traffic light. “We have to walk another block”, she said. It wasn’t a question, just an unhappy statement. “Uh, yeah,” I answered, not knowing
what else to say. She took a deep breath and we began the long walk to the traffic light.
When we got across the street and were making our way back toward Amazon, I noticed that Donna wasn’t talking. I looked at her with concern as her face
was flaming red from the heat and the exertion. I almost said something, perhaps a word of encouragement since we were almost there, but I decided that
my life might continue longer if I just kept quiet! When we reached Amazon, there was a man with a pocket protector and an ID badge waiting for Donna.
“There you are,” he said cheerfully. He turned to me and said, “I’ll have her back in an hour!” Then they both disappeared. Whew! I was hoping it was a
really fantastic product and Donna would forget that she was angry with me about not taking the Para Cruz by the time she got back. I could only hope!
I found a bench in the shade and tried to relax as I too was overheated from the warm day. The entire time I waited, the handicapped parking spot right
in front of the building was filled until about 5 minutes before Donna’s time was up. At that moment, an older man emerged from the Amazon building and
a woman with him helped him into the car, and then they were gone. Then it occurred to me! Of course, Amazon was working with many other people from Vista
Center on the new product and more than likely they would have someone drive them to the building and use the handicapped parking spot! I had to make sure
that I wouldn’t share that observation with Donna.
At that moment, another car pulled into the handicapped parking spot, just as Donna emerged from the building. It was another friend from Vista Center
and her husband. They just pulled into the parking space, hopped out of their car, greeted Donna and me, who was now over at the car, and our friend was
taken into the Amazon building to test out the new product. They didn’t have a death march in the hot summer sun, no worries about crossing a busy street
or trying to make their way through Trader Joe’s or try to find a handicapped parking spot in a packed parking lot. Donna once again gave me the look as
we said goodbye to our friends and made the walk to the Mexican restaurant for our lunch. Lunch was a quiet affair, as I concentrated on my chips and salsa,
being extra careful to not spill on myself. I didn’t ask Donna about this latest product she had tested or how everything went, as we still had a long
walk back to the car in the Trader Joe’s parking lot in the hot sun! I felt once again that quiet would work more in my favor!
Lunch was very yummy! As we made the long walk back to the car, Donna turned and looked at me and said, “next time, if there is a next time, we’re taking
the Para Cruz!” “Great idea!” I said and smiled, “great idea!”
Blind people talking
My Summer on a Greyhound Bus (Part 2)
By: Donna Kimball
As I shared with you in Part 1 of this story, it was my Aunt Maxine’s suggestion that I purchase the AMERIPASS. I didn’t realize until many years later
that it was her way of launching me out into the world. After graduating from High School, I had become the primary caregiver, along with my Mom, for my
Dad who was very ill. For several years, I had been driving my Mom and Dad to San Francisco three times a week so he could receive life-saving dialysis
treatments. In those days, there weren’t any local hospitals that provided treatment. My Aunt Maxine, along with several of my Dad’s nurses and church
friends had expressed concern that my total commitment in caregiving for my Dad did not allow me a separate life of my own. This explains my need to seek
approval from my parents at the age of 24 to go travelling. I did not have any money of my own, since my only job until that time had been as a caregiver,
so I needed the money from my parents to travel. At this point in time I no longer needed to drive my parents to San Francisco for dialysis treatments
because my Mom now administered those treatments through my Dad’s home dialysis unit.
Now I would like to continue with my Greyhound adventures! After surviving the terrifying day in the Big Apple, I was on the bus heading to Savannah, Georgia.
I had never heard of Savannah, Georgia, but it was one of the spots that was shown on my new Greyhound map, so I thought, why not! The 2 days I spent in
Savannah were delightful. I discovered through a walking tour brochure that Savannah folks were known for outstandingly beautiful gardens. The brochure
advised that as you walked along the tour path, if you found an open garden gate, it was an invitation to go in and look around. Even though I felt a bit
uncomfortable, I accepted the invitation and discovered some of the most beautiful gardens I had ever seen. It was one of many experiences of Southern
hospitality that I enjoyed on this trip.
By this time, through the advice of a fellow traveler, I had discovered the wisdom in scheduling a non-stop bus for nighttime travel. This way, there was
no need for the cost of a room and I could sleep undisturbed all night with the use of my inflatable AMERIPASS pillow! I had also been informed by another
passenger that for 50 cents I could get a bar of soap and a towel and take a shower at many of the Greyhound stations. Please don’t let this scare you,
because back then, the showers were kept very clean and safe. I was to discover many other shortcuts for inexpensive travel during the weeks ahead. Still
another passenger shared with me that I could send my large suitcase ahead to a future destination and it would be stored for free until I arrived to pick
it up. This way, I could carry my small suitcase with me and when arriving at the city where my large suitcase was waiting for me, I could do my laundry
at the Greyhound station laundromat, repack my small suitcase and send my large suitcase onto the next destination.
My next scheduled stop was Pensacola, Florida. My Mom had given me the address of her longtime friends Reba and Willy who were living there. My Mom shared
with me that Reba was a neighbor who helped her set-up the nursery and bring me home from the Naval Air Station Hospital where I was born. I had planned
to stay one night with them, but we had so much fun, they kept me there 4 nights. My Mom and Dad were so excited to hear about my visit with their longtime
After several short visits in other towns, my large suitcase was sent ahead and was waiting for me in New Orleans. A few years prior, my parents had gifted
me with a trip to New Orleans for my High School graduation present. It had been a dream of mine to go there. So, I was anxious to go there again! On arrival,
I discovered it was a 4-mile walk from the Greyhound station to the motel where my parents and I had stayed. I must have been a funny sight hiking around
the construction site of the new superdome lugging my 2 suitcases! I felt pretty cosmopolitan with the anticipation of time in New Orleans, but in reality,
I was a total hayseed, if any of you remember what that term means. After so many nights sleeping on the bus, I splurged by plunking down $36 for a two-night
stay at a hotel. I discovered that I could ride the street cars all day long and any place they went for a 25-cent fare. I rode them everywhere they went
for the two days I was there. I ate some of the most delicious Cajun food I had ever eaten at some very affordable cafeterias.
After looking at my AMERIPASS map again, I asked the ticket agent to fill out my coupon for Nashville, Tennessee. While in Nashville, I toured the Ryman
Auditorium (home of the Grand Ole Opry), the Ernest Tubb record store (where many country stars would sing after hours), and walked up and down music row.
I enjoyed Nashville so much, that I inquired about a safe, affordable motel where I could stay. I ended up smack dab in the middle of downtown at the multi-storied
James Robertson Hotel. I had never stayed in a hotel before, always motels. The desk clerk gave me a puzzled, concerned look as I checked in, because I
was very out of place there. As a country hayseed in the middle of Music City, USA, I stood out like a sore thumb. While there, I spent my days riding
the city bus and seeing the sights.
My next destination was in Southern Tennessee where I visited Rock City and Ruby Falls. From Rock City there was a vantage point where you could stand
and see several different states. Ruby Falls is an underground waterfall you reach after a hike through a cave where you climb down to the falls. The group
I was with were carefully hand led into a totally dark cavern. We could hear the falls and feel the mist. After they brought us to a vantage point, they
turned on the lights, and there were the waterfalls right in front of us! Before leaving Tennessee, I visited Sweetwater and went to the underground sea.
Another hike through dark caverns brought my group to an underground ocean and a boat ride. Last, but certainly not least, I went to Elvis Presley’s home,
Graceland, in Memphis, Tennessee. I stayed 3 nights at the YWCA and spent hours leaning against the warm, rock wall that surrounded Graceland. I spent
time at the beautiful music gates that would occasionally swing open to let cars in and out. No, I did not get a glimpse of Elvis himself, but I did see
his beautiful golden palomino, Rising Sun. I also was able to visit for a few minutes with Elvis’ Uncle Vester who was a guard at the front gates.
As the time drew to an end for my second months’ travel, I reluctantly prepared for my return home to California. My last stop on the way back was going
to be in Texas to see some family members on my Mother’s side. As I handed my coupon book to the ticket agent, I shared my sadness that my 2-month adventure
was coming to an end. Since no one else was waiting for his help, he asked some questions about my travels. He had to start a new coupon book for the last
few coupons I needed for my return home. A few hours after boarding the bus for Texas, I opened the coupon book and discovered to my sheer delight he had
extended my free AMERIPASS an additional 2 weeks! I did the happy dance right there in my Greyhound AMERICRUISER seat! This enabled me to spend much more
time than I had planned with my Texas kinfolk. A few weeks later when I arrived back in Santa Cruz, I discovered not only my parents, but my Aunt and Uncle
and some of my Cousins were waiting to meet me back home. It was so wonderful to see them!
Oh yes, I promised to tell you about the night I got to drive the beautiful, superliner, AMERICRUISER bus. I was getting off the bus in Atlanta, Georgia,
when the driver asked me to wait a minute until everyone departed the bus. I had been sitting behind the driver for the last 6 hours of travel, and we
had chatted quite a bit about my trip and all of my adventures. After the last people had departed the bus, he said, “would you like to drive the bus to
the shed?” I thought he was kidding, but he was not! He ushered me into the seat, he put the gears where they needed to be, and he said, “OK, take us in!”
I don’t know how many hundred feet it was, but that was sure one of the highlights of my trip! He was laughing so hard as he described the expression on
my face driving that big, beautiful bus. What a blast!
I know it was my Mom’s faithful prayers that kept me safe on that once-in-a-lifetime journey. There are a thousand other stories I could share about the
10 weeks I spent on a Greyhound bus, but I’ll keep those sweetly in my memories.
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