Thought Wheel

Ann Chiappetta

Summer Thoughts and Other Things

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Summer Thoughts and Other Things

I hate the hot, humid weather. It makes my chest feel heavy and makes my asthma act up. Don’t get me wrong, I love the sun, the products of summer, especially the garden vegetables, fresh herbs, and outdoor cooking. I just wish I lived with less humidity and pollution. Resignedly,I am one the people who must consider not going outside during ozone alerts.


Knowing this, I hesitated going out today in the ozone heavy air for the gym. But I figured the gym is inside and the bus is air conditioned, and I’d be safe, my rescue inhaler in hand.  Truth told, I wasn’t sure how my body would respond but I got on the bike anyway. I was surprised to find that I had no trouble and by the 30 minute mark, I was in the zone. I could have gone an extra ten minutes but I didn’t want to overdo it. I proved to myself that maybe my breathing isn’t as restrictive as I once thought. I take my meds religiously and now that I am working out I feel so much better. This is proof of the hard work even if the pounds aren’t coming off like they should be.


Next, both the dogs were sick with the barfs. Jerry and I cleaned up dog barf and took Verona to the Guiding Eyes vet to make sure it wasn’t something more serious than a virus. So we’ve traded the two footed children for the four footed ones this time, making sure they were okay. We are leaning toward pesticide exposure, as they sprayed the day before Verona got sick. It’s scary because this kind of toxin can cause kidney and liver damage and cancer. It makes me wonder if Rocky and Gunny died so young with such serious medical problems due to continued pesticide exposure. But then, I’m not a paranoid person.


Next week I am taking the marriage and family therapy licensing exam. I’ve studied for about a month inbetween work and family stuff and think I am as prepared as I’m going to get without retaking the entire master’s curriculum again. I know there will be things I will not know, as one cannot possibly remember, at my age, the entire study guide verbatim. I’m hoping to pass, that’s all. If I surprise myself and do well, then kudos to me.  I just want this part of the struggle to be over so I can write that darned article about the disparities facing even the well educated blind professionals. I have to follow this experience to the end in order to write it.


The other item I am trying to work on is another advocacy issue: guide dog teams being passed up or refused taxi cab service. Taxi cab refusal is a growing problem in all parts of the United States and  it has to stop. It makes me wonder at the lunacy of it. I mean, a blind person doesn’t drive, and uses public or private transportation options like buses, trains, and, even taxi cabs to get around. The ADA has made our access to other modes of transportation a normal and useful tool for us but the medallion/checkered cabs, and even the large cab companies to an extent, are another animal altogether.


After being passed over and then refused service at the curb, and finding out that so many other guide dog users are also trying to fight the resistance in other metro areas, I think we need to band together and start making changes. If you are reading this and agree, email me directly: and let me know if you would be interested in a grass roots advocacy effort.


I hope each and every one reading this is well and enjoying the summer season. Mother nature hasn’t been very nice to us lately, so I am praying that the upcoming hurricane season goes by with a whimper.





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