Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Go long!

Golden Gate Park is a large rectangle shaped park on the west side of San Francisco. It’s about 4 miles long and maybe ½ mile wide. All in all it is 1,017 acres of wonder. It covers a lot of real estate in San Francisco, which is only 46 square miles in size. We are lucky enough to live 1/2 block north of the park close to the eastern edge (in the picture that would be the top left corner of the park) and we are within walking distance of many of its most impressive attractions, including a world class museum, the Academy of Sciences and the Conservatory of Flowers and the beautiful gardens just to name a few. We do hang out at all those places, but Maggie's favorite place is someplace much more modest.

There is a walking path entrance to the park at the end of our street. However, in order to get to it you have to run for your life across Fulton Street with its four lanes of speeding cars. I will do that when I’m walking the dog, or when Maggie isn’t with us; but doing that daredevil move pushing a wheelchair seems less than prudent. Even if we are lucky enough to make it across Fulton alive there is no curb cut on the other side and we have to lift Maggie and her chair (approx 170lbs) onto a high sidewalk. Best to walk to the signal and do things safely.

There is a signal at 6th Avenue, just three blocks west. Many of you know that 6th avenue once went through and into the park, but vehicle access has been blocked for several years now. A nicely paved walking path opens up to a fully paved road after about 10 yards. The other end is also blocked so vehicles cannot access this area at all. This ½-block stretch of pavement is the best spot for roller skaters. They never have to worry about cars. On the weekend afternoons, this spot if filled with roller skaters racing about or doing tricks and jumps in the middle. They are fun to watch and people gather around the edges for the free show. The skaters take great care of their little spot; in fact, they bring brooms and clear away any leaves or branches. The pavement is always perfect and smooth.

Generally, when we walk through there early in the morning the skaters have not arrived yet. There might be a couple of skateboarders but the place is a nice wide expanse for the wheelchair. This is Maggie's favorite spot in the park. It is our favorite place to play catch with Maggie.

Just so you know, when I say "play catch with Maggie", I am not talking about throwing a ball to her. She could never catch it and the game would get old very quickly. No. I mean we play catch WITH Maggie.  Before you get on the horn to CPS, we are not tossing her about willy nilly. She is in her wheelchair and we shoot her back and forth between us. Each of us has to catch Maggie as she rolls by.
 Steve is better at it than I am, He can really get her chair to go a long way. I am a weakling and Maggie goes slower and less distance when I am pushing. Apparently, I push like a girl.

Even when her pathetic mother is pushing, though, MAGGIE LOVES THIS.

Even if you don't live next to someplace as cool as GOlden Gate Park, I hope all of you find that little stretch of pavement where you can roll free.


  1. Way to go Maggie, Sally and Steve!! You guys are so great with Maggie -I know you are blessed from above and make us parents of so called "normal" kids feel inadequate. You are inspirational, to say the least. Have a wonderful day, and I hope more smooth spots open up for more fun activities for Maggie.

  2. Way to Maggie, Sally and Steve! You guys are so great with Maggie-you make us parents of so called "normal" kids feel inadequate. You are blessed from above and are at the very least inspirational. Hope you find more open spaces for Maggie to frolic in!


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