Tales of a Wheelchair

by: Rebecca Taylor

My body is made of metal; I have a canvas seat, wheels, and brakes. To many I would appear cold and uninviting but to 98-year old Maggie Fuller, I am a chariot fit for a queen. I am Maggie’s independence. Without me, Maggie would be unable to participate in many of the activities she loves at her senior’s home. Together we attend Bingo games, I love being able to help her pick her prize whenever she wins. We carpet bowl and Maggie sits in me leaning down to throw the ball to knock out the opponents’ pins.

Our days are filled with constant action, Maggie clutching my sturdy black tires to get her wherever she wants to go. I love it when Maggie and I go to the duck pond; we roll along a winding tree lined path, the gentle breeze and luscious sunshine on our faces. The most wonderful thing in the world is seeing Maggie’s delight as she watches the ducklings huddled around their mother, following her commands except for one, it is smaller than the rest but it makes up for it in attitude, this rebellious duckling will not follow the others preferring to strike out on its own. It is this duckling that Maggie and I adore the most; we are also free spirits, forging a path of our own. Maggie is the model of what people want to be, she is exuberant, always ready to lend a helping hand and has a smile that is more radiant than the sun on the brightest day. I feel blessed to have a friend like Maggie to take care of, to hold her body in mine is the best thing in the world whether we are playing games, enjoying a cup on tea on the veranda, or when she is curled up in me reading a book or watching a movie.

At night, I sit by her bed watching her sleep, holding the clothes that she will wear the next morning, ready to take on a new day no matter what it may bring. I know that someday Maggie will go away and leave me and that someone else will claim me. Losing Maggie scares me more than anything in the universe, but I know that I cannot let this fear rule my life because it could prevent me from doing some wonderfully memorable things with her. I must take my life in strides just like Maggie, we will all be called Home someday she says, but we must not wait for this to happen, we must live each day to the fullest like her mentor Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery and today is a gift.” Being Maggie’s wheelchair is amazing and I will cherish her everyday, I can’t imagine doing anything else with my life.

Trying to Dry Up

by: Rebecca Taylor

In the corner of a bar

Was a man unfit to drive his car

In the morning, his memory would be unable to tell his story.

He was trying to dry up

But his mind was very mixed up

He hurt everyone he clutched

He was just using the bottle as a crutch

And he just ended up trying not to reunite

With his very painful pint.

He and his wife

Caused each other lots of strife

Until one day

It came time to say good-bye

He did not cry

He just went on trying

He worked at a job as long as he could

But he was so often misunderstood

He went on trying to hide

All the bad feelings he had

Deep down he knew

That it was him who should keep trying

Eventually he threw the bottle

Against the wall

Said no to last call

He said he was sorry

To his love Rory

Picked up his life

And put an end to his strife

And he ended up trying not to reunite

With his very painful pint.

The Glue

by: Rebecca Taylor

When the glue no longer sticks

And the strength fades away

When what you have in front of you

Is no longer the thing of yesterday

Do you pick up the pieces

And try once again

Do you cling to the past

Or can the future be embraced

Is it possible to have both

Even with new glue

Cracks and creases still remain

A foundation never the same.


by: Rebecca Taylor

Our lives are like a detour

You went one way and I went the other

Now we wonder at what if

If we had chosen the same path

Would it have been the right choice?

If we had switched roads

Where would we be now?

Is there a reason we are where we are?

Will the road of life do a U-Turn someday?

So the other path can have its say.

Marveling at Technology

By: Rebecca Taylor

Many of us take the technology we are using for granted. We want our gadgets to work and we want our information fast. I have the opportunity to see people marvel at the equipment we have today, at the senior’s home where I work as an administrative assistant. When a resident wants to have a postal code, I am able to sit at my desk behind my computer, go online and get them the information within minutes, instead of having to use a large reference book to find the correct information. What kind of care does an azalea need? No problem, a search engine brings up this information without having to go to the library and look for a reference book on plants. Knitting patterns are too small; off to the photocopier I go and emerge less than a minute later with an enlarged copy. Family lives far away and wants to share a picture or a few words, e-mail makes communicating easy. With today’s technology the possibilities of what we can do are virtually endless. The internet is practically limitless in the information it has, I will admit sifting through it sometimes is a bit of an organizational challenge but generally it doesn’t take long to get the answer we are looking for. Everything we may want in a way can be found there – recipes, horoscopes, a copy of Dear Annie, quotes, poetry, book previews, even the kind of bird that wakes you up every morning can be found with sound clips. But are we happy with what we have? Some of us maybe but many of us want more, new versions are forever coming forward and everyone rushes to line up for the latest. Can you remember when we didn’t have any of this technology or the first time you saw a computer or the internet? I was in sixth grade when we got our first one and it had dial up internet. It was fast enough then but then we learned about faster options. Is society rushing more or do we just get used to the modern conveniences of today? When I think of the seniors I deal with, I smile because they are in such awe of what I can do with my machines, how much information they hold and how fast things can be done. Their bewilderment and the ease at which I can help them with their queries is a beautiful thing.

Robby’s Wing

by: Rebecca Taylor

This week’s story is for parents with children — a little story that you can read to them. Enjoy. RT

“Ha ha ha,” laughed a bunch of young robins. “Robby can’t fly.”

“Stop it!” cried Robby. “It’s not my fault that my wing is crooked.”

“You still can’t fly,” said Dan Duck.

“Hey, it wasn’t Rudolph’s fault that he had a red nose either and he led Santa’s sleigh!” answered Robby.

“Yeah well, we’ve never even met Rudolph but we know you,” said Dan.

“Come on, Robby, let’s go play on our own,” said Prissy Porcupine.

“They’re just jealous because you can sing.”

“I’m a robin, almost all robins can sing…most of them can fly too,” said Robby.

“We can all do different things, that’s what makes us special,” replied Prissy.

“Dan still doesn’t like me,” said Robby


“Some animals are like that, just walk away and when he sees that he can’t bother you he’ll stop,” Prissy told him.

“What am I going to do when it’s time to go to school? We’re all going to be together in one class.”

“The teacher won’t let him bother you and if he does, just walk away.”

“I wish I could fly. I want to know what it looks like up there in the sky. My family can’t even live in a tree because I can’t fly. We live in Mrs. Dog’s shed.”

“Then you know Dingo, he’s going to be in our class too, and so are Sierra Squirrel and maybe some others from the forest.”

“Dan will make fun of me and he’s friends with some of the older boys going to school like Rocky Racoon.”

“Just stay away from them. You can play with me and probably Dingo. My big sister knows Sierra’s sister; they’re friends so Sierra could be our friend too. Now stop worrying, school doesn’t start for months. Summer just started. Let’s go play.”

“What will we play? I’m not good at much because I can’t fly. All the other robins play flying games.”

“We can play hopscotch or play in the sandbox,” said Prissy


“I like to draw pictures in the dirt,” said Robby.

“Then let’s do that in the sandbox,” answered Prissy.

Robby drew a house with his beak and feet.

Prissy said,” I can’t get my cloud to look right. I have too many quills.”

“Let me help you,” answered Robby. He took his crooked wing and drew a perfect cloud.

“Look at that, your wing is the perfect shape to draw a cloud.”

“Your quills could make really good hair on my person,” said Robby and Prissy drew some on.

“See,” said Prissy. “We’re all different and it helps us all do special things. Your crooked wing and my quills help us do different things.”

Robby smiled, “I can’t wait to show Dan. I can’t fly but I know how to do other stuff.”

“Let’s go,” said Prissy. “If he starts being mean again, remember we walk away.”

They walked back to the pond where Dan and the young robins were playing flying games. Dan was the judge and the robins were flying as high as they could. When they saw Robby coming they started to show off.

“Look what we can do, Robby,” called out the young robins. “We can fly.”

“We’re all different,” said Robby. “That’s what makes us special.”

“You’re different all right but how does it make you special?” asked Dan.

“I can draw curved things with my crooked wing better that with my beak or feet. I’ll show you,” and Robby drew another perfect cloud.

“It’s just a cloud,” said Dan.

“Yes it is,” said Prissy. “Not everyone can draw a cloud. I can’t, I have too many quills, but I can draw hair on people and scrub mud off the boots in Mr. Squirrel’s Shoe Shop.”

“You can swim, Dan, and are good at judging how high the other robins fly. That’s why you’re special. We’re all good at different things. It is more fun that way,” said Robby.

“It sure is,” said Prissy. “If Robby were a porcupine like me he wouldn’t be as good at drawing clouds. If you were a robin, Dan, you’d want to fly too and wouldn’t judge flying games. We’re the way we are for a reason.”

“We sure are,” said Dan looking away. “I’m sorry I made fun of you, Robby, you made me see how mean I’ve been.”

“It’s okay, Dan,” answered Robby. “You know better now, just don’t be mean to anyone else because they’re different.”

“I won’t,” answered Dan.

“We’re sorry, too,” chorused the other robins. “We won’t do it again.”

They’d all learned their lessons be nice to everyone because everyone is special. Robby told his mom all about it when he got home. She smiled to herself because she had known that Robby was special all along.

The Perfect Pumpkin

by: Rebecca Taylor

There was a room full of choices but her mother had said she could choose just one. How could she decide which one would be her perfect pumpkin? She didn’t want just any pumpkin. She needed to have the best one. There was a lot at stake in the school’s pumpkin contest. There were prizes and they included money – money she could use to buy her bicycle – the one she kept looking at in the front of Thomson’s Store. She liked the flashy colours on the bicycle, its horn and the pompom decorations. She stared at the pumpkin, envisioning herself cycling around town. Imagine, she thought, a pumpkin could be your ticket to what you want most. Now, I need to choose that pumpkin; Mom isn’t going to wait all day either. There are orange pumpkins and ones with neat orange and green patterns. Maybe this is the pumpkin I need, one with patterns – maybe everyone else will choose a plain one and then I’d win, or maybe everyone would say that my special pumpkin was just too strange. I guess I have no way of knowing what will happen at the contest. I just have to try my best. There were huge pumpkins, she quickly dismissed those – too big for a school bag. She went to a pile of small pumpkins – easy to carry. She closed her eyes and picked one pumpkin up carefully feeling for the stem, so she didn’t knock over the whole pile. If she smashed the pumpkins, she would never be able to get her bicycle because she would forever be paying for the ones she’d broken in her pursuit for the best one. She opened her eyes and looked at the pumpkin in her hand and smiled. The pumpkin she had chosen had character. Its stem had a nice curve to it and the pumpkin had a nice shape to it. It was round in an oval sort of way. The pumpkin was mostly orange but had a few lines of green on it. She wondered if perhaps it was where the pumpkin had lain on the ground against its vine and hadn’t seen the sun.

“Rachel, are you ready?” called her mom from across the room.

“Coming mom,” said Rachel and she carried the pumpkin up to the cashier where her mom paid for it and then they left.

The pumpkin contest was three days later. Rachel had polished her pumpkin and tied green and orange ribbon around its stem. She decided that the pumpkin looked the best as it was. It didn’t need anything too fancy to show that it was beautiful. She hoped it would be able to compete with the other pumpkins in the natural pumpkin category. She was nervous as she put her student number in a tiny envelope and taped the envelope to the bottom of the pumpkin. The judging was top secret and she wouldn’t know the results until the very end of the day. She didn’t know if she would be able to concentrate, not knowing if she could have her bicycle.

Finally, there was an announcement on the loud speaker that the participants of the pumpkin contest could go to the gymnasium. Butterflies jumped around in Rachel’s stomach. She wondered if she’d win enough money to be able to get her bicycle, she wondered if she would get any prize at all. She wanted to win so badly but she knew that everyone who entered wanted to win which sort of created a no-win scenario when you took into account that some would win and some would lose. As exciting as the pumpkin contest was, there would always be some unhappiness surrounding it, but at least she had tried and she could be content in that. Rachel made her way through the crowd and she approached the table where her pumpkin was. There was a bright green sticker stuck to her pumpkin. There was a number 3 written in glittery marker on the sticker.

“Congratulations, Rachel,” said Ms. Marquette one of her teachers. “You did very well. Third out of ten is really good. I hope you’ll enjoy your prize.”

“Thank you,” said Rachel as she took the envelope that Ms. Marquette handed her. All of the winning pumpkins were going to stay on display at school for everyone to see. On the school bus on the way home, Rachel opened her envelope. Inside was fifty dollars. It wasn’t enough to buy the bicycle yet but it was a huge help. She would add it to the other money she’d been saving. Her dream ride was a step closer to becoming reality because of a pumpkin.

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