We had our friend Sammy stay with us for just over a week. Sammy is an amazing dude living the #vanlife. While he was here he jumped at every opportunity to help out, the guy even mowed my yard with a broken foot. He stays in his ’78 Econoline Camper with Silas the cat, traveling around creating and helping people. He is an all around badass.
We all learned from Sammy while he was here. Tucker even scored his first big kid skateboard. Having rad creative people coming through the house is what makes unschooling so special.
Sammy gave Tucker his phone and told him to get a pic from up in the apple tree. Instant cool points.
Sammy was kind enough to make us breakfast in the van one morning. Check out Meg’s 5 minute project to see our breakfast adventure.
Since starting this project I have reached out to a lot of cool people. Some of the first were the awesome people at the National MS Society. The timing was perfect, they were planning on shooting a video to help people who are newly diagnosed with MS navigate the craziness.
A week after telling them my story they asked me and the family to fly down to Los Angeles and tell our story to the camera. It was a short trip but we had a ton of fun. Hopefully this isn’t the last project we do with the NMSS.
We arrived on a beautiful 82 degree day. We unloaded our bags at the hotel and headed out to Venice Beach.
We stopped at the Venice Beach Skatepark to watch the dudes shred and pick up chicks, both were great to watch.
Before we flew out we headed up to Santa Monica to check out the pier.
Well hello PNW it’s nice to see you again!
Big thanks to all the awesome people who made this trip happen. We can’t wait to see you all again soon.
I have shown you one of my canes already but I have another favorite. Yup, I have multiple assistive devices. You don’t wear the same shirt everyday, why would I rock the same cane.
I am lucky to have such a talented wife to photograph this journey we are on. I asked her to take some photos of me with my new Sabi Classic cane, of course she said yes, she’s cool like that. We headed down the street to a small park just above the marina to goof around.
I really like the look of my new cane, plus the feel of it makes it an all around badass walking stick. The hook handle feels really natural in my hand, and it’s super useful for grabbing things. I have enjoyed trying to find other uses for the cool handle.
The rubber used in the tip is really bouncy and super grippy. This thing also has almost no weight to it, it almost glides in the hand while you’re walking.
It’s finally here! My podcast with GregR, the morning dude on 107.7 The End. The first attempt to record this was junked due to technical difficulties, but we gave it another go. I had a ton of fun chatting with GregR before we headed over to Emerald City Comicon.
Check it out would ya!
Big props to my man GregR for having me on his podcast. Check out other episodes here, also find GregR on Twitter @gregr1077.
After technical difficulties botched our first attempt at this, we finally were able to get something good enough to put on air. This is the public affairs program “Conversations”, that runs 6 a.m. Sunday mornings on 107.7 The End.
Check out my 12 minute interview with my man GregR, where I tell him about my MS and what Wheels & Red is all about.
At the end of the week I am heading back into KNDD to be on the “So you’re in Seattle” podcast with GregR. Look for that to be up in the next couple weeks.
Looking through our adventures you would think I have a thing for lighthouses. I do not, they just happen to be at beaches.
Hansville, Washington is home to Point No Point.
I love to having access to rad beaches so close to home. We don’t have to pack or plan anything, so I don’t feel as bad when I’m tired and am ready to head out.
We usually just walk along the beach and watch the waves roll in. Tucker loves to fill his pockets with treasures. That just happens to be rocks the size of baseballs.
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. ~Lao-Tzu
Point No Point has a tall staircase that leads into a beautiful wooded area and a lookout over the water. It’s hard to convey just how daunting a simple staircase can be. I managed to slowly climb it with three stops for rest. You just have to keep moving forward.
You may have picked up on this, but I have Multiple Sclerosis. If I were standing there without my cane you may never know. When I do have my cane people think “this dude probably hurt his leg skating or snowboarding!”. I wish that was the case.
MS is all about the lesions. A lot of people with MS only get a lesion or two and progress very slowly. I am not that lucky. I continue to get new lesions year after year. My first set of MRIs found 10+ lesions on the spinal cord and a few scattered through my brain. That was just the beginning.
I have a hard time when things feel like they are somewhat stable for a few months, yet in reality the lesions continue to progress. Currently my brain and spinal cord are active. These lesions effect things like cognition, spacial awareness, sensory nerves and muscle strength. It is tough to see the cognitive changes when you rely on the brain to tell you whats wrong.
The numbness is the worst on the left side, but the right is no picnic. It’s really is weird not being able to tell if your arm has made it into the shirt you are putting on.
I continue to take my injections to hopefully slow to progression but there is no way to know how well it is doing that, if at all. As I transition from Relapsing Remitting MS into Secondary Progressive MS, things slowly slip away. I wonder how much is left.
Nobody is guaranteed tomorrow. What are you waiting for?
I have been using the same $15 cane I bought 4 years ago when my MS first started slowing me down. I wanted to make it fit my style so I plastered it with stickers. The grip is completely gone and the tip has no traction. As terrible as this cane is, it has helped me a lot over the years but now it’s time for an upgrade.
The search for a new cane is frustrating. Everything seems to be designed solely for function. I thought it was weird there’s not much out there designed for a 30 year old dude with tattoos and piercings. The search led me to a group of rad dudes who built the Chatfield cane. Reading through the features it was clear this was the cane I was looking for. The shaft is solid Walnut and the tip, or “shoe” as they call it, is inspired by a skate shoe. Yup, you read that right, skate shoe inspired. I think I found my Excaliber.
The grip on my old, cheaply assembled Walmart cane completely peeled off years ago, leaving an uncomfortable plastic handle. Getting around with a wobbly, unstable cane is a task in itself. The Chatfield from Top and Derby blows the shoddy aluminum tube of a cane out of the water. The handle on the Chatfield just feels right. The girth (heh, girth) of the handle fits my hand perfectly. And I don’t talk about girth in my hand very often. The grip and stability of the shoe inspired tip has been noticeably helpful.
Top and Derby have integrity. They care about the people that they are helping, they are hip and stylish, and they’re using their platform to spread awareness about things that really matter. Their Enable Initiative proves their dedication; with March being MS awareness month they created 200 limited edition Chatfield canes decked out with Pantone (158) orange handles and shoes and custom laser engraving. For every one of the 200 made, they are donating the proceeds directly to the MS Societies of Canada and the US. I’m honored they sent me one of these beauties.
In my teens I spent my time skating and riding BMX through skate parks just like this one. I’m the same rad dude; just because I can’t shred the half-pipe doesn’t mean I’m not shredding gnar through life. And after 4 years with a $15 cane I realize that it’s more than an assistive device; it’s the face of my MS. The Chatfield is a cane I’m proud to have people stare at. Go ahead, ask me about my cane.