Day One

July 15, 2013

The alarm clock rang at 5:20. I was up and out of the bed before the second alarm went off at 5:30.

The Ms. Wheelchair America week is finally here! It feels like a life-time ago that I was sitting in my accounting night class at UTC looking up information for the Ms. Wheelchair Tennessee pageant. It’s so hard to believe that was just six short months ago!! The memories I have already made are incredible. I can’t imagine what wonderful things will come from this week.

Michael (my brother) came to pick Jeremy and I up around 6:30 and it was off the the Chattanooga airport!!

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Check-in was a breeze and everyone was so nice!! This was going to be the first time in a long time that I have been without a power wheelchair. Permobil was gracious enough to have a loaner chair delivered to the hotel in Texas for me to use for my week at the MWA pageant. (It’s scary to fly with a power chair. It seems like every time we have flown with one, something always comes back broken.)

After we checked our bags, Jeremy walked off with out me. He finally turned around to notice I wasn’t beside him. He had forgotten that he was going to have to push me in the manual chair. (I think it might be a long day until I get my mobility back in a power chair.)

I went through the pat down with the TSA officers. They were both very sweet ladies and very interested in my MWTN sash. I told them where I was going and they wanted to know more!! I, of course, loved sharing all the details with them.

After successfully passing my pat down, we headed to our gate. Well, Jeremy had to come back for me again because he already forgot I couldn’t drive myself.

We talked with the airline personnel before loading the plane early. They too wanted to know more about my sash. It brings me such joy to share the purpose of the Ms. Wheelchair organization.

I had to transfer over to an aisle chair in order to safely get on the plane. The ladies were super sweet and made sure my knees didn’t get bumped.

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Once everyone was aboard the plane, the flight attendant made an announcement about my trip to Texas to compete in the MWA pageant. Too cool!! Everyone applauded and wished me well.

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We switched planes in Dallas and had a short flight to Houston. There were two fabulous ladies who met us at baggage claim. They came bearing gifts of water and snacks and escorted us to our car. Debbie is on the Ms Wheelchair Texas board and drove us to the hotel. We chatted the entire way. She is a super nice gal.

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Our room wasn’t ready and my wheelchair hadn’t been delivered when we arrived at the hotel. That was okay, we went upstairs to check in with Ms. Wheelchair America and set my table up. Everyone was so nice and friendly!! I just know this is going to be the most incredible week!

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Still waiting to get in our room, Jeremy and I decided to go across the street for some Mexican food. It was yummy and turns out, we will be eating there as a group on Wednesday.

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When we got back to the hotel, our room was ready. We went upstairs and waited on Permobil to deliver my loaner chair. Todd got here around 5:00 (we are on central time now) and was such a great guy!! He wanted to make sure everything was perfect. He made several adjustments to make things more comfortable for me. Unfortunately, the seat isn’t quite deep enough so I am unable to do any standing transfers. Todd is going to check around for a chair that will fit me better. Keep your fingers crossed.

After that, we had only a few minutes to check out the state tables and chat with some of the girls. Then it was off to dinner. Jeremy and I dined with Ms. Ohio, Ms. Oklahoma, Ms. Texas, and Little Miss Texas. The table was full of chatter the entire time.

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After dinner it was off to orientation. We got seats on the front row. First, we had a guest speaker and then we played a get to know you game with our state pins. There were random facts provided by all of us on a sheet and we had to guess who went with each fact. I don’t think anyone finished but the game will be on going all week.

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Next we learned lots of dos and donts for the week. And other information.

Then we all got our new sashes that were hand made by Shelly, Ms Wheelchair America president. She prayed for each of us as she worked on our sashes.

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We had a few more items to go over and then it was off to our rooms at around 10:00 (remember it’s really 11:00 for me).

Not not sure this all flows but I can barely hold my eyes open. I promise more posts and pictures tomorrow.

Thanks for all the likes and comments on Facebook…I’m sorry i can’t respond to everyone.

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