About Me


Terri Reinhart spent 18 years teaching kindergarten at the Denver Waldorf School. She now enjoys spending time making brooms, felting, knitting, bookbinding, painting, and filling up the house with various craft supplies. She is probably the only woman who has ever asked her husband for 50 pounds of broomcorn for her birthday. She also enjoys writing because, as she says, “It helps me to process all the crazy wonderful things in life without screaming or hitting anything.”

Her husband, Chris, is very patient.


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A humorous look at one person's journey with Parkinson's and Dystonia

For me, illness and health are not opposites but exist together. Everyone has something that is challenging to them. Mine just simply has a recognizable name. My life will take a different path because of this but that's okay. Everyone has changes in their lives that create their path.  I'm learning how to enjoy whatever path I'm on.

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Entries in independence (2)


The Sports Car of my Dreams

When I was in elementary school, I loved to look through the Sears Catalogue and plan my dream house.  After days of looking, I would carefully fill out the order forms with all the furniture, appliances, and home decor for my future abode.  By the time I was in high school, I traded in the Sears catalogue for the Auto Trader magazine.  This was even more exciting than furniture.

Having a car meant freedom.  Having freedom meant getting away whenever I wanted, going wherever I wanted to go, and staying away as long as I wanted.  At least, that's what I thought when I was in high school.  We were always a one car family and getting a chance to drive the car was a rare treat.  My dad was very strict about our driving, too.  We were not to drive on the highway or go to certain neighborhoods after dark. This meant I drove on the highway and, well, I just didn't tell him where I was going.  I knew I would soon have my own car and then I wouldn't have to answer to anyone.

Paging through the Auto Trader, I would find my dream car - a 1965 Austin Healey. I would find every Austin Healey for sale in our area and mark the pages.  Then, I would carefully calculate the time I would need to raise the cash from my 75 cent/hour babysitting money.  I concluded I would need to babysit for approximately 8000 hours.

I eventually gave up on the Austin Healey and set my sights on a Triumph.  Though my financial situation hadn't changed much, I had added a family to my babysitting roster who gave tips.  On a good night, I might make $5 or $6.  If I kept up my work, I might just be able to afford the car by the time I was .... 65.

I ended up with an orange 1974 Pinto with an 8 track tape player.  Not that I minded too much. At least I had a car.

Now for my confession.  I've been looking at sporty vehicles again and I have my eye on one.  It's sleek and beautiful.  It handles well and can turn on a dime.  It can hold up to 320 lbs and go as fast as 6 mph!  It's also green.  An electric vehicle, it can go about 10 miles to the charge with a lithium battery.  What is most exciting, it only weighs 36 lbs, including the battery!  It folds up and can be put in a bag and stored in the overhead compartment on an airplane.  

It's a Travel Scoot, invented by Howard Huber, an engineer and amateur airplane builder who had injured his legs in a hang gliding accident years ago.  He wanted a vehicle that was light enough to take on a small airplane. It didn't exist at the time, so he invented one.  It's the Austin Healey of the mobility scooters, a Triumph in engineering!  


I'm only feeling moderatly guilty for betraying my Pride Revo. Todd, the Pride mechanic, came by yesterday to look over the Revo.  He was impressed.  I've had it for 3 years and haven't replaced the batteries... yet.  It seems the batteries may have a month or so of life left in them.  Worse than that, the drive train and motor needs to be replaced. We were lucky.  Though the warranty expired a month ago, Pride offered to give us the parts at half price.  

I've come up in the world now and I'm not dependent on my 75 cent/hr babysitting jobs. I make gnomes instead.  I have my calculations.  For 60 gnomes, I can get the Revo fixed and the batteries replaced.  For 220 gnomes, I could get the Austin.. I mean the Travel Scoot.  

For now, I'm getting the Revo fixed.  I'll need it next month when I start school.  Oh yeah, I'm starting school in the fall and this time, I won't be teaching.  I'll be taking two classes: Spanish and Introduction to Political Science.  As it's an election year, I'm sure the Political Science class will be very interesting.  

I'll take the bus to school and use the Revo to get around campus. I did a dry run yesterday and it was great, only my battery started to wimp out on the hill coming home from the bus.  That's when I pulled out the scooter catalogue.  Time to dream again!



Off Road Traveling and that Someday which is Today

As you have probably seen already from the photo that's been posted several times, I am "off-roading" these days. The photo is not totally honest. I rarely travel in the streets if I can help it. I travel almost exclusively off road, on the sidewalk. We finally bought my mobility scooter and we've been putting this little baby to the test. Last Saturday, we got on the train in Denver and came to Glenwood Springs. We had planned to do this as our 30th wedding anniversary celebration and also as a way to begin Chris' retirement.We had talked for a long time about taking a trip together someday, and now we finally are doing it.

There are all kinds of things that I plan on doing someday. Someday, I plan on finishing my book. Someday, I plan on writing down the Grandmother Willow stories. Someday, I will have the studio finished. I could go on and on, but you get the idea. When will someday turn into now?

This is part of why I am so happy that we have come to Glenwood. Of course, the biggest and best reason for taking this trip is that Chris and I can spend 6 days together, just the two of us.  We have had a marvellous time wandering around the town, shopping, swimming, and today, we even rode the Tramway up the mountain! Chris was rightly proud of this accomplishment as he has a serious fear of heights.I have been most excited about wandering around the town and shopping. I can do that now because I am not concentrating only on keeping myself upright and moving, as I need to do if I am walking.

My new scooter is part of how we made our someday become today. Parkinson's is a strange disorder. My neurologist refers to it as a designer disease because it affects different people in so many different ways and our reactions to medications are also very different. There are some days when I don't appear to have any physical challenges whatsoever and other days when I have difficulty getting around in my house.

I met one man whose Parkinson's wasn't at all visible to other people. When a friend of his, whom he hadn't seen for several years, came to town, she didn't believe that he had anything wrong with him and she actually became angry with him for worrying her with his story of having Parkinson's.For those friends of mine who see me only when I am doing well, they might wonder why I would even think of getting a mobility scooter. Isn't it important to exercise when you have Parkinson's? And why would I want to make myself look and be more disabled than I am?

My answer to these questions is simple. I am not trying to be more disabled, I am trying to be more mobile. Over the last 7 years, I have given up a lot of activities that I loved, just because I knew I could not do the walking involved. I didn't go to festivals and fairs anymore. I wasn't able to take long walks or opt to walk with my children to the library instead of taking the car. I didn't go to museums or shopping malls. Some places have simple non-electric wheelchairs that can be used to get around but that really makes me feel disabled! I don't have the strength to push myself through a museum so I would be dependent on someone to push me. Walking will never be the way I get my exercise because, after a half a block or so, my dystonia will kick in. My physical therapist agreed with that. With my scooter, I am able to do things that I haven't done for 7 years. I am more able, not more disabled with my scooter. Why wait till my disease has progressed to the point where I can't get around any other way? I feel good now and I want to do as much as I possibly can do, now!

Why wait for the someday that may never come? Having successfully accomplished so much on this trip, I now have renewed energy to bring home with us. I am determined to make many more somedays turn into todays.

First things first, however. We have just spent two and a half days wandering around the town and being very busy.

I think I need a nap.