Monday, 3 December 2012

Bridges Connections 2012

To my Bridges friends in particular
I miss you already! I hope we have worked out a real way to keep in touch during the winter months when there are no Bridges gatherings.

Using a combination of email to everyone and links to my Andrew’s Bridges blog, we can send messages to one and all.

This could work around the year also. I'm thinking this could become a way of connecting us all through the year as well, when people who live far away cannot come to every gathering. Also we can be connected to friends like Tim and John who now live far away. This may be a step towards using Skype at the same time to have a ”virtual” gathering.

Using Andrew’s Bridges Blog to keep in touch over the winter
We are thinking of timing our Bridges message activity around the time of month that we plan to meet in 2013—around the middle of the month.

Many of us depend on others for our access to email or the Internet. But if we have a whole week, it could work for someone in our circle of friends to support us?
You don't need to type long messages. Just something so we know you are still there.....

How we can do this
1. We will alert you with an email message that there is new material in the blog that could interest you and give you the link: Click on the link:

2. This link takes you to the Home page. You will see my most recent messages at the top of the page. Older messages are lower down.
You may simply browse and read information.
Or you could add comments and questions.
Just a simple greeting will cheer us to know that you are well.
Your messages may stimulate others to comment and prompt us to add to or adapt the information.

This is how to comment
·    Underneath each post, click on where it says 'comments'. (It might say 'No comments' or '1 comment', etc. depending on how many people have already commented).   
·    Enter your comment in the space provided. You have the option of making a comment to the original post, or replying to another comment that has been posted in response to the original post.    
·    Underneath your comment, you will be asked to select a profile. Choose any of the options. If you don't have any of the mentioned accounts, you can just choose 'name/url' and it will give you an option to enter your name (you can make up a nick name if you prefer or use your real name. It also gives you the option to add your own website if you want to.)    
·    Or you can just comment as an anonymous person if you wish.    
·    When you click 'publish', you will be asked to verify numbers and/or words. After you do this, your comment will be posted once reviewed by the moderator.   

Some Ideas for Discussion
To start with, I have some questions to match the time of year and some that were suggested at our last gathering. I am posting all these now, with some ideas on four of them. Perhaps you could reply to say which topics interest you most?

1. How do you like the prospect of winter which is starting early this year?
AB: I love winter and running and walking in the snow! I am thinking about the snow to come and how I will enjoy the crisp cool days. The snow makes everything fresh and new and it gives me a good feeling that things are improving and going to be better every day. Yes it is like a new beginning and the footprints in the snow are the new journey that is marked in it each step of the way. It is good to feel the soft flakes on my face. It is like feathers tickling my nose. I like that feeling a lot –even though I hate to be tickled.

2. Do you make plans for the New Year? Do you plan ahead for new things? How do you feel about change?
AB: I think it is a good idea for everyone to have this in mind because things change. Many of us don’t like to think about change but it is real so let’s plan for it, so it will be more accepted when it happens.
I want to be a good friend and keep in touch with friends near and far away. I know how good it feels to hear from my friends I want them to know I care also. I am happy to think about all the people in my life and live through them sometimes in the great stories they share. I don't need to travel far to know what is happening all over the world because part of me is already there with my friends. I am going to travel far some day but for now I am happy to be here in Guelph.
I hope to see my Aroha friends [special circle friends] near Christmas. Maybe do more poems with Beth and Judi and paint with Heidi.
In my mind I see my friends circling around me in support. I feel I might not fall between the cracks if I have my Aroha in the days ahead when my parents cannot be in my life. My Aroha will keep the intentions and values we determined together. It is wise to have a plan and start it while your parents are alive. Friends not strangers will support me when the crisis comes in the future. I will be upset when G and E go but I will have a life in place.

3. What do you most enjoy to eat? Could we share our recipe favourites?
AB: I love all my foods but I think my fish dishes are the best. How can I make them myself? I like to have a lot of green things. How can I make the new fish dishes with green vegetables?

4. What is your favourite form of exercise?
AB: I am hoping to run more and maybe in a long distance marathon. I love to run fast and furious. It will be fun to run that way again soon. I sometimes run too fast at the beginning then slow down and even stop. I need someone to remind me it was my good idea and say” so move along Andrew!”

5. What it’s like to travel—what helps with any changes in routine. How do we keep to our diets when out of our regular patterns?

6. How can we get used to communicating and using ST when away from our usual places and support people?

7. How can we encourage staff or new people to have conversations with us when they may be shy about ST? One tip at our last gathering: “At first I told them all the nice things that I was thinking”. Another tip: “Carry your communication board/device everywhere!

8. What it’s like to live in your own home. If I want to, how do I start?

9. Are any of us sensitive to things in our environment—weather (heat, humidity…), phases of moon, noise, vibrations, bright lights, pollution?

10. Are you interested in keeping learning? If so, what subjects are you interested in?
AB: People did not think I could learn when I was school age. Now I want to continue to learn and maybe get a diploma. Art history is my first choice, with some music as well. I want to learn about the environment and history too. I need my special style of learning to be recognized. I need to see and hear things over again. I think my senses are overactive and they need to slow down to take in the information.


  1. KM's comments on first three questions, Dec 2012
    1. How do you like the prospect of winter which is starting early this year?
    KM: I like winter because it has snow for walking in. I go hiking in the snow wearing snow-shoes.

    2. Do you make plans for the New Year? Do you plan ahead for new things? How do you feel about change?
    KM: I don`t like change but I like doing new things like going on a holiday to Jamaica. I can learn to do new things. I learned to be a leader at Bridges. I enjoyed doing that. I think I can learn new things without being upset. I like doing different things.

    3. What do you most enjoy to eat? Could we share our recipe favourites?
    KM: I like being on my diet. I will have my Mom share the chili recipe with you. It tastes good and is on my diet. I get to eat different food because I am on the special diet. It is healthy and I am strong on it.

  2. I like to travel but changes in routine are always challenging. My parents are a huge help with trying to keep everything as routine as possible. It also makes it much easier that we are all on the same diet.

    I always bring my Mini iPad with me and I do have some of my most common phrases already added into my program. I find this easier with new people and for myself with people I'm not used to working with.

    I also find it helpful to stay calm with new people. Sometimes it can be very frustrating but we must remember that it can be just as frustrating for them.

    Well I do live with my parents. But I have my own workplace and studio in the basement which I really enjoy. I am always working on becoming more independent. My advice for anyone starting out would be to try to be patient.

    1. Thanks, Kevin. This is very interesting.