Posted on Wednesday January 26, 2011
Doing Things Differently
Friendly Wheels, Issue 15
Susan Bell became an Amigo owner for the first time in 1979 – since then she has done everything from taking her her two children cross country camping to caring for a 100 lb. newborn bull calf to meeting President Ronald Reagan at the White House.
Susan says,”The Amigo has virtually been a lifesaver. It has allowed me to make my mountain into a gold mine.”
In 1979 I was still able to walk with a cane, but experienced extreme fatigue in doing everyday tasks (two small children at the time) as well as teaching nursing students at the University. Once I found that using the Amigo didn’t mean that I had given up, I was able to not only raise my children, but took them cross country camping. My favorite memory was touring the Smithsonian Museum. I was the only one that didn’t get tired. I was able to teach 13 years in the Nursing Division and supervised students in the hospital. Having the help of a van with an automatic lift has allowed me to drive most anywhere on my own attending out of town meetings, quilt retreats and family gathering all using my trusty Amigo.”
In 1987, Susan visited the White House and met with President Reagan to receive her award as the National MS Mother of the Year. She remembers “at the time the White House was not handicapped accessible and thus had no elevator except for the kitchen service elevator. I got to go through President Reagan’s private kitchen to use the service elevator — a ride that few have taken.”
From the White House to her farm in “very rural” northeast Missouri, Susan (and her Amigo) know no boundaries. She recently turned her mud room into a make shift nursery for a 100 pound newborn bull calf that lost his mother at birth. The calf is doing fine now, and out in the barn. “They really don’t make very good house pets,” according to Susan.
After retiring from teaching, Susan says she now has time for her passion of quilting. She had a long arm quilting machine made so she can operate it from my Amigo. Besides quilting, she has been playing the English hand bells in her church choir for more than 25 years and participates in a Senior Songsters choir.
Also an avid trout fisherman, Susan says “with the help of my Amigo I can do just about anything, I just do them a little differently.”
Throughout life Susan has “danced in the rain” as her favorite quote says, “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass… It’s about learning to dance in the rain.”