I never thought I would be that person who needed a walker to get around, but alas, here I am.

I am now realizing how many venues in our area are not as easy to use. I realized that if I want to attend a concert at Northwest Florida State College, the balcony has a wide first row, and two boxes for those who can’t use stairs. The Emerald Coast Conference Center has ramps to get you where you need to be, but in some cases the ramps are so long and winding you are worn out using them.

I never paid much attention as I blithely ran up and down aisles that there was no hand rail to grab onto or that steps were everywhere. Getting around now has become an adventure.

I notice things like curbs that are harder to step onto and that flat areas that allow you to access a business are sometimes far away from your destination.

I am grateful to all those generous folks who notice you and open a door.

I never thought I would need a walker, but I’m not-going to let that define me. Now, I’m off to a movie.

Judith Kennedy, Niceville