Independence, Thy Name is Nyel!

Nov 29, 2018 | 2 comments

The Kitchen King

I’m sure there are all sorts of tricks and strategies to successful wheelchair-living – making user-friendly accommodations to one’s home and getting in-home help being two of the most obvious.  In lieu of either of those possibilities however, I think the most effective answer, at least in the short-term, lies in the stubbornness quotient of the patient.  It’s one of those “if there’s a will, there’s a way” things.

In the normal course of events, at least in our household, stubbornness has not always had positive ramifications.  I’m sure I’m not alone in being a woman who has adapted over time (it’s sort of an erosion process) to living with a stubborn man.  Stubborn in all manner of things.  In fact, the man in question has even come to realize over the years that the more adamant he is about his side of an argument, the more likely it is that he is wrong.  That, however, has never been a deterrent to said obstinance.

Quesadillas for Dinner!

So, it is not surprising that Nyel is mastering the art of Seamless Living in a Wheelchair – the only limitations being steps or stairs and, of course, that his left leg is totally non-weight-bearing for another six weeks.  As long as the chair remains on a relatively level surface and he remains seated in it, he is managing to find ways to resume business as usual.  Like cooking.

Granted, he does need me to get down the high things – a true reversal of roles in our 5’2″ to 6’2″ standing relationship.  Gradually, through the use of my handy-dandy step-stool, I’ve managed to meet all requests and have found ways to return frequently used items to wheel-chair-friendly heights.  And, I do insist on doing the actual stovetop antics with spatulas or ladles.  But when it comes to the prep and putting things together – Nyel rules.

Communicating with the South Koreans

Last night it was quesadillas with grated mozzarella and crumbled feta, diced red and green peppers, onions, and sliced tomatoes and black olives.  The ingredients were all arranged beautifully on a tortilla which was then folded over and entrusted to me to sauté in the cast iron frying pan.  OMG!  Delicious!

Tonight, the plan is a stir fry with pork and I-have-no-idea-what-else.  Oh… and did I say that we still do not have a working oven in our 11-month-old Samsung stove?  That is a saga that I am reluctant to talk about until our negotiations with the manufacturer are over.  It may well be a two- or three-part report when all is said and done.  Meanwhile… as long as Nyel is at the helm (if wheelchairs have a helm), we will eat well despite all obstacles!  Yay!


  1. jean Nitzel

    This is going to sound weird, but I wish my stubborn one was as ambitious as yours. As of now we are contemplating Clatsop Care Center again. Ugh!

  2. Dian Schroeder

    Stubborn? Oh yeah! However, like Nyel, also a good cook. As I write this, the fragrance of homemade posole is fills the room.


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