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Last Updated: Aug 2, 2015 - 7:22:57 AM 

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Down the Road

Down the Road in a wheelchair
By Milt Gross
Aug 2, 2015 - 7:22:57 AM

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This is the beastie -- oops, I mean wheelchair -- Dolores and others tried to get me to use. Until they learned I just don't need it and can't lift it. Milt Gross photo.

The wheelchair and I, which reads like it could be a title. And, if I put titles on these columns, that would be this week's title.

We're in an apartment in Searsport, a really nice little town in case you missed that column, and one of our activities -- or non-activities -- is waiting to have a hip replaced. That should happen this summer.

In the meantime, the nice people in this apartment building have been loaning us things to help me survive the next four to six weeks until surgery time. I've finally convinced Dolores the place for them is a corner of the study. Because it's a big enough room for all of them.

Oh, yes, I've also been telling her I'm right. I don't need all that junk. I've got a perfectly good pair of $30 walking poles, aluminum in case I become suicidal during a thunder bumper. I take them everywhere. Actually they take me everywhere.

The other day I was leaving a store in Belfast, leaning on my aluminum poles, and heading out to the car. A local idiot drove by and shouted, "Are you going hiking?"*

I didn't answer, because it was obvious from the hiking poles that I was going hiking. If he was half as intelligent as he was stupid, he'd see that.

Anyway, back to the non-title of this week's blabbing on-and-on, about the wheelchair and I. Today Dolores insisted that we take it with us in the car and I would ride in it during our afternoon walk in a Belfast park. She brought the Scion hatchback to the door, then pushed me in the wheelchair out to the car, I got up and leaned on one of my hiking poles to help steady the old guy. I also grabbed the nearest handle to the wheelchair. She grabbed the other handle. We both heaved and hahed, not heave-ho as in the movies, but heave-hah as when your half of the wheelchair weighs about 345 pounds.

We decided not to kill ourselves putting the wheelchair into the Scion's rear, likely reducing her mileage from around 40 mpg to about 20 mpg. We also decided that if we ever got it in there, we'd never get it out again. So she rolled it up onto the porch of the apartment building.

We roamed a bit, went to the Belfast park, where I hobbled around awhile because the doctor says that's good for me while I'm waiting to be surgecated. (In case you don't recognize that word, it's brand new. I just invented it.) After our sit in the shade and my hobble to the little bridge and back to the Scion, we drove home. At home, I started hobbling up the drive, and Dolores went ahead and brought the wheelchair down.

She shoved and grunted and shoved and used language I sometimes use when something doesn't quite shove the way it should. Finally we got to the porch, which is about two inches higher than the drive. No shoving, praying, swearing, or other endeavor got it up that two inches with me sitting in it and desperately offering to get out.

Alas, along came assistance in the persons of two elderly ladies, who tried to help. The three women shoved, pushed, pulled, said a few things they probably shouldn't have, while I was attempting to get out of the chair. Finally, they stood back to rest and I jumped up, leaned on my walking poles and headed for the door.

I see a lot of people riding around on wheelchairs, some even have motors. I can't imagine the weight of those beasties. But, if you'll notice next time you see one, it won't be carrying me.

I'll be hobbling right along, leaning on those aluminum poles.

Off for a hike.

* I used to hike, up all but one of Maine's highest mountains, up I have no idea how many trails. I always enjoyed that, and our surgeon assures me I will again. I just don't want to use a wheelchair for any of those hikes.


Milt Gross can be reached for corrections, harassment, or other purposes at lesstraveledway@roadrunner.com.

Milton M. Gross Copyright 2014


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