Force of habit compels me, unconsciously, routinely, impulsively, to say, “I’m taking a walk.” (Back in the day, the sounds of those words compelled my dog to leap with joy, and scamp away to find her leash.) In reality, however, fully conscience, pragmatic, practical, I should say, “I’m taking a roll.” (my dog would have snored.)
I spend most of my time at my ALF (Assisted Living Facility). But when my battery-powered wheelchair is charged, I can be found bouncing along the tree-root rutted, bumpy sidewalks, and at a traffic intersection, frenziedly trying to make the walk sign before it runs down to zero seconds. Or I might be lucky enough to have a friend load my wheel chair and me into a car or van for a trip to a coffee shop, a movie, or some other latitudinal or longitudinal location away from the lugubrious ALF.
I slide down in my wheelchair and sigh as I look at the crinkles in the bottom sheet of my bed, as I’m about to be helped into it for the night. I flashback to when I was ten or eleven – some seventy years ago – I was a city kid attending summer camp in the mountains of New England. We lived in a rustic (at least, that was our perception) cabin, in what was advertised as country, outdoors living. It was “roughing it” in a wooded paradise far different than our existence in New York City.
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