| If it isn’t spring, it might as well be, in the words of Oscar Hammerstein. I always thought he expressed my feelings of spring fever, right on the money.
Am I busy as a spider making day dreams? Yes. Lately, I’ve been in Monaco on a big yacht, The Cousteau. Am I starry eyed and vaguely discontented? I don’t know about stars in my eyes, but I do feel a bit put out because I can’t get to the post office, much less the Riviera.
Am I giddy as a baby on a swing? Only if I straighten up too fast after bending to pick something up off the floor. Can anyone tell me why, when it’s very difficult to do the bend and pick up exercise, I drop so much more on the floor than ever before? Bending is not too much of a problem since I always automatically do a ballet plies to get down. The hard part is keeping my head in the right place coming back up.
My springtime itchy feet have been difficult to learn to control. Every year, in May, I have had the strong urge to put a knapsack on my back and take off while lustily singing, “The Happy Wanderer.” This is something you have to discipline and suppress if you’re unable to use your feet and legs in a normal fashion.
As I say this, I have one eye on my Rascal scooter, which could get me places once the pot holes dry up and I figure out how to get it out of the two doors between me and freedom.
The apartment door is steel and hydraulic. The automatic closure would be helpful if it were not so hard to get it open and keep it open until I and my Rascal get through it. I have to hold it open with my right hand, which unfortunately, is the one I have to use on the tiller in order to go forward.
The outside door is worse. It’s been hung backwards. Going out is the same problem as it is with the apartment door, only worse. If my timing is off, I can plunge right down some steps, which are smack dab in front of the door. There is a ramp, but it is to the right of the steps.
Coming back in is really tricky. I have to drive past the door; just far enough to avoid plummeting off the small porch. Then I have I have to reach back, open the very heavy door and somehow keep it open until I can back up far enough to make a sharp turn and go inside, while aiming for the hallway, which is to the left of the upstairs stairway, staring me in the face.
This week I’ve been watching Buster Keaton movies. His physical comedy is fantastic and extremely dangerous. I realized that if he had ever had a scooter like mine, he could have done a movie based on my maneuvers and mishaps.
There are several things I have to master. One is turning, which the scooter will do on a dime if you left the tiller. The trick is to learn in which direction you lift it, depending upon where you want to go. You also have to be careful not to turn too fast because you can end up hitting something. Learning at what point to stop is the key. In my case, I often push down too hard on the handle while turning and find myself spinning on half a dime right into the wall, or whatever I’m trying to avoid.
Of course, in the house you have to go slowly to go safely. It doesn’t help if someone, playing around, moves the speed dial and you don’t notice you’re on 10 instead of 3. This happened to me yesterday. Let me tell you, this little sucker goes faster than you think it will. I started to make a sharp slow right turn into the bathroom and almost plunged into the tub before I had enough wits about me to release the lever. I swear, at ten I was flying. Now, I carefully check the speedometer before taking off.
I’ve worked out a pretty good system for getting around. I use my walker for the first half of the day and the scooter for the second half. This gives me a certain amount of leg exercise. It’s tiring, but I do it. I also use the walker during the night when I’m sleeping, in case I have to get up. I quickly learned that if you’re half awake, you’re not going to be a very good driver.
Little by little I’ve learned how to master the art of scootering. My daughter, bless her heart, installed an airplane seat belt for me, just in case I involuntarily bail out. Now, when I buy some knee pads I’ll be all set to ramble.