Wintertime Adventures

This afternoon Mrs Acilius’ power wheelchair got stuck in the snow on an unshoveled sidewalk. She’d wanted to go through the street, but had let me convince her that the snow on the sidewalk looked to be worn down enough that she could get through. It worked just fine, until the very end, when she hit a narrow pass in the snow and couldn’t move forward or back. She drove forward and back while I pushed, but it wasn’t budging. Two people converged on us, a fashionably dressed woman of about 60 and a thin man of about 20 with a thousand-yard stare and summer clothes, obviously just back from someplace much colder and much scarier than our college town. (”You have been in Afghanistan, I perceive”…)

Anyway, the two of them greeted us with offers to help push. The first words out of Mrs Acilius’ mouth were “I’m going to live here from now on, apparently.” The young man couldn’t bring himself to believe that pushing wouldn’t solve the problem, and kept looking for ways to grab hold of the chair.

The woman said that what we needed was a shovel. She looked at the business next to the sidewalk, a funky little used-record store, and said it was too bad they didn’t have a snow shovel. “I bet you a nickel they do have a shovel,” I said. “Well, look at their ramp,” she said. The ramp was covered with snow, but she went in anyway, perhaps curious to see whether I’d pay that nickel.

We waited a moment. I told Mrs Acilius that I supposed she had been right about using the street. She reminded me that it was my idea to use the sidewalk. Channeling General Buck Turgidson, I said I din’t think it was fair to indict an entire plan because of one failure. She seemed to think that was funny.

The young man asked me if we could grab the small wheels on the front of Mrs Acilius’ chair. Mrs Acilius wasn’t opposed to this plan, but before we could put it into effect the woman came out of the store, followed by its proprietor bearing a snow shovel. I took the shovel and dislodged Mrs Acilius’ chair.  The young man pushed her forward once I’d broken up the snow.

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  1. cymast

     /  January 12, 2010

    Bravo! May you have all the help you need to overcome many more obstacles.

  2. acilius

     /  January 12, 2010

    Thank you!

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