Life in an Obstacle Course

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“Does anybody around here think?” I grumbled to my Sweet Baboo the other day.

That time, it had to do with the outdoor water faucet. It was supposed to rain: Storm, in fact. Thunderstorms were coming our way, said all the local TV meteorologists. Ditto, said The Weather Channel. Therefore, the garden did not get watered.

Thunderstorms, huh? I love thunderstorms. I sleep well through them. But we didn’t even get a small sprinkling. The storms got as far as the Illinios-Indiana line — and dissipated. I watched the radar. There they were: blue stuff, yellow stuff, red stuff; then they weren’t.

Out I went to water the garden, only to find that whoever had brought the garbage bin back from the curb had parked it right smack dab in front of the faucet.

Now, it’s difficult enough for me to reach the faucet. There is a deep pocket of white rock right in front of it that my scooter gets stuck in. Therefore, I have to park beside the rocks, lean w-a-y over, and turn the handle with the tips of my fingers. Add a garbage bin parked in front of the faucet? Fuhgeddaboudit.

Hence, the question when he called later to find out if I wanted him to pick up anything on the way home.

I mean, it’s not like anybody around here has seen me jumping, running, skipping, or even walking lately. You’d think they’d remember there are places I can’t get to if barriers are places in the way. The short version of the backstory is: I ruptured my Achilles tendon, got a bone infection, had to have a below-the-knee amputation to stop the spread of the infection. I get around on a mobility scooter.

Another example: I want to shampoo my hair. “So?” you ask. So I used the last of my shampoo and need another bottle. I have a stash of shampoo, conditioner, and shower gel in a cupboard in the back hallway. If only I could get to it.

There is, in the back hallway, a broken fan (why isn’t it out with the garbage?), a free-standing toilet paper holder that hasn’t been used in nearly one year, a metal folding chair, the leaves for the dining room table, and something white and tubular. They’re against the wall, but take up just enough space that I can’t get my scooter through.

How many times have I asked my grandson to get me a bottle of shampoo? I lost count. Not as long as I’ve been asking him to clean the front porch and the deck. (My cleaning lady was going to come and do it, but I cancelled her because … it was supposed to storm.) I finally asked my husband, who got it for me. He even put it on my shelf in the shower.

But wouldn’t it be simpler to just keep the hallway clear?

Used to be, I’d get up, make a pot of coffee, and drink it. My stomach doesn’t like that any more, so I finally sent my grandson out to get one of those one-cup-at-a-time coffee makers. He came in the back door, walked through the kitchen, through the dining room, most of the way through the living room — and put the box with the coffee maker on the sofa. Then he left for work.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t brew coffee in the living room. Unfortunately, the box is too large for me to maneuver it into the kitchen while operating a scooter.

And, oh, how many times have I asked the others who live here to leave a couple of different sized plates and bowls within reach so I’ll have something to eat off of? Many more times than I can count.

Now, there are dishes I can reach, but they’re along the lines of my grandchildren’s “baby” dinnerware. Not that there’s anything wrong with having, say, a sandwich and berries on a plate featuring a purple dinosaur or a kitty with a big bow on its head, but it seems somehow demeaning. Not to mention that it makes me feel as if I should be cutting my food into small pieces.

And why are those dishes still around? One gran just turned 19 and the other will be 21 before the month is over.

Time to put my foot down, I guess, so I can make it through my own house. Thankfully, I still have a foot to put down.

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