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Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Scooter on the Bus Goes...

This has been an adventurous week, even though school is officially out and summer has started. My foot is still incommunicado in the big green incubator until 6/17. It doesn’t hurt much anymore, and I’m really hoping to get PT and a boot instead of a cast next week when they cut this one off.

Last week, after the whole teacher of the year extravaganza, I was also offered a promotion of sorts that has me working a couple of days a week. I still can’t drive so I have to carpool to accomplish this transition, which is not so bad, but is still a reminder of my extensive limitations.

I started this new part of my job on Tuesday. On Wednesday, I was supposed to go to the DMV to get a temporary disabled placard so we can park close to stuff but mostly so we can go camping (more on that later). Jason had to go over the hill to work, so he couldn’t take me. I’d really been feeling depressed and frustrated that I couldn’t really go anywhere by myself. Wednesday morning I was lying in bed trying to figure out how to get around when it dawned on me that I could take the bus!

When I first moved to SC years ago, I didn’t have a car and relied on the bus and friends for transportation. I rode the bus every day, multiple times. I remember sharing the bus with many a wheelchair, and that made me realize that if I could scoot then I could ride! There is also a bus stop practically across from my house, so I figured I had no excuse.

After calling the Metro to make sure where the right stops were located, I set out on my scooter down the street to the bus stop. I had to go about 2 blocks toward the beach, and this was the hardest part of the journey because the streets slope sharply downhill toward the ocean and are uneven with hardly any sidewalks. Once I made it to the bus stop it was much easier. The bus has a ramp that folds down and I just rolled right on and rode all the way to the mall where I rolled right off. Then I planned my route and rolled across the street and down about a block to the DMV. When I got there I did a silent cheer for my accomplishment and rolled on in where I successfully procured a disabled person placard and then rolled back to the mall.

I enjoyed my freedom so much that day! I actually never really took my solitude that much for granted, because I always have felt pretty lucky to be able to do just about whatever I want, whenever I want. But I did take driving for granted, and I think now it will be much easier to cut down on driving in the future because I’ve been forced to be creative with transportation. At any rate, I took my time at the mall, ate lunch, shopped a bit and then caught the bus home. The homeward bus stopped pretty much in front of my house, so that was easy. Overall, the trip was very uplifting and I feel much better having done something by myself. Yay for the bus.

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