These unexpected warm days have allowed me to take my guy for long, long wheelchair excursions on the rail trail behind the VA.
First thing, we have to put on his jacket, and I noticed two things. One is that it is not easy to put a jacket on a wheelchair-bound person. And the other is that my guy has somehow adjusted to the fact that he has to allow someone else to dress him. (And feed and change him.)
He patiently allows me to struggle with stuffing and pulling him into the jacket, then pulling the cuffs over his large but non-working hands, once so strong capable in his construction days.
We go down by the elevator, and he laughs as I pull him into it by tugging on his toes.
When we get to the outside door and feels the fresh outside air, he always lets out a hoot of great joy.
At the very far end of a giant little-used parking lot there is a hole in the fence that allows us to ease him down, backwards, to the rail trail.
He then decides whether we go right, to visit Fawn Lake, or left towards the town, which requires crossing three roads.
Recently he prefers the road-crossing itinerary.
Last time we went further than ever, all the way to the old Bedford train station. I thought the rail trail stopped there, but he disagreed.
And he was right: that is the beginning of the paved rail trail that goes all the way to Alewife Station. The paving makes for easy wheeling, so we went another half mile or so before turning back.
By the time we got back to the VA, which is mildly uphill, it was getting cold and I was pretty tuckered out. And he was glad to get back, hoping for a nap.
Each time we think this might be our last excursion until spring, but so far there is always another warm day.