Since I am no longer allowed to take my guy for our long wheelchair rides on the rail trail or the paved forest trail, we look for places within the VA grounds.
About the only option is the 9 hole golf course, which is operated by nearby Hanscom Field. So we wander there, where there are large green fairways with the smell of fresh cut grass, trees for shade, and even occasional wildflowers.
But whereas the VA proper is almost entirely populated by enlisted men (officers usually come from money and are cared for elsewhere, in style) the golf course is officer’s country. Two totally different kinds of people: often ragged, bearded, crippled enlisted vets at the VA proper versus neatly dressed, well groomed types at the golf course.
So I felt like we might be getting a few “looks” as I took Dave in his wheelchair down the paved access road through the center of the golf course.
I was primed and ready. If we got one comment about bringing an unsightly wheelchair guy into the pristine golf area there would have been a response that would have reduced that golfer to a ragged heap of smoking rubbish.
Perhaps I exuded “don’t even start with us” vibes, because nobody said a word, though nobody was overtly friendly, either.
(Vet buddy number two has been out cold for the last few weeks, so the fact that I am not allowed to take him for rides is moot.)
As we got back to the building, my guy said to me, “I really appreciate you taking me out for these rides. It means a lot to me.”
Which is quite a complete and coherent statement for someone confined to a dementia ward. You might even conclude he doesn’t belong there.