There is no easy way to say this.
I am selling Roseledge, place of my heart.
It is a hard decision, but the right one. Let me count the reasons why.
In a nutshell, my body made me do it.
First, traveling in a wheelchair is a nightmare, a minefield of possible and, unfortunately likely, disasters, or as I have come to know them, Public Displays of Awkwardness (PDA’s). The worst for Angie, the able PT student who traveled with me last summer, might have been the 4 near disastrous transfers from wheelchair to miniscule aisle chair to end seat with raised arm and back again, but more probably was facing a crowd of growlers at the gate who had waited 20 minutes to board and now had to make an aisle for us to get through. Based on my vast experience of PDA’s, I keep assuring Angie that one day it will be funny. A year earlier, 2017, goodheart Scott, who came to Minneapolis to be my plane buddy, and I lived through transfer trauma, and two hours of wheelchair dysfunction, during which he pulled me and my 350 pound wheelchair up the slanted gangway, and, with noodle legs, spent the next hour of a late Friday afternoon with me trying to find someone who knew how to make my brand new power wheelchair move. Fortunately, Brian, retired IT good-guy, parked the rented fan, and got the synchronized system of my chair and me moving. I like to think I helped, but…
Clearly, many problems could be solved if the airlines cleared a place per plane for a wheelchair, much as the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990) requires of trains and buses. But this isn’t going to happen until the Air Carrier Access Act of 1986 is updated and amended to be as accommodating as the ADA. Not an easy or quick task, but I’m working on it. This NYT article is a good overview.
Not to forget, the rented van was terrific. It cost a bit and asked a lot of a third person (Thanks, Brian.), but it made the trip possible — both years.
Once arrived, I discovered just how much living in a wheelchair took away my being OF Maine while I was IN Maine. I can no longer reach shelves in the bookstore, pjck and fix blueberries, rhubarb, or other food favorites, grow herbs, a few flowers and sun-glo tomatoes on the porch, putter in the yard, walk Barter’s Pint Road, etc. In a word, I cannot live independently or simply, as Mainers do. I have become high maintenance, which Charlie says is nothing new, and though Scott, Kris, Angie and Brian were at the ready, it’s just not enough like the way it was, especially having Roseledge Books.
Roselededge Books was perfect: good books, thoughtful people, a better world. Well, nearly perfect. Somehow, “low information” people (someone else’s term) elected the worst ever President. Make it a glitch and spread the faith: read, think, act. Hand out public library cards and a sample copy of a best seller every time you ring a doorbell for whatever candidate you support. The NYT has a good article about a Canadian ex-spy with a Roseledge Books-like idea, minus Tenants Harbor and Roseledge Books’ shelves of books to browse and front porch to sit and ponder. But, like RBer’s, his people read, think, and act (Okay, I’m not sure about voting or proselytizing.), and he makes a pot of money. Well, I covered my book costs each year, got a tax deduction, and met all of you. I’d say we’re even.
Oh, how I will miss you all.
But I am moving to Seattle, close to very nifty #1 — and only — son, Charlie, near the water and my Kindle, and filled, as always, with opinions, which, on occasion, I will post.
Let the next adventure begin.