Recently when I was being transported by wheelchair to the car my thoughts were running wild. How would I live for a year without walking or driving?

One evening at the hospital a surgeon informed me I have a condition call Charcot due to brittle bones (seven broken bones in my right foot), caused by diabetes. He stated that if I do not keep weight off of my foot, more bones could break and it could lead to amputating my foot or even my leg. The surgery was on Good Friday, a real blessing.

The hospital released me the day before Easter.Staying with family 32 days really helped and made me realize how much I take for granted. I am very grateful for the invention of knee scooters, wheelchairs and electric scooters.

I am so blessed and appreciative of family and friends. My stepdad drew up plans and friends from Willamette Christian Church donated labor and materials to build a 50-foot wheelchair ramp so I could move back home in West Linn.

Traveling in my scooter in Portland proved very dangerous, having to drive on 82nd Avenue three different times because a car dealership parked their SUV on the sidewalk, as well as a shopping cart and cyclone fence blocking my access.

Then I thought West Linn should be explored. Owners and employees of eateries, shops and the chamber of commerce were much more aware of my situation. They opened doors, cleared out chairs, moved flowerpots and served me very graciously.

In the Willamette Historic District there are nice wide sidewalks, ample enough for your favorite cafe or going to the farmers market with your wheelchair or scooter. You will find a yogurt shop with the handles at your level, a tire store that will fill or replace your scooter tires and a sports shop that can order you a safety vest. At the Cascade Summit you can pick up some groceries, work out, have some lunch and visit city hall, where the restrooms can be entered by wheelchair or scooter, and then listen to summertime music.

Central Village is very accessible to shops and stores; it is also not too far from McLean House and Park as well as Maddax Woods along River Road. You can even go across the West Linn-Oregon City bridge and explore parts of Oregon City. However, make sure your scooter is fully charged, as I needed to be rescued by the West Linn Police Department. My batteries ran out on Highway 43. They had to transport me and my scooter in their police car.

Marylhurst Park is a short distance from the Robinwood area, a great place for a picnic. Bring a tablecloth and blanket (tables have moss).

A special note for wheelchair and scooter users: Watch for sudden sprinklers, tree roots causing bumps in sidewalks, squirrels, dog stuff, pinecones, etc. Be aware of the day the trash carts are on the sidewalks.

“Scooter” Steve Jordan is a West Linn resident.

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