At least there's no seatbelts


Grant McGee

Word recently came from my brother that my mom is in a new “home.” It’s a place for older folks near my brother in Florida.

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Mom had been at a different home for a long time, but recently she started to go on “journeys.” She’d take off in her wheelchair and disappear from her caretakers. They’d find her by the highway or down by the duck pond.

They put a bracelet on her wrist that would sound an alarm if she tried to wheel out the front door. She was not amused. One of her favorite things was to sit out front and watch the birds and watch people come and go.

Mom was moved to a place where there’s a fence around the whole place.

It’s not the first time someone in the family wanted to leave such a place.

I’m reminded of my grandfather, who had to go into a home. I can remember many a time taking my grandmother over to the place south of town.

Then granddad started to wander.

Granddad would disappear from the home. He would walk down the hill to the big six-lane boulevard and try to thumb a ride in his pajamas. One time he made his way to the nearby shopping mall, walking through the parking lot and into the stores asking for a ride to his hometown in the mountains.

Then came the day that my grandmother came to visit to find that the home staff had tied granddad into his wheelchair with a bed sheet.

“I sure am glad you’re here,” he said to my grandma. “They’ve put seatbelts on this train. I can’t unbuckle it and I need to get to work.”

Well, at least my mom doesn’t have to wear a “seatbelt.”

In fact, she thinks she’s the owner of a big hotel.

But she wonders who put up the fence.

Grant McGee is a long-time broadcaster and former truck driver who rides bicycles and likes to talk about his many adventures on the road of life. Contact him through his blog at:


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