Thursday, 8 January 2015

Three Devices Mechanical

There is no doubt I love to travel; I've spent much of the last couple of years engaged in the exploration of places known and unknown, so much so that I have at times thought I was more using my apartment as a place to store my stuff than a place to live. On the other hand, in the perversity that is true within all of us, I love to come home, to that place where my stuff lives, where I can once again spend time with family and friends, once again enjoy my kitchen, once again settle into my familiar routine.

When I come home from a trip, there are three things mechanical that make a great deal of difference to me. Certainly the people I love and the routine I live is important; these three things mechanical, however, top my list of excitement when I roll through my front door. These three things mechanical make all the difference in my daily life. I miss them dearly while I am away.

First, and absolutely foremost, at the top of my list, is the M-rail on my bed. Hotel beds are the bane of my travel existence. They are too high, poorly placed, without adequate wheelchair access, and on and on. The simple expedient of my M-rail makes my bed, and would likely make a great many other beds, accessible. I will never say "easily accessible"; nothing works that way for me now. What I will say is that with a simple M-rail, so many other bed problems would simply disappear. I think I might start taking it on road trips, ready for use, riding along in the back of my truck.

The second mechanical device that makes my homecoming a joy is the bidet seat on my toilet. This wonder of modern cleanliness is the highlight of what is a normal, daily activity for all of us, or at least those of us with something resembling regularity. This mechanical treasure allows me to keep my posterior clean, something that is very difficult otherwise, given that it is constantly occupied with me sitting on it. When I am away, I must use "alternate methods" for this cleaning. I often find myself embarrassed at the soiled washcloths I leave behind for unwitting hotel cleaning staff. Then I remind myself that they have, almost to a certainty, seen much worse.

The third thing that makes homecoming worth doing, while it is certainly not the last, is something I try to find in hotel rooms where and when I can; a roll in shower with a proper shower seat and properly placed controls. This is so hard to find; most hotel staff and designers just don't understand the challenges of showering or toileting in a wheelchair. To come home, knowing with a certainty that I can clean up, is a delight.

Three things mechanical, and yet they make such a big difference in my life. Were they not here, my home would be a prison, a misery of struggle and uncleanliness. I love coming home to the people and routine in my life; I treasure coming home to my three devices mechanical.

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