two men ridding on an electric scooter with green plants around them

Environmentally Friendly

I want to buy a scooter – a 2-person scooter to be precise. One that runs on electricity – not gas.

Seriously.

I’m fortunate because I can still drive and I don’t need my oxygen for the entire time I’m driving. Of course, if the trip is going to take a few hours to get to our destination, I’ll keep a full, trusty “D” tank in my backpack right up there next to me near the passenger seat (next to my wife – lol) or just behind me with a longer cannula cord as long as there’s someone sitting behind me who can help adjust the flow, etc. And I try to bring along an extra tank (if not 2) just in case of an emergency.

So far, so good

This transportation arrangement has suited my needs wonderfully since 2011 when I was first diagnosed. But recently, my buddy, Kent, who lives around the corner and who has had multiple bad hip issues and surgeries, bought a really neat scooter to get around and gave me a ride. I immediately became jealous. Kent & I live in a relatively small town in New Jersey. The main street is two blocks long and has one traffic light.

No joke.

So when we went for a spin, we saw everyone we knew. We must have been quite a sight – two old-timers, grey hair - beards flowing – riding around the town at about 20 MPH! He let me drive for a little while and we traveled out to the main drag that leads to the highway. We didn’t get on it (I don’t think we would have done very well merging into traffic!) but it was wonderful to experience the air blowing around us and the setting sun and seeing the smiles (and laughter) on the faces of friends as we scooted by.

Not a joke

You may think I’m joking but, as we traveled, I realized how handy this vehicle might be. Our local grocery store is a bit too far for me to walk to as much as I’d like to try (and I have). And I’m an avid newspaper reader but the candy store that still carries hard print copies of the New York Times is also about a quarter-mile too far for me – even with my oxygen and backpack.

As inconvenienced as I am (and as most of us are by COPD), I still try to remain cognizant of my responsibilities towards our shared environment. I find myself feeling “guilty” when I’ll take the Chevy to drive to town sometimes; especially since the walk was one of the reasons we moved to this town. Ours is a suburban town but it was built around the turn of the 20th century and it’s one of a limited number of towns in suburban New Jersey that has genuine sidewalks.

I think I'm making progress

“You’re nuts!” “You’re gonna kill yourself and Kent!” “I can’t believe you’d even consider doing this.” All recent quotes from my wife, Marisa, when we’ve discussed the benefits of purchasing a 2-person scooter. These remarks came after I asked her to take a second and think about the convenience of having such a vehicle, the money saved on fossil fuels and the environmentally friendly aspect of its power by electricity. “You’re certifiable!” was her most recent assessment.

I think I’m making progress.

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