Thursday, October 25, 2007

Getting Around

We live in a town of about 10 000 good folks. We can get to any other part of town within ten minutes. Nevertheless, we're sure using a lot of fossil fuel these days because I seem to be doing a lot of driving.

You see, a town of our size doesn't have all of the amenities that one requires all of the time. To wit: our vehicle is a Honda, but there is no Honda dealer in this town. In fact, the nearest is a half hour away in another town. That's where I went yesterday because we needed some things checked that I thought could be best done by a Honda place. When I got back we had enough time to run up to yet another small town to check out some merchandise that isn't done terribly well in our settlement. And so it goes.

We're not always madly moving about like this, but we seem to be doing rather a lot of it lately, much more than we ever did back in our previous small city of 75 000. Sarnia had just about everything close to hand. Well, not quite I guess. They didn't have the local culture that I like so much around here: no maple syrup days, no celidhs, no celtfests, no art gallery, no concert hall (the latter two being in the nearby city).

While I don't enjoy the fuel concomitant fuel costs and appreciate he environmental cost even less, I am willing to pay the price up to a point. I rationalize by considering that many people in big cities spend a lot of time commuting too: not just some days but most days. It's the way things are for many North Americans.

And I sometimes see interesting things on my little journeys. Yesterday's highlight was a beaver who stopped highway traffic for a minute or two. He sat up and stared us down before ambling off to the far side of the road. That's a sight that I've never seen before and will probably never see again. He still seemed wet from his last swim too.

Later, I passed a memorial by the side of the road. It consisted of plastic flowers. I guess I don't mind that it is meaningful for someone to commemorate a loved one who was lost in an accident. Whatever it takes, I suppose. It's just that the departed isn't there in that spot any more, and I find it difficult to understand the need to continue to mark it — with plastic flowers, even.

So, you see, I sometimes see interesting things in our travels. Sometimes I see ordinary things that cause me to reflect. Not too much though: don 't want to hurt me 'ead.


cat59 said...

I enjoy the photos of the fall leaves. We don't have that much color down here, yet, and I doubt we will at all this fall.

Coll said...

We live on the outskirts of the city and yet are so fortunate to have almost everything right at our fingertips (or at least 5 minutes by car). I often feel a little guilty (in respect to environmental issues) that I don't do a little more of the getting about by bike.. living so close and all. Too used to my comforts, I suppose.

I too wonder at the road side memorials. I must admit.. they often have me pause and think of the person and the family that they represent. It must be tough.

Valerie - Still Riding said...

I don't feel the need to go to the cemetary to commune with those I love, I believe they live still. I just call their name and talk to them where ever I am.

Many don't have this comfort, they do what they can. For me the crosses on the road sides mark places to remember to drive more carefully.

I am back and all caught up now, Anvil, hugs to you and Cuppa!

ChrisB said...

We see a lot of the road memorials but I find it rather sad once the flowers are dead and withered. To me it gives out the wrong message.

Ruth said...

I drive around a lot, as living in a suburban area demands. I can walk 2 km to a grocery store, but often time is at a premium. I have tried taking the bus to work, but it takes 45 minutes (2 buses) rather than 12 minutes in a car. I do try to combine errands though.

KGMom said...

Traffic stopped for a beaver crossing? Now that's a first.
I agree with you about the frustration of having to drive so many places--not your words, exactly, but it seemed to be some of your sentiment.