Driving, snow and public transit

Much of the week I was focused on snow that came on Wednesday and is continuing in wetter forms today. I was supposed to go for Hanukah candle lighting and dinner on Wednesday night, and I watched the snow collecting on the driveway with some apprehension. My car is garaged under my apartment. I back out of the garage, pull forward and make a sharp right turn up a slope in the driveway, an ideal setting for getting stuck in the snow.

I have become something of an apprehensive driver in my old age. I keep telling myself I know how to drive in snow. I come from Chicago; I’ve been driving in snow for fifty-some years, one time as 18 inches of the stuff was falling. I never let a little thing like weather stop me, until now. I persuaded my landlord to come and shovel the slope in the driveway, (he is supposed to do it, part of the lease) and I got out. On Thursday, even though it was still snowing, I took the car up the driveway without giving it a second thought, and couldn’t figure out why I am being so fearful. Aging effect, I guess.

Learning to drive and getting my own car was very important to me. I always saw the car as liberation and drove fearlessly all over this country and in some other parts of the world. I don’t feel that way anymore. I would cheerfully give it up if we had better public transportation. And while I’m on the subject: why can’t we have high speed trains like they have in Japan. In fact, why can’t we have all kinds of great public transit like they have in other parts of the world.

The distance from Tokyo to Kyoto is about the same as the distance from Pittsburgh to New York. The Japanese train covers the distance in about two and a half hours, and gets you to the center of each city. On my last trip from New York I left the city about 5:30 pm and I did not get home until 12:30 am. That was flying, not driving. Why is it that the Japanese can have these wonderful services and we can’t?

Trains_1192007_105000_am

4 thoughts on “Driving, snow and public transit

  1. This is great! They have talked about a commuter train between pittsburgh and philadelphia but the cost may be too high for us right now. Hoepfully one day… I would love to get away from that8 hours drive as my family lives on the east coast.
    “Drink Iron City”

  2. I wish our transit system was better too. Shayne and I have only had one car for years, opting to rely on our legs or a bike for additional transportation..but a speedy rail system would be fantastic for travel on weekends and such…I hate driving…so wasteful too…

  3. I cannot imagine writing class without my friend Marion, but there we are without Joan…our fearless leader. No more Hanukah here either since Harriette left us. I too miss these bits of friends and of life that made them properly enrichened….if that’s a word. In the mean time, I no longer drive at night, in the rain, and rarely on the freeway knowing my hand eye coordination is kaput. The unemaginable loss of not driving at all will come soon enough.
    Happy Hanukah to you.

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