Over the past few months, local, district-wide and B.C. residents in general have witnessed what is tantamount to a vast and growing development of public transit systems situated not only within our own province, but throughout the entire nation.
This comes as very good news, especially for small and isolated communities such as ours, currently grappling with the challenge of dealing effectively with the reality that approximately one in seven citizens aged 65 or over are clocking in as requiring a variety of effective transportation options. For most of us, this will ultimately assist us in meeting our goal of maintaining self-sufficiency and growing independence within all aspects of our lives.
The fact is, affordable and efficient public bus transportation has become a major issue in most of our lives. My own quest for available local options arrived with somewhat of a surprise, early last summer. As shared with readers in my last column, my much-appreciated vehicle had joined the ranks of the non-operative scuttle-bug, forcing some major changes within my own familiar routine. I remember well, when the day came that the test was on-schedule but the question which followed: was I?
I had suddenly recalled that I was due to attend a planning meeting in the Village, so in my usual hurried fashion and without giving it much thought, I quickly scrambled to don my outdoor apparel, opened the exit door with the full intention of jumping in to my beloved jolly jumper to take flight, but instead, found myself facing an unexpected shock.
Good grief..I felt stunned..for no car was at all in sight!
I had momentarily forgotten that my dear old four-wheeler which I had relied upon so heavily for close to 17 years, had vanished permanently from sight, a so-called victim of “old age,” and already awaiting a final pronouncement at the far-away across town recycling yard, never to be seen as it once was in my driveway, ever again.
Thoughts bordering panic tumbled forth. What was I going to do, now that the time had come for me to turn to Plan B, my favourite pseudonym, in order to create a seamless journey of getting to my meeting on time. The answer came in the form of a commercial taxi which arrived on my doorstep with little delay, although leaving a hole in my transportation budget at that time.
Nevertheless, it was a hard lesson to learn – that of advance planning – and one which many of us have had to assume, when we arrived at a point of needing to take on the reins of personal initiative in hastening to move forward with one’s life journey. This is especially so when one’s lifelong spouse or grown family members are no longer there to pick up the pieces for us.
It was a summer of wonder for me. What followed was an expected escapade into life born of another time which taught me valuable insight into the history of our area, the amazing people who had already learned from their mother’s knee the imperative value of working together, to meet one’s personal and community needs especially in the light of major changes in our world. I refer to the lessons our elders passed along to the younger generation, during the era of The Great Depression.
We have come a long way, folks, but it is wise to follow up on the advice given by our long-ago pioneers who knew the day would come when many of us here and elsewhere, would be tested to the full on whether we would succeed. Now travelling along the current super highway of wisdom and knowledge still remaining open to us before the digital age, and all that goes with it, becomes the new reality.
The next column, I will begin outlining the local bus service available to us along with the heart-felt and sincere expression of appreciation I wish to extend to the caring, kind and compassionate drivers current and former, along with our local scheduler/dispatcher Shannon who all work diligently to keep us on track, out of the Community Services complex on Highway 23.