Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Picnic, From The French: Pique-nique

I didn’t get to it. Nobody’s fault, really; just a mix-up in who was going to take me, who was going early to get things set up, and how many of us would be going.

“Who was going to take me?” Yeah; I’m restricted in my driving and have to rely on others to get me any distance more than, say, twenty minutes. Even that can be a stretch some days. You don’t realize to the extent we need wheels until you can’t use them. We live in an automobile age and things are far away if you have to walk.

Nothing’s close anymore. For a while, we had no grocery stores in Wilkes-Barre. Nor did we have a McDonald’s, for that matter. Luckily, we do have a good city bus system here and it’s free for seniors during the day; the PA Lottery takes care of that. But it doesn’t run on Sundays, which means Matilda and Stash might not get to church.

Someone recently calculated the amount of pavement in this country would cover South Carolina. I’m not surprised at all; we put houses everywhere and pave the roads; we put malls at a distance and pave roads to them. Robert Moses, who dealt with transportation issues in NYC, insisted on highways and ignored upgrading rail.

We used to have grocery stores, physicians, dentists and all sorts of stuff on every block. This is not the time to go back to those days, although we might well think about it. Some of those people might work well locally. And picnics? They were held in cemeteries quite regularly a hundred or so years back with hardly a thought.