Living in our beautiful little town has so many benefits, our weather, our great community our wonderful live theatre and movie theatre, to name just a few. No wonder so many people come for a visit then move here permanently. There is just one big drawback, that of getting out of town.
When one has had the convenience of driving a vehicle for most of your life it is really difficult to lose your licence due to age, lack of good vision or illness. In town it is not a problem, we have a good variety of supermarkets, hardware stores and other services that we can manage to stay in town for most of our needs.
The recent addition of transport to Penticton has probably made getting out of town a little easier for non drivers. I have never had to rely on the new bus service so do not know how convenient it is but it is available for those who need it.
The decline of long distance transport over the past few years has made going on long trips more difficult but the devastating news that we are going to totally lose that service is a body blow to small town living.
I have used the Greyhound several times myself to go to the coast, it is a long trip but the slower journey gives lots of opportunities to see and appreciate the scenery. Once you decide to relax and get used to the slower pace of travel it is quite enjoyable. However, arriving in another small town late at night, when the depot is closed, means standing in the cold while waiting for a connection to your next destination.
However, even with the inconvenience of long waits, the bus offers a way to visit relatives or get to medical appointments safely. How are people going to manage these long distance trips without the bus being available?
We cannot blame the company, it is a business and if it is losing money then cutbacks are obviously going to happen and, if this doesn’t help then the service has to be discontinued. For many people this is going to mean that they either do not get to places they wish to go to or they have to move nearer to the desired location. It is a very sad state of affairs when we have to relocate due to this inconvenience.
Many of us “oldies” have children in other locations and those children think we need to be “looked after” as we age. For some reason they think we should live much closer to them so they can keep an eye on us. Because of their busy lifestyles they cannot visit us as often as we like so, they like us to visit them.
My daughters seem to think I am incapable of driving long distance alone and they prefer me to use the bus. Of course, I see myself in a different light but I have used this form of transport several times. The thought of moving back to a busy city so I can be “kept an eye on” is abhorrent to me. My friends and my life are here.
My husband does lots of travelling and spends several months each year in England and Scotland, visiting family and sightseeing. I do not want to spend so much time away so I stay here and we are both happy with this arrangement. However, this causes concern to our four girls who seem to see me as senile. I do not think I am losing it, well sometimes I am in my own little dream world, but I feel confident to be left to my own devices.
We are lucky to have our youngest daughter living nearby and she drops in several times each week. I know she is the family spy and reports back to our eldest daughter on a regular basis. Daughter number one is “the family organiser” and obviously feels a deep responsibility to her aging mom. I had a serious talk with her several years ago and told her this is my home and I will not go back to the coast to be looked after. This conversation took place when we decided to semi retire at age 55! Apparently she associated retiring with going into a serious decline.
I am so lucky to be loved and worried about and, as long as Dave and I keep our driving abilities, getting out of town is no problem, however the future has to be faced and it is definitely a worry as to how we are to get about as we age. A future without long distance travel is a big problem. Maybe we need to invest in a horse and buggy!