Monday, March 1, 2010

Transportation on the Rail

At least three years have passed since I had my car. I found that being a Senior, in Senior Housing, on a set income, was a deterrant to publishing my public works documents. So I made a decision to learn to ride the Rail again. I live in Hamilton, Massachusetts and the Rail is literally two large blocks away. But that walk can be fast or slow depending on my feet which don't like walking. But I make myself do this. I walk from home to the Depot in Hamilton and then up the Hill to the Statehouse to videotape the Public Hearings. It takes me a good 15 minutes to walk 2 blocks. And another 20 minutes to walk up the Hill. I travel on the trains a good hour and so one way is almost 2 hours in travel time. So I leaving on the 812 AM train get to Boston and to the Hill around 930 to 945 AM.

What is a good point about the train is that you can read, make calls, and finish up detail work on the DVD's which I deliver to the Committees. I never stop once I leave home. I traipse around the Statehouse picking up dates for new events. Checking on what I may have missed tracking down and stopping for coffee once in my day. Sometimes the hearings start at 11 AM and that is when I take some time to visit the Shoeshop and chat with the Preacher who owns it in North Station. Talk about eating humble pie. That is a definite visible witness to humility.

What is a bad part of the train connection is the wait time. If I happen to miss the AM train it is another 1 hour and 40 minutes to the next. If I miss the night train I am waiting in food friendly zones but the seats are so hard I hate them. I do not eat real food until around 8PM at night.

Sometimes I make a trip downtown and pick up supplies on the way home. But that is a weight problem and so I have to plan that specifically. I cannot just pick it all up because I cannot get it home. Even with my bag and wheels that I pull I am really loaded down. What becomes a problem is the escalators. Going up they are narrow and the bag gets caught. Going down at Government Center terrifies me. I can be trying to see the floor, pull a bag and get it by the rubber that prevents steel scraping but actually is hazardous. So, I wait for the right time. Sometimes I just give up and struggle walking to the North Station bogged down. It all depends on the day.

Anyway, what is the most interesting is the feeling of freedom. I could only explain it when it was new. I was like a kid in High School. I thought I remember being this dependant when I was a student. I was so looking forward to a vehicle and I was a girl that had one in College. An old 57 Chevrolet. It was huge. I felt like a fly in that thing. I had standard shift and that drove me nuts so much that when I finally got automatic I said I would never go back. But then the never thing happened and I bought my own first car in 88 a Nisson and yes it was a standard shift again. But that car owed me no favors it was a dream. It was a mini German Tank I used to think. I did everything but plow with it. I went 178, 000 miles on that car and no brakes.. just brake pads. Finally, I sold it and fixed the brakes. That was because I truly lubed it every 3k miles. After that, I had multi cars that never did it until my day to forget them in the dust and go on foot.

But the biggest problem with the rail is the disconnect on human kindness. The system is brutal on your emotions. They see me as a Hamilton lady and not a Senior. They do not see a disabled Senior with severe walking restrictions because I push myself and make myself do it. They do not even help to lift my heavy bag across the 12 inch gaping hole that they do not recognize as a problem getting on. Last year I fell on a weekend and ended up with a plate and 7 screws in my wrist. I cannot lift with my right hand anymore. I can do a lot but cannot lift. So I am in need of help.

I frequently, find my footing slows down instead of speeding up when hurrying like the old Carol Burnett Show. I just can't run anymore. I could fall on my face and become a real smashup.
This weekend my son tried to get me to the Newburyport train. All of us a little stretched with the power failures we arrived and the train was still parked. I made a mistake and thought the train was leaving at one pm. It was around 1245PM. I had two bags of gear with me and my son was taking them out of the car when the train decides to leave. They had very good visibility of me and my son arriving. They only blew the horn and left us standing there. The next train was in 2 hours. The wind was a little heavy and my extra gear made it a problem for me to wait in Dunkin Donuts at least 10 walking blocks away. My son had plans but decided to just drive me home. For him round trip that was 2 hours. For the train to get me there it was 20 minutes.

So my complaint is real and frazzeling. It is just not the best solution to be on the Rail, or any other public transportation. They are brutal to the customers. And the Customers send the same rippling vibes to each other. Who is the blame??? Humanity. We live and die in a lesser state of Grace.

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