Today, with two clicks on my Google Calendar, my life suddenly freed up as the three days a week of Sophie’s preschool vanished. Some people look forward to school time so their own grownup schedules may take precedence. I can understand this. I however can say I’m looking forward to the summer break just as I enjoyed it last year. With the Siamese-twin-like psychic synchronicity my two children have (desiring to spend every waking, sleeping, and bathing moment together with an astonishing low proportionality of fighting, considering) taking the two of them out – especially now, as they can dress themselves, walk long distances, take care of their bodily functions, and are joyous to take almost any outing – is actually slightly easier than having one of them along.
I haven’t set foot in a car since Friday. I continue my no-driving experiment and today my goals were modest: get to downtown Aberdeen, take the kids thrifting (I’m looking for a sheet to sew pajamas for myself; also clothes for Ralph and a pair of pants for re-vamp), hit the taqueria (sauce a la diabla!), go home. (all of this, after I’d planned out our budget and assigned various bill paying and errands for Ralph and I – also feed, clean, help dress the kids, etc, blah blah).
So at about 10:45 we walk the eight blocks to the station, first stopping at the ATM and then purchasing a monthly pass (cheap – only $18). The good news about our bus system is that people actually put it to use here. The bad news is they aren’t PT-ecocute – most of them are dirty, half-crazy, and / or poor (or any combo) and a few of them are smelly. Actually – this isn’t bad news at all since my children and I are pretty OK in new situations (and the situation won’t be ‘new’ for very much longer as we use the transit regularly). But our bus riding today underscored a truth for me: it’s hard here to ride the bus and walk. People here use their cars to insulate themselves from the harsher neighborhoods of Aberdeen and, to a lesser extent, Hoquiam; insulating themselves also from the poverty and hard-living so many do here. I get off and on the bus and don’t see anyone “like me”. Those “like me” are driving by in their cars listening to XM radio. Those I sit with on the bus go to and from sub-standard apartments and sometimes run-down hotels and their teeth are bad and faces hard-worn.
Heck, it’s kind of hard to bike around here too. There are no bike lanes in either Hoquiam or Aberdeen. None. People drive aggressively as well. Not everyone thinks biking is a good thing: Ralph was heckled as a “loser” and “faggot” the other day – merely for being on his unremarkable Schwinn. He was also wearing a dress and holding a sign that said, “I like balls in my face” but I still don’t get it.
And now: diving into the 39 cent Stretch N Sew pattern I purchased today at the Salvation Army.