Both A Pedestrian And A Passenger


My parents both died in late 2013 and  I took over my father’s car, a then~perfect 2001 Saturn.  It lasted until June of last year, when it fell apart completely on me.  I often think that Maybe it’s not quite the best Decision I’ve ever made, but now I walk absolutely constantly, to anyplace that’s within walking distance.  That includes both St. Mary of the Isle, where I attend Mass regularly, and the local soup kitchen, where I work.  Since I can’t walk everywhere, I now use Lyft for trips to places that are farther away than my feet can handle.

So far, my experiences with Lyft have been quite nice, with only one slight problem.  Last Wednesday night, during a snowstorm I wanted a ride to my Knights of Columbus council.   I got a driver who was an exceptionally talkative young black guy.  He said he was from Brooklyn (his accent was more like Jamaica in the Caribbean), and didn’t know Long Beach well.  I understood, but still wasn’t so crazy about the fact that he drove into oncoming traffic on Long Beach Road.  I was forced to Chide him a little.

On the Bright side, I’ve always been able to count upon quite a Smooth Ride.  I can easily overlook that one minor Trial.  Considering that I first got a license in my late teens, life without a car is quite a new and confusing experience, but I consider it Just one more of many I’ve been through over the years.  Maybe the Tide will turn in the Wormhole that is  my life, and I’ll get another car.  Until then, I can just consider my circumstances to be a metaphorical Tithe I can quite easily and happily pay.



Hi, it’s been quite a while, for some strange reason, since I last wrote a post for The Sunday Whirl .  Believe it or not, the preceding is a true story.


yes it’s summer…my time of year

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “In the Summertime.”    Last winter was nightmarishly long, having lingered well beyond my ability even so much as to attempt to put up with it. My spring wasn’t even somewhat active.  So far my summer hasn’t been  the least bit eventful either.

I’ve been truly enjoying it all though. Each day I try to walk at least a mile in order to get my requisite exercise. During the cold months that’s an absolute nightmare for me. This past Memorial Day I marched with my Knights of Columbus council in Long Beach’s annual parade.  I could never handle that kind of thing during a Thanksgiving parade.  

The rain, fog and snow, along with the early sunset and bitter cold, drive me nuts. Road conditions are unbearable.  Warm weather makes the little things in life such a pleasure.  I go to the beach and enjoy the perfect breeze. Plants are in full bloom.  There are cerain minor drawbacks to warmth though. For the past nineteen years I’ve always driven Saturns. My 1992 SC, during its heyday, was absolutely perfect. Over the course of its last few years however, there was a lot of trouble with, among other things, its thermostat. I froze during the cold seasons and roasted during the summer. My current 2001 Saturn, that belonged to my father, now deceased, is still in good shape, so fortunately that’s not a problem.  A major advantage for me during the warm seasons is being able to take a nice relaxing drive to wherever I may want to go.   As long as my thermostat works I’m plum thrilled.  

My nephew Michael and his girlfriend Erin got engaged a few weeks ago at the Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden in Astoria, Queens. It was an outdoor affair. In May, the kin and I went to Brookly Botanic Garden in Park Slope. That was also outside.  Because the weather, each day, was warm I had the absolute time of my life. Cold weather, alas, would have made that impossible.

Even under the circumstances where there are no significant milestones to count on, spring and summer have always been perfect for me, much more relaxing than cold weather. The clothes, food and all sorts of other things are thoroughly to my liking.

garmin nuvi troubles in my 2001 saturn

A few weeks ago I found my Garmin Nuvi G.P.S., after not having bothered with it for quite a significant length of time. I needed a new charger for it so I went to the Radio Shack on Park Avenue and got one. When I plugged it into my car’s lighter it wouldn’t work.  I then got Mary Anne and Steve to plug it into their cars. It worked for them both. The salesman in the store tried it on his charger and it worked for him. For some strange reason I can’t get it to work in only my car. Everyone assumed the car needed a new fuse. Steve changed it. It still doesn’t work.  The company sent me a free USB charger when I complained to them. I’ve been using it to keep the G.P.S. charged. No one has any idea why it won’t work in my car, especially since the fuse has already been changed. It’s really been bothering me quite a lot because it’s always been such an exceptionally good G.P.S. In general I’ve been quite happy with it. The car is really good too. The charger just won’t work in that car though. It truly grates upon my nerves that the obvious solution to the problem doesn’t work in this specific case.

if i were a carpenter(mechanic,plumber etc.)

Unfortunately I’ve always had at least a few strikes against me when it comes to being a handy man.   Because of certain medical problems I had when I was a little kid, my hands shake inordinately and I’ve always had less than an average amount of physical strength and coordination.    I’m also quite incapable of handling heights well.   schneiderIt might be quite a very good idea, especially for financial reasons, if I could learn how to fix a car.    After a while the bills that accrue from all the mechanical troubles brought about even by perfectly normal wear and tear on a car over the course of a significant length of time can drive anyone out of his mind.    Maybe it’s because of my having always been so devoid of strength and coordination but I’ve never enjoyed mechanical things and manual labor.    I have the same problem with things like that as I have with math and science.   Like math and science, though, they’re unavoidably necessary parts of life.    If I could develop some mechanical skills, I should avoid all the aggravation and frustration that go with having always to make an appointment at some garage.    When I lived in Lindenhurst I used always to have to go to the now defunct Saturn dealer in  Massapequa .   Then during my time in Wyoming I ended up after a while, going to Frank Gubbiotti’s Auto Lodge in Plains.    Now that I’m in Long Beach I’m stuck with Mavis on Long Beach Boulevard.   Although the workmanship in each of these places has been as good as anyone  can expect it would still be much better for me if I could avoid all the trouble by getting to know my way around the world under my hood.    There are all sorts of other things I wish I could do well too, for financial reasons.    It might be nice if I could paint.   That requires coordination though, since a painter who’s lacking in a steady eye and hand can count on quite horrendous results.   The paint fumes drive me nuts and I tend to get headaches from lots of things.     In the short term, though, before it all catches up with me, I tend, unlike most people, to enjoy somewhat the smell of a nice fresh paint job.   Because of the major problem I’ve always had with heights I should go nuts were I ever to try to paint something that would require me either to climb upon a ladder or to hang from anything, so to paint a ceiling, or the highest part of a wall, would be quite a major struggle for me.   By now I’ve become quite well resigned to the fact that I shall most certainly never be proficient at these kinds of things.    It would be nice, though,if I could at least do something about improving quite a bit.    I always end up being fully expected to help other people anyway, so I might just as well figure out a way to capitalize on it all for my own benefit.