Field of Science

Pedestrians be us

TPP has been really fortunate career/job-wise. Living in a smallish college city in a pretty prosperous agricultural belt is a pretty decent, unless you've got some fetish about mountains and beaches. As mentioned many times the Phactors own a remarkable piece of urban property, a small personal botanical garden of sorts.  And the most amazing thing is that it is within easy walking distance to the university where TPP was long employted, although most of the other people in this neighborhood don't walk to work.  Actually in thinking back for only 2 out of the 46 years of his career has TPP had to commute by car, or if truly desperate by city bus (not convenient or anything in those days).  This adds a great deal to the quality of life compared to people with long commutes; you may get some affordable space, but when do you get time to do anything with it?  Being a committed pedestrian has the obvious health benefits and the time for creative reflection is both necessary and useful for your mental well-being.  TPP wonders and worries about the young people who maintain a constant sound input even when walking such that they take no time for the brain to free-wheel.  Such times are when you learn to think. Lots of times if a problem has been nagging a solution or an idea arises during the morning commute, but you have to let it surface from your subconscious, and then you have to learn to grab it and hang on to it before it escapes like a dream.  
Wednesday last, the first Wednesday in April, was National Walking Day, and nothing special was done to celebrate.  Mrs. Phactor can walk to work as well, but it's more complicated for her.  It's about three times farther, and her business and activities make for lots of appointments here and there, so there are practical reasons for driving. Three of TPP's colleagues lives about 3 blocks closer to campus and one doesn't even own a car unless her ancient VW rabbit was buried in her back yard after it quit for good. Another one walks, the third drives. A grocery is within walking distance in the opposite direction, and TPP often walks to get just an item or two. But our 'Mercan habit of buying food for several days produces a load to heavy to carry very far, so that remains a problem even if a cart were used. Unfortunately shopping in general moved from neighorhoods and urban centers to you-must-drive peripheral areas starting 5-6 decades ago, and only now is there some little tendency to shift back to some neighborhood shopping, but some places remain food deserts with no local shopping at all.  Even worse shopping in the myriad of little rural towns dotting our agricultural landscape at a frequency of about one every 10 miles (reasonable distance for horse drawn transportation) has disappeared almost completely leaving many of these towns with a library, a grain elevator, maybe a gas station/convenience store, and a lot of shuttered store fronts. Thus shopping for anything means a substantial trip. So glad our employment situation afforded us the luxury of being pedestrians.

1 comment:

Larissa said...

This is really nice. :)