Catching Rides and Getting Around

When I was first told I was no longer able to drive, I was in a tizzy. I was convinced I would never be able to do anything again. I would NOT be a burden on others. How would I get around? What we have for public transportation here is generally seen as at best inconvenient and, at worst, a cruel joke.

Feeling like vision loss is the end

My optometrist, who is also my low vision specialist, assured me people are willing to help. It would all work out well. I would find people who were willing and even eager to help.

I thought she was insane but three and a half years later, I have an admission to make. She was right and I was wrong. (Please mark this date on the calendar. You will not often hear me say that!)

Horseback ridingHik

Yesterday, I went on a trail ride. The most amazing part of the day was I remembered how to ride a horse, not that I got there alone. “Of course, we will take you there!” That is what friends are for.

When I got home my phone rang. “Do you want me to drop you off with your bike?” I am not an avid bike rider but this friend is. Hearing I had not gotten out at all last year, she was mildly appalled. This year she would make an effort to see I got to ride.

Riding bikes and walking dogs

An hour or so later, my friend came and loaded my bike in her SUV. She dropped me off at an area of town with lots of (deserted on a weekend) parking lots and quiet, neighborhood streets. I rode around for an hour, called my husband and he picked up me and my bike so we could go out for dinner. Not too shabby for an old, “blind” lady who was never going to do anything again!

After that, the dogs were clamoring to be taken for a walk. We went out for about 45 minutes. No sense they should suffer because I was out playing all day. Next week, another friend wants me to go hiking with her. Maybe take a paddleboat out on the nearby lake. Sure. I’m game. After yesterday, I am wondering if I will ever walk again, but I can certainly give it a try.

People are willing to help

My point is, people are amazingly kind and generous. They will help. When it comes to rides, that is especially true if they are going your way already or if you share a common interest. My horseback riding “hostess” is very active and likes to do things not everyone is interested in. That’s me, too. My Sunday yoga ride home is an instructor and lives within two miles of my house.

Sometimes, you can't catch a ride

Of course, it is not all perfect. Last week I could not go to yoga, no ride. I was a bit distressed but did not get pissy or demanding. Most people have excellent reasons when they are not able to help. There are some things that need to be accepted with grace. They are, after all, the ones who are doing you the favor.

So, I would suggest you get out there. Maintain old contacts and make new ones. Find people with common interests. Let your problem be known and ask for a little help. I suspect you will be pleasantly surprised more than you are disappointed.

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