Check out my new Moving Cross-Country page that was added today. Either click on the words at the top of this website, or click here. The chronicle has only begun.
After an exhausting cross-country trek from Doylestown, PA, Alice and I pulled into the parking lot of our new digs on Saturday, Sept. 20. We’re now in Oregon, about 20 miles east of Portland.
Thanks to Eddie and Joanie, Mary and Sean, and Margaret and Bruce for their help along the way.
There’s much to share, and many photos and highlights will be posted to this website.
As I drove to meditation Sunday morning, I considered the carbon footprint being put into the atmosphere from the Ford Escape SUV that I was driving. And I asked myself, “What am I doing to personally lessen unhealthy carbon emissions I am responsible for emitting?”
As I pondered the question, I took stock of some sizable changes Alice and I are making. Two weeks ago, we downsized from a two-car family by selling the Chevrolet Cobalt I owned. Our imminent move near Portland, Oregon, will position us one mile from a light-rail station that will speed us into the city. Therefore, we will drive less and enjoy a healthy lifestyle more.
But, like Don Quixote, are we tilting at windmills?
Our day-to-day routines are predicated on automobile travel. Grocery stores have been built in strip shopping centers, far enough away from residential areas that a vehicle is required to patronize them. Box stores have grown bigger and bigger to become Super Stores. Sure, it’s convenient to find the staples we need under one roof, but what cost are we paying for the deteriorating air that we and our neighbors breathe?
Look around, and ask, “How can I and my family properly function if we toss the car keys away?” The answer – for most of us – is like a kneejerk response, “Not at all.”
Local municipal, state and federal planners are failing us. Functioning in today’s society requires a car, except in urban areas with rapid transit – and many of those cities harbor high-crime risks.
What’s worse, highway travel is encouraged in the media. Commercial television saturates its cable/satellite frequencies with car advertisements, one after another. Happy drivers flaunt shiny vehicles in light traffic with catchy music – hardly a dose of reality. And dare I mention the trucks flooding high-speed expressways with their choking contribution of carbon monoxide-laden exhaust?
As responsible citizens, we must hold our elected officials to a higher standard. We cannot continue this way, because the Earth is holding us accountable. Every time we turn on a car engine, we’re bequeathing future generations a disgusting legacy.
We need to stop this polluting lifestyle now.
To supplement this story, the 2006 poem “Road Rage” was added to my poetry page. Check it out here.
The cost of a long-distance move, especially from eastern Pennsylvania to western Oregon, is daunting. Accordingly, I had to engage in some serious downsizing, and an emotional price is being paid.
The most difficult part was to take a vast 300-record library of rock classics and cull through it to keep only 50. What music would I throw away? What would I sell to a used-record outlet? And what will I keep?
Most of the choices were split-second gut decisions, and as I look at the thinned box of vinyl, I wonder which choices were correct. The prospect of moving to Oregon is certainly heart-thumping, but some of the “stuff” I discarded – to use the George Carlin euphemism – is already deeply missed.