Sunday, February 16, 2014

Bumming Rides

It's Sunday.  Sunday is blogging day.  I should write something, despite it being the kind of afternoon when all I want to do is passively consume: snacks, hot milk with Ovaltine, novels, TV.

As luck would have it, yesterday was relatively interesting, not least because I spent some time with my relatives.  My father and step-mom, who were scheduled to spend the entire winter in their Mexican gringo get-away, are currently living in a borrowed condo in the suburbs of Toronto with my sister, on account of my sister's health.  It's a long, convoluted story, but basically my sister's back is crunk; she might need to have surgery on it; and in the meantime she needs quite a lot of help getting to and from appointments.  Yes, it's a major bummer.  But on the bright side, my sister is being well looked-after, and also it means that I get to see my folks more than never during the winter.

Getting to the borrowed condo seemed like it might be a challenge.  It's located at the far reaches of the Toronto public transit system (TTC), a few blocks away from where the buses turn around and head back to Kipling station.  As you may recall, I don't drive.  However!  It was discovered that I could ride with my grandmother (elder Bubbe, the 97-year-old) as a escort in her WheelTrans cab.

WheelTrans is a service offered by the TTC for disabled people.  It offers door-to-door cab or wheelchair-bus service for the price of a regular bus ride.  My Bubbe applied for eligibility a couple of years ago.  I'm not sure who ends up paying the real cost of the service, obviously it all trickles down to the tax-payers eventually, but in my opinion it's necessary and a blessing to many people, and I'm happy to be contributing to it.

This was the first time I got to benefit from it.  I flashed my Metropass and was able to enjoy a $50 cab ride out into the wilds of Etobicoke in warmth and comfort.  (The cab driver does leave the meter running, so that he can charge the fee back to the TTC, and so that you can see exactly how much value you are squeezing out of the system.)

It was nice to spend the extra time with my Bubbe, and we had a good time with the family.  My favourite exchange of the evening came when my Bubbe declared "I've always felt like a freak!"  "So, I inherited it?" I joked.  My father said "Yes, you come from a long line of freaks."  It's just as I had always suspected!

A second WheelTrans cab deposited us back at my Bubbe's residence at the end of the evening, and I still had time to take the train over to a friend's birthday party for a slice of chocolate cake.  That's a lot of excitement during an otherwise hibernatory February.  It was a nice change of pace.


DarcKnyt said...

Not to launch into anything remotely political, but I would actually like to see, and be willing to pay taxes for, something like that service your Bubbe uses. That's awesome.

I see what you did there with the relatively and relatives, too. Heh. :)

Hope you have a great Valentine's Day too, Spark. :)

Granny Annie said...

That sounds like a wonderful day. The transportation system is great because so many people are stuck in their homes and we don't even know who they are and that they need transportation.

Lynn said...

That does sound like a wonderful day - especially the cake!

Your Bubbe sounds fun. :) I have to share this with you - my sister decided she wanted to be called Bubby as her grandmother name (and indeed he is calling her that now.) I told her that was a Yiddish word for grandmother and not something a Southern Baptist woman such as herself would typically be called, but she insisted she "wanted to be a Bubby!" So there you are. I'm thinking she'll be explaining herself at some point. :)

G. B. Miller said...

Sounds like a fun time was guaranteed for all.

Vanessa T said...

What an awesome service! Something like that would be a Godsend around here, too.

I'm so happy you got to see your Bubbe, and other family members. How scary for your sister! I'll pray for her, that those issues get resolved.

And chocolate cake - a perfect ending. :) I hope you did get some down time over the weekend though. Sparks much recharge! LOL

Sparkling Red said...

DarcKnyt: I don't know what some people would do without WheelTrans, especially in the winter. It's one thing to go rolling out in a wheelchair or a scooter in the summertime, but in the winter the sidewalks can be impassible.

Granny Annie: Yes, it's the only way those people have of getting to medical appointments etc.

Lynn: You can tell your sister that I think her decision is good and adorable. Bubbes are great! The world can never have too many of them.

G.B.: I had way more fun this weekend than I was expecting to. I forgot that good things can happen when I actually leave the house. ;-)

Vanessa: Thanks for your prayers for my sister. She's keeping her chin up, but with great effort. And no worries - I did get plenty of time to rest.

Warped Mind of Ron said...

Sounds like a great service. Sadly if anyone suggested in here in the USA there would be riots and claims of wanting to turn us into communists/socialists