No Car

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​We are on Day 39* without a car. Our car’s engine died the third week of January. Our trusted mechanic told us it wouldn’t be worth putting in a new engine with the body our 2002 minivan had; just too much rust. We knew this day was coming, but it still left us in a numb kind of shock. It’s been our only car for several years now, and we just can’t afford a car payment. There were also some new payroll deductions so for now our salary has been reduced, significantly, and we’re not really sure how we’ll get through that. However, that is one too many problems for this discussion.

Day 39. Continue reading

Travel – UK Transportation Recs

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​I have been very fortunate in my choices of transportation carriers. So far, I’ve had very little to complain about, and after seeing several passenger events online that could best be described as unsatisfactory, I truly know how lucky I’ve been. At home, my preferred mode of transportation is to drive. My second favorite mode would probably be by train. I really loved my long distance train trip a few years ago with Amtrak.

We recently traveled overseas and back, and to say we were very happy with our transportation choices would not give the full picture of how lucky we were. Continue reading

50-31 – The Magic Tunnel

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The Magic Tunnel by Caroline D. Emerson was one of my favorite books as a child, and it still resides on my bookshelf. I will take it out on occasion and thumb through it, reading bits and pieces and remembering what I loved about it.

It was multi-genre, taking on adventure, history and historical fiction, and time travel, and it probably influenced the direction of my interests more than I would have thought at the time. It had everything a voracious reader in elementary school could ask for.

I spent my elementary years in NYC – Queens with grandparents in both Queens and the Bronx. The brother and sister in The Magic Tunnel also lived in New York City, and in taking the subway, something I did with my uncle and on class trips, they found adventure in the past before NYC became New York. It was originally New Amsterdam, and in their travels, they met the original Dutch colonialists, the Native Americans already living in the area, and Peter Stuyvesant.

They explored the Dutch settlement and saw other aspects of Dutch colonial life and recognized much as what they had been learning in school as well as straightening out some misconceptions from that time period.

In the years after reading this, I immersed myself into history and science-fiction, still two of my loves. I also continue to have an unfinished novel from college in the same multi-genre way, combining time travel, adventure, and history. Without realizing it, I’m certain that The Magic Tunnel was a strong influence to begin and continue that story. Even today, I still come back to it and try to tweak and add elements, thinking maybe the story is relevant and can still go somewhere.

After college, I joined a re-enactment group to study and fully immerse myself in The Middle Ages.

I still love train travel, and am thinking of how to take a train trip for a writing excursion, although I’m not sure that I want to travel to another dimension or plane.

Published in 1964, it may certainly be dated and somewhat stereotypical, but it is still worth a look to see how our past was perceived and may have been perceived by two elementary age siblings just trying to get home.

50-17 – Manchester

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​I thought I was just afraid to fly. I thought I was really afraid to fly. I had a talisman to hold onto from my friend, a bottle of Xanax from my doctor, and even then I wasn’t sure if I’d get on the plane or not. I’m wasn’t worried (and still not for the most part) about the plane crash landing, but the enclosed spaces get me. I want an aisle seat every time, and that doesn’t really help. It gives the illusion that I have an escape route.

Psychology. It’s mind-boggling.

I didn’t find out until about three years later, but that fear of flying wasn’t a fear – it was anxiety in the form of disorder. It was diagnosed when I was diagnosed with depression, but at the time of this transatlantic holiday, I thought I was afraid to fly.

Continue reading