May 21, 2024

Marching into April

Rehoboth Ramblings

Posted

On the chilly morning of March 26, I was all set to complain again about the Rhode Island bridge situation when I saw the horrifying news of the bridge collapse in Baltimore. What a disaster! Although this accident was caused by a large ship crashing into the bridge, it just adds to our worry about bridge safety in general. And doesn’t it seem like infrastructure everywhere is going to hell in a handbasket (as is the world in general)?

Speaking locally, I think I’ve gotten the hang of the new rotary in East Providence leading to the Henderson Bridge (and thank heavens they finished that just before closing the west side of the Washington Bridge.)  The constant do-si-do of cars merging lanes while crossing the Washington Bridge is hair-raising. Whenever possible, I take the Henderson and work my way through the East Side to where I’m going in Providence.

I do feel sorry for all the commuters, and truck drivers, who are stuck in heavy bridge traffic every day, and with no relief in sight for such a long time. Traffic everywhere has gotten a lot worse, even out here on Rt. 44. How much of this is due to bridge traffic overflow I can’t tell.

But to help remind me of the advantages of country living, on St. Patrick’s Day I saw a very large snapper, still covered with mud and vegetation, lumbering across the neighbor’s yard headed to the pond. There’s something you don’t see every day, and what was it doing coming out of hibernation so early? It stopped to rest on the road (of course) so we nudged it along gently with plastic snow shovels until it safely crossed to the other side. Only one car came by at that time and the driver was very interested in the turtle’s progress.

Keep Rehoboth Beautiful
Another inspiring sight in the spring are the volunteers from Keep Rehoboth Beautiful out there cleaning up trash from our roadsides. The group says that last year a team of 275 volunteers collected over 5 dump trucks full of roadside litter!

This year the clean-up is slated for April 13-20 and you can find out more and sign up at www.keeprehobothbeautiful.com

I also encourage people who walk our roads regularly, with or without a dog, to carry a bag with them to pick up random bottles and cans as they go. It’s easy to do and it does make a difference.  Here I will include my usual rant about people who litter. Roadside litter is a totally preventable problem. It’s not something natural like leaves falling from the trees. It’s caused by bad behavior on the part of drivers deliberately throwing trash out their car windows. Roadside cleanups show what a difference caring, responsible people can make as they clean up after the irresponsible, sort of a metaphor for life in general.

Speaking of walking, I recently watched an online program about easy walks in New England by Marjorie Turner Hollman. Her goal is to encourage those who have mobility issues to continue gentle exercise on easy walking paths that abound in our area.

Then I recalled seeing Ms. Hollman’s inspiring story on WCVB’s “Chronicle” program a while back. After facing sudden loss of mobility after brain surgery to save her life, the author has regained much of her ability to walk (with support). She writes about this journey in “My Liturgy of Easy Walks” which she describes as a “memoir of learning to thrive in the midst of difficult life changes”.

Ms. Hollman has also written a number of guides to easy walks to show others with mobility issues good places to enjoy the outdoors. Easy means flat, even paths without a lot of tree roots and rocks, that have easy access and parking. Among her easy-to-carry paperbacks are “Easy Walks and Paddles in the Ten Mile River Watershed”. This book includes Seekonk, East Providence, and Attleboro, among other locations, and is just one of several guides she has written. All are available on Amazon and several can be found through the SAILS Library system. Her website is https://marjorieturner.com

Some of these walks are very familiar to me, such as the East Bay Bike Path (we like the scenic one-mile stroll from Colt State Park to downtown Bristol). Other locations are further afield, such as the Blackstone Valley and beyond. As we leave a turbulent March for April, here’s to Happy Trails for all!

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