Gratitude for veterans, Island Paratransit

Ode to Island Transit...

If you’ve run out of things to be thankful for, might I suggest adding ISLAND PARATRANSIT to your gratitude list? I have.

Since my recent knee replacement surgery, I have met and been impressed with the drivers who’ve come to my home and delivered me to my physical therapy appointments with STEVE HARADA. They returned when I was finished and even waited until I was safely inside my front door before leaving.

I regret I cannot name them all, but DENNIS, STEVE, KEVIN and SUE are but a few of the highly-skilled men and women who drive the cutaway version of the Island Transit bus up and down the island. I know firsthand how much their cheerful manner means to someone who is hurting.

On the road, their eyes dart from side to rear view mirrors to oncoming traffic and back again. We should all use such caution. They’ll say they were just doing their job, but I am pleased to give them a personal thank you.

LISA DUGGER of Island Transit came to my house before my surgery date to go over a short list of instructions, such as allowing a 20-minute window to be picked up. I seemed to have forgotten this on the first day. The bus pulled into my driveway as I was balancing my checkbook online and I thought, “Darn! I forgot the 20-minute rule.”

Good thing I had my coat on and house key in my pocket, as out I went, walker at full gallop, and we continued on schedule.

I was surprised to learn Paratransit schedules between 120 and 150 pick ups and returns each day, yet many people are unaware of this vital service or cannot believe it is free. I would have had to rely on friends or a taxi to get me to my appointments, and the nice lady from Langley would have trouble getting to her dialysis appointments in Oak Harbor.

I’ll call CRAIG, the dispatcher, to request a pick up when I return to work on Monday, Nov. 14, and then home again. I hope you will investigate using this service. Their requirements are reasonable for persons with a legitimate need. Give them a call at 678-7771.

Some gave all...

If you are active duty, Reserve, retired or a family member of a veteran, don’t miss the program on Nov. 11 at 11 a.m. at the Oak Harbor Elks Club, 155 NE Ernst Street.

LEE YOUNGBLOOD says its sponsor, Oak Harbor Navy League, wishes to make this a yearly event. It seems only fitting, as certainly our veterans deserve our thanks every day, not just on Nov. 11.

Were their arms tired?

ROXANN DUNN-TERRY and husband JIM TERRY had a streak of good luck on a recent Eastern Caribbean cruise.

They managed to get their seven-day trip in between hurricanes, without a change in the Carnival Victory’s itinerary. But when they returned to port in Ft. Lauderdale, their original plans to spend a few days there had to be scrapped. They reached port just hours before Hurricane Wilma was to arrive.

Nearly everyone was in an escape mode. All flights had been cancelled for the following day, but two hours after their arrival back at the airport, they were lucky enough to book two seats on an outgoing flight.

They were back at SeaTac that same afternoon, exhausted, but grateful to be out of harm’s way.

Are you the one?

BIG BROTHERS BIG SISTERS needs a qualified person to join their team in providing mentorship services to young people in our community. The opening is in the Oak Harbor office located on Whidbey Avenue.

Interested or know someone who might be? Please pass this on and contact the BBBS office at 360-279-0644. A resume should be sent to BBBS, 913 E. Whidbey Ave., Oak Harbor, WA 98277 or fax 360-279-1356.

Mob descends on Pioneer …

“Fantastic,” is how Mickey Williams of Shady Ladies Antiques describes the turnout for this year’s children’s safe trick or treat in Old Town from 4 to 7 p.m. on Oct. 31.

“The cooperation between merchants made it happen,” she said, estimating that a headcount of 3,000, including parents, would be about right.

A patron dining in a Pioneer Way restaurant used the term “mob scene” to describe the swell of people. Of course, “mob scene” conjures visions of villagers on the hunt for Frankenstein, fiery torches in hand, but these mob-kids were well behaved and strictly out for fun.

See you there …

The OAK HARBOR SENIOR CENTER celebrates its Holiday Bazaar on Friday, Nov. 11 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday, Nov. 12 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. I hope to make it.

Dear friends …

You really are quite wonderful. All who called, sent flowers, cards and brought something delicious and homemade to hasten my recovery, my heartfelt thanks. I feel like the luckiest woman on Whidbey Island.

I’ll be waiting to hear from you, so call me at 675-6611 or write I’ll be back here on Nov. 16.

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