July 3, 2008 · Updated 8:20 PM
BOB BARBER of the Veterans Affairs Office at the Seaplane Base says there is a shortage of volunteer drivers to take local veterans to the VA Hospital in Seattle. Some drivers have health problems themselves or have gone south for the winter.
If we get enough people, youd only have to work once every two weeks, said Barber.
The van leaves the Safeway parking lot every weekday morning between 6 and 6:15 a.m. They can carry as many as 10 people, but have taken as few as three or even one in exceptional cases.
We try to have our riders make morning appointments so we can beat the afternoon traffic, Barber continued. We like to leave Seattle no later than 2 p.m.
The VA Office rotates its two vans every other day. Vans are fueled at the Seaplane Base and the driver takes a gas card with him, or her.
We have one woman driver, and the names of two more, he added
We dont want to quit, Barber said of the drivers. Most of us are getting up in years and we just need some relief.
Barber served 23 years in the U.S. Navy and is proud to do what he can.
Some patients at the VA Hospital are old, but many are young, he said, adding. You can go down there to the VA Hospital feeling lousy and come out feeling like a million bucks.
If this sounds like its something youd like to do, please call Barber at 257-4801.
Say something nice ...
As the giant store awoke from its overnight rest, there were but a few early shoppers seen along the gleaming aisles.
Ah-ha! I thought. I can make a straight shot to the Photo Department and still get to work on time.
The first face I saw was that of PATTY KWARSICK, one of about 30 people greeters at Wal-Mart.
And how are you this fine day, she asked in a genuine, lovely voice.
Hovering in mid-flight, I mumbled something about 5 x 7 enlargements.
Oh, theyll take good care of you, she reassured me.
There I was, blowing through Wal-Mart like a tornado, when I heard my grandmothers voice admonish, Where are your manners?
Ooops. Besides teaching me the usual Please, Thank you, and No, thank you, Grandmother Carter was a stickler for good manners. She worked hard as a waitress in downtown Chicago. The only vacation she ever got was when she broke her ankle stepping off a curb on Michigan Avenue.
She stood up for workers in service jobs like hers, and insisted they be treated with respect.
It doesnt cost you anything to be nice to people, she would say. Have you noticed how some people feel they have a license to be rude? Im glad Grandmother Carter isnt here to see that.
I stopped at Pattys post as I left the store, thanking her for starting my day with a smile.
Youre welcome, she said. Have a wonderful day and a wonderful new year.
The Rolling Hills development just south of Oak Harbor has experienced a growth spurt, and that means more cars traveling through unfamiliar streets.
When entering from the highway and from Arnold Road, drivers see signs posted with the speed limit at 25 mph. Those were the only two speed limit signs I saw on a recent drive through, except for a few homemade ones posted by concerned residents.
A heavy foot and impatient nature can also be ones undoing when following too close. The driver of Car Number Two is almost always at fault when climbing the back bumper of Car Number One.
Please slow down and dont tailgate.
Group support available
Survivors of sexual assault and abuse may feel anger, grief, confusion and shame. They may think they are to blame and even make excuses for the abuser.
A group designed to support these survivors will meet every Thursday for 12 weeks starting tomorrow, Jan. 5, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the United Methodist Church in Coupeville at 618 North Main Street. There is no charge.
Violence of any kind in a relationship is never justified. Please call 678-9363 today to register.
Is anybody going out on a limb and predicting snow for the first two weeks of January? Let me know. Call me at 360-675-6611 or email email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org. See you on Jan. 11.