Car-No Car

By Pilar, a Trail Mix Contributor

I was at the mechanic when they opened; it was still dark outside.  The mechanic had no desire to tell me when the car would be ready so I decided to walk the four miles back to the house. This became an awakening.

First, I stopped for a cup of coffee, then set off down Turkey Lake Road.  I walked a few hundred yards and saw some people with hoodies; not good.  According to the “news media,” people with hoodies can be trouble.  Some called them “thugs,” a code word.  I returned to the coffee place then realized the “thugs” were just kids with hoodies heading to school.  The point is, I never would have had this thought if I was in my car.

So I took off walking down Turkey Lake Road and finished my coffee, there were no trash cans; what do people do with without trash cans coffee cups?  We have them in our cars or just throw them in the back seat.  I walked three miles before I found a trash can.  That’s where all the trash comes from; people without cars have no place for trash other than carrying it.  So, it winds up on the side of the road and people with cars complain about all the trash.

Along Turkey Lake I saw that Universal Studios had built an enormous fence around new construction; I thought maybe they could give Trump a hand with his wall.

After a couple of miles a bus stop beckoned and a bus happened along.  Being a little tired of walking,  I got on the bus and found out how people without cars are treated.  I asked the driver if I could pay with paper money; the driver grunted and pointed at a cash machine then lurched the bus forward as I held on, held my coffee, and tried to get money out.  The coffee spilled; the driver did not care.   I asked how much and the driver grunted something again that sounded like “more.”  It cost two dollars.  I asked if the bus was going to turn onto Sand Lake Road toward my destination and the driver grunted and shook his head “no.”  After a one-half mile ride, I got off the bus and thanked the driver who replied with another grunt.  They don’t treat people without cars very nicely.

While walking down Sand Lake Road toward the Crawford’s, I got thirsty and needed a rest room for a little relief.  Where do people without cars go for water and relief?  Not to worry, with a car they will be somewhere very soon.   I found a grocery store, went in to look for the men’s room thinking there should be a water fountain; there was.  No one in the store paid any attention because I look like someone who would have a car.  Otherwise, I would have been shown to the door.  The people in the store were very nice to me.  I was happy I had a car,  although at the moment I was carless.

I got back on the road with another mile to go.  I entered the Bay Hill enclave and after a few hundred feet the sidewalk ran out.  Where do people without cars walk; in the street?  Without a car, you walk in the street.  It made me wonder if this was by design to keep people without cars out!  This was not a pedestrian friendly place; wonder why?

Then there were the no trespassing/no solicitation signs for people without cars.  The people who walk on Sand Lake Road might think the no solicitation signs have another meaning.  No trespassing, hmmm; what if I was not an old white guy but was wearing a “thug” hoodie?  How far would I have gotten into the no sidewalk community?

Up until now, no one paid a bit of attention to me, but now, in Bay Hill, they were waving as they passed in their cars.  I have white hair and beard so I must have resembled someone who “belonged.”  They just kept waving and smiling so I waved back and felt like I belonged.  This is nice, but I thought I might not be so welcome with a “hoodie.”

Two women, on bicycles, on the other side of the street rode by waving and shouted “good morning.”  I must have looked like someone from “around here,” nice treatment.

Note from Craig: Pilar is my cousin-in-law who was recently visiting our Southern Command in Orlando. He is a renaissance man I much admire, who can repair a faucet, cook a gourmet meal and build a boat — and submit a profound essay such as this. Hoping he’ll become a regular Trail Mixer.


53 thoughts on “Car-No Car”

  1. LOl.  Welcome Pilar.  As literally part of the TM family you shouldn’t be a stranger.

    Walkers are different – they are typically local.  I’ve spent enough time in the Orlando area generally and the Sand Lake Road area to know that walkers are the exception, not the rule, the part of that road I’m aware of being a 4 lane, divided highway.  Bay Hill’s a community at the end of Sand Lake Rd., a nice one as I recall, where I’m sure people who live there walk regularly.  Orlando isn’t a place where people walk – except from their cars to the restaurants, stores, resorts, etc.   That’s a problem for walkers – no walking infrastructure. There is one thing I’ll disagree with you on.  The source of trash beside the road.   I’ll bet 99% of it is from the cars.  It is here.people adopt roads, not sidewalks.

    Regardless,  welcome. Don’t be a stranger.

  2. Welcome to the blog, Pilar.

    What a delightful posting to read!  Living in a rural area…  I (and everyone else) must have a car…  have access to a car…  or know someone with a car.  I’m sure walking does lend itself to much thinking…  and hopefully observing.  And Pogo does have a point about trash being thrown from cars….  that’s what happens around here.

    Anyhoo….  please stick around.

    ps… shortly I will be getting into my car to go to the “local” pharmacy… it’s 12 miles west of here…

  3. Welcome Pilar.

    That was a delightful read.  It took me back to the dark ages when people actually walked a mile or more to get from point A to point B.

    In case anyone wants to give walking a try a little song might pick up the pace

  4. Welcome Pilar

    Nice read. Lol, when i got to Turkey Lake Rd, ding, he’s from around here went off in my head.

    Oh man, walking in that area, not the best thing. So many neighborhoods here, no sidewalks. Non car people the deck is stacked against.. Bus system as you alluded to is totally inadequate..

    Umm, makes me think, boy do i ever take driving and having a car for granted..

  5. Pogo

    I find the chose file here no longer works for any of my photo’s .. It says their all to large. Craig had mentioned they can be reformatted or something like that to fit but not sure how.. I’ve just been using Dropbox or Google Drive.. Create a link and copy/paste it..

  6. Gosh darn…even Craig’s in-laws are cool.

    Mr. Crackers granddaughter was visiting us from LA and talking about what they are trying to do to make a city less dependent on cars including making walking easier and more interesting’

    We would wallk more but we live at least 40 minutes from anything and have no bus service.

  7. Pilar,
    Welcome! As it would be, I was listening to Car Talk as you described your morning walk–it was more than fitting. Don’t give your family any rest while you’re there.

  8. Pilar: Thank you for your enjoyable essay and welcome. I’m fairly new to the group so I happily welcome another newbie 🙂

    I have been carless more often than I care to recall over the years and I even had an experience of being a walker in Orlando. My son was in a serious motorcycle accident in ’03 and I flew down and was there for a month. The first week I was in a little family guest house place next to Orlando Medical Center where he had been air lifted to. One day I decided to take a trip to a mall, I don’t remember which one but I took a bus after exploring the area and routes via my laptop. I wasn’t treated badly…white haired older ladies must fair better than gents…my main memory of the bus trip was that they had several little TVs  throughout the bus with ads, news, area info etc broken up by arrival notices at various stops along the way. I thought that was so cool. Even though I was a regular bus user back home, this was something we didn’t have on our buses. I did also walk around both in Orlando and in Kissimmee, after my son was released from the hospital, and did notice the lack of sidewalks. I might note here that you haven’t lived till you’ve experienced walking to work the day after a major snow storm in Massachusetts LOL!

    In keeping with the walking theme:

    I give up!!! I’ve tried twice to get the video to show up and it still isn’t working for me. I tried pasting the link directly and using the linking button and only the link shows up 🙁

  9. pogo, I save a picture to my picture file. then come back here, punch browse, choose the pic when that folder/file magically appears  and *write something or insert an emoji in the comment box before hitting post.


    *discovered after many unsuccessful attempts that something – anything even if it’s an asterisk – has to be in the comment box.

  10. Good morning, Pilar !

    Thanks for your ever-timely rumination.

    This country is very unfriendly to poor people, apparently because many of us think poverty is a moral fault. The equation of poverty and lack of their god’s grace is a prominent characteristic of the Arminian break with ‘orthodox’ Calvinist (Reformed Church, Presbyterian, Congregational, etc) theology. It was Arminius who laid the religious groundwork for the ‘gospel of wealth’ churches and their mean-spirited attitudes. Despite the exhaustive refutation of Arminius by Rev. Isaac Backus around the time of the revolution, Arminianism still has adherents among Calvinists, and now seems to be a dominant theme in many Baptist churches.

    The equation of poverty with depravity pops up as an undercurrent in Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter. Also, one early reagan Admin official opposed spending money to help people with disabilities because, she maintained, disabilities demonstrated her god’s hatred of people w/disabilities, and government shouldn’t oppose her god’s will ! After a brief but loud kerfuffle in the media, she was tossed out. 

    Your theme also reminded me that it’s sometimes hard to find places to sit in the mall or downtown that don’t require a purchase. Apparently sore feet and legs are a sign that the sufferer lacks the Arminian god’s grace.

    That’s my rant. Thanks for your patience with my bandwidth violation.


  11. As for Curt Schilling….  he’s still a baseball hero for the bloody sock performance.  But as a person…  he’s pyorrhea for his wacky political utterances…   and for his hypocrisy in taking government money for his failed computer gaming business all the while espousing that liberals just want to give your money away.  I’d bet that he won’t win the  GOP primary let alone the general election vs Warren.

  12. granny m, hope this works.  I found one has to click “cut” in the share list for it to appear.

    yes yes on walking right after snow storm. best times I ever remember in d.c. were snows that closed down the govt and the non-essentials didn’t have to go in to work. no cars, few people… just quiet peace in a beautifully designed city.

  13. pilar, thank you for the wonderful walk about,   really really hate the lack of mass transit nowadays. more folks would be inclined to better enjoy their communities by walking if there were convenient bus stops etc.

    I blame critterville for not funding what use to be considered absolutely essential for the common good, monies for mass transit and grants for local train & bus service.

  14. BW

    I’m saddened to learn of the loss of your sister-in-law at such a young age.

    You must be proud of her; having the courage to be an active subject in a trial where her medical experience could provide nuanced input to researchers.  And, of course, she gets the ultimate reward–to lie in rest next to her beloved husband.

    And you? Grieve in Peace.


  15. The teevee is showing a picture of Rudee at a lectern at Gettysburg. Had he been there a century and one half ago, I wonder where his fat ass would have been, and in which uniform, if any.

  16. Pat: Thank you…I’ll try doing the “cut” trick next time 😀 I love Celtic Thunder and had the pleasure of seeing them in person a couple times including watching George Donaldson do this song. George is sorely missed. He died suddenly a couple years ago.

    Re walking in snow…After years in Human Services my last few years before retiring were spent working at a bank. Unless the snowstorm actually buried the entire building they didn’t close, so the walk to work was less than enjoyable on those days. Walking in the country after a snowstorm is, however, heavenly!

    Renee: Curt Schilling is bonkers! I can’t imagine him winning any election, but then, I never imagined that Stumpy would win the GOP nomination for President either 🙁 I will thoroughly enjoy watching Lizzie take him down though!

  17. Poobah, you are exactly right.  Having driven more than I would have liked in your fair city, and in pretty much all areas of it, I wouldn’t put my ass in the position of being a pedestrian in Orlando.

  18. On, Wisconsin! On, Wisconsin! Plunge right through that line!

    Run the ball clear ’round Chicago*, a touchdown sure this time.**

    *The U of Chicago once had a football team. It was coached by the legendary A. A. Stagg. The lyric advises the Wisconsin team to run the ball up the sideline instead of through the center (as in the first line) in order to avoid contact with legendary beings.

    **This is no stroll in the country.

  19. U rah rah rah Wisconsin I would like to say for the record– I have never done the jump around started looooong after me but I would like to

    people are talking about The Condom like she deserves some respect — she’s a soldier in the Trump army and responsible for every ‘ffin lie that came out of her pursed up little lips

  20. Thank you, Pilar!  I have been a walking human for years…I start my day with a walk and I have always been enamored with the Australian walkabout…urban dictionary definition, but a time honored tradition. In my heart, I always feel you can walk-off a problem, solve issues by roaming Mother Earth.

  21. We just listened to Trump’s Biggest Lie yet  his 100 day pln
    the white people’s plan for making America great for white people
    he was definitely on the crazy trump train

  22. Where is the fact check on Trump’s spaghetti speech

    I will be laughing all day –Newtie thinks he could be the Trump successor

    People saying this a change election assume that means a different party in the Whitehouse — maybe it means they are tired of Republican loads of crap for doing anything but screwing up the good government can do and using government to further the aims of the alt and religious right in return for votes and whatever

  23. Trump has played at running for president at leas three times — not his first time at the rodeo

    gagged when he talked about he’s only running now for the good of the country …seriously why doesn’t he just burst into flames at this point

  24. We lost a real comedian, yesterday: Kevin Meaney, a childhood favorite of mine.  Hope he voted.

  25. Bink

    you were a fan of Uncle Buck the tv show?  kidding.  Kevin Meany often appeared in the SF Bay area  a big favorite around here

  26. Hi All:  Pilar here; you folks amaze me.  You actually read what I wrote and with no visuals other than that old man who was not me.  I am old though.

    Thank you, thank you for all the comments.  Yes, I do agree that most trash probably does come from car drivers.  Just take a look at our highways.  I have a sheriff deputy friend whose job it is to investigate and track down people who dump trash illegally.  He delights in arresting them.  The fools always leave something behind that has their name and address!

    Craig: I read your link and suppose that I escaped death near that Disney place.  I did run when crossing streets.



  27. any trail hand out there who can tell me how to pronounce the 2 Japanese words in today’s opinion piece by Jonathan rauch in the ny times:

    The Japanese, whose political culture is less idealistic than our own, have a vocabulary for socially constructive lying. “Honne” (from “true sound”) is what we really believe. “Tatemae” (from “facade”) is what we aver in public. Using honne when tatemae is called for is considered not bravely honest but rude and antisocial, and rightly so. Unnecessary and excessive directness hurts feelings, foments conflict and complicates coexistence.


    btw, article is full of good lessons on when to and when not to say same things publically as one does privately.

  28. Pat: Jamie beat me to the punch. I lived in Japan as a young girl and since children pick up languages easily, I spoke it quite a lot and still know pronunciation and understand many words when they appear in a movie etc. As an adult I lived in Hawaii for a couple years and my oldest was best friends with a Japanese boy. He and his family lived next door and we saw a lot of them so, of course my son also picked up a lot of Japanese. His friend went to Japanese school for a couple hours every day after regular school. He wanted my son to go too… “Why you not let him go to Japanese school? Plenty haoli boys go there!” He would ask me often, in his best pidgin LOL!

  29. GrannyM…..   I’ll watch the baseball game after the Bruins vs Canadiens hockey game.  Go Cubbies!

  30. KGC

    We come to a severe parting of the ways.  Dodger Blue and go into mourning if the Cubs win.


  31. I don’t have a horse in this race but lots of former ponies to cheer for 🙂

    May the best team win. Sentimentally, Cubs fans have waited a long time and Red Sox fans know how they feel. We did it in ’04 (Thank you Tito, Theo and Dave Roberts, my hero!) and it would be fun to see the Cubs go all the way. Also it would be fun to watch Theo vs Tito with rival teams in the WS. Or Tito vs Dave Roberts if LA wins the NLCS….You might say I’m undecided LOL!

  32. Beat LA  — it’s the mantra of Northern California  regardless of the sport

    and regardless of the outcome  I’ll be cheering for the Cleveland Iroquois … if you are going to call them Indians might as well be a tribe from the area

  33. My Gophers beat Rutgers today in the first game they ever opposed each other. Rutgers has been playing football for 147 years.
    Indeed, they were the very first team to lose a football game. Minnesota has only been playing football for 134 years, yet it is remarkable that the two teams never met before today. Rutgers beat the betting line by nearly overcoming the Gophers. Rutgers was up by one point in the last seconds of the game. Final score 34 – 32.

    Meanwhile, Ms Cracker’s Wisconsin Badgers beat the Iowa Hawkeyes 17 – 9 in that ancient rivalry. Flatus’ Ohio State Buckeyes will wallop the Nittany Lions of Penn State starting at 7 pm EDT.

  34. Ms Cracker, I thought the burnt lands belonged to the Miami and Wyandot tribes. But, maybe that was BEFORE the football game and ticket-scalping.

  35. Now, the house is getting together to watch My Big Fat Greek Wedding.
    It must be a Sor/Frat movie.

  36. KGC

    Oh Right you are up where the diabolical Giants dwell. We of the deepest South of California Beg to disagree … lol


  37. Speaking of Indians, for as long as I can remember, there was a family legend about the Sequoia “princess” as part of our lineage.  As myths go it was charming.  Did my DNA … No Native American despite a family picture from the 30s of “family on a porch” that ranged from the whitest of white to the darkest of dark.  So where was she?

    I found her.  My great grandmother Lucinda Province had a brother.  The brother married Mary Harris born in Alabama.  Their grandson applied to be on the Indian rolls.  She was Creek and she made that little jaunt from Alabama to Oklahoma known as the Trail of Tears.  She may not be direct lineage and the family legend may have gotten blasted in the process, but I’m proudly claiming Mary Harris as all mine.


  38. Yeah — we bleed orange,black, red,gold and blue oh yeah and teal  we are Northern California

  39. By Jason Easley on Fri, Oct 21st, 2016 at 5:23 pm
    Donald Trump is accidentally making America great again in a way that he never intended as Republican Rep. Darrell Issa’s House seat has been moved into the toss-up category.

  40. Cubs win, Cubs win, Cubs win…I don’t remember what that’s from but this time it counts 🙂

    Great game. I did end up rooting for them in spite of my love for Dave Roberts.

    Theo Epstein may become known as the architect of imposable wins for long suffering fans!

    Now my dilemma will be who to root for in the World Series!

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