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GUEST OPINION: 'I stopped, but it's still not easy'

  • 2/21/2010: A1:

    PC: Norma Moore of Petaluma, left, 89, listens as California Highway Patrol officer Jon Sloat gives safe driving tips to a group of senior citizens in Petaluma, Thursday Feb. 18, 2010. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2010

I am 84. I quit driving two years ago on Dec. 31, 2010. At first it was very difficult. It's still not easy.

I spent the first six months having anxiety attacks whenever I had to arrange transportation. Two years later, this still happens when I get last minute invitations.

I spent the next six months depressed and introspective while I learned to accept my new self-imposed lifestyle. Now when I hear a neighbor say, "I was bored so I hopped in the car and went shopping," I confess the sin of envy.

It's not easy.

I took the better part of the year to assemble a list of available public and private transportation:

<BL@199,12,11,10>Sebastopol Area Senior Center — no charge — but with five working days notice required.

<BL@199,12,11,10>Jewish Family and Children's Services — with a fee — 24 hour notice.

<BL@199,12,11,10>Sonoma County Paratransit - fee — 24 hour notice.

<BL@199,12,11,10>Sebastopol shuttle — nominal fee — the last bus leaves downtown Sebastopol at 3:30 p.m.

It takes research and imagination. Other alternatives:

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