Change we can believe in?

My second grader daughter and I were set to cool out this afternoon, doing a few different things in unseasonably warm temperatures but with the limited afternoon light that we now have during the Fall. So, we decided to visit Washington Cathedral and try to enjoy it and the views it offers of Washington DC and surrounding area.

After I had parked the car, we started walking toward the Cathedral. We noticed a car parked, its engine idling, with a lady inside. She was in a disabled parking spot, and had a disabled driver sticker on the car, and what looked like a bandage on her had, plus some equipment that was to assist walking. I remembered that my daughter’s school had recently sent out a message that it wanted to become a no-idling zone. I wondered if I could get that applied to the area through which we were walking, which is adjacent to a church and a school. So, I gestured to the lady to turn off her engine. She looked at me blankly through her wound-up window. That was at about 3pm.

We were heading back from the Cathedral about an hour later, and the lady and her idling car were still in the same spot, this time her window was wound down. So, I passed on my suggestion to her orally. She looked up from her paper and said she needed to be in a regulated temperature environment. I wondered what that meant and should have asked her. But, on a day when the temperature was about 65 degrees Fahrenheit, and she was sitting with the window now open, and I could feel heat coming out of her car, what could that regulated temperature be? I looked at my daughter quizzically and she put a palm of her hand to her forehead and rolled her eyes in a “search me” way.

Two hours later, at about 6pm, we walked past the car again, and there it was with its driver, engine still idling. My daughter and I looked at each other. “Does that lady not realise that she’s just gassing us all?” my little one asked. “I guess not and I guess she does not mind about how much gas she is wasting or its cost,” I added. I thought better of making any more suggestions to the driver.

What is it that’s said about changing the world one person at a time?


About The Grasshopper

Professional international economist, recently retired from an international organization. I use blogging as a way of organizing my ideas and thoughts about a range of topics. I was born in Jamaica, and spent many years being educated, living, and working in the UK. I lived in the USA for a few decades, and worked and travelled abroad extensively. My views have a wide international perspective. Father of girls. Also, married to an economist.
This entry was posted in Human relationships, Life styles, Public policy. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Change we can believe in?

  1. Steven says:

    I think the open window was a sign that the person in the car was not referrring to reality when she said she needed to keep the car running to regulate the temperature of her environment. But are you sure it was not a GOP candidate for the presidency?

  2. Esther says:

    It sounds like there was something wrong -who sits in a car with the engine running for 3+ hours? Maybe this lady had some problem – a stroke or something else.

    • Dennis Jones says:

      Who, indeed, Esther? She seemed physically and mentally all there. For the blog, I truncated the re-telling of my conversation with her.

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