Frequent Ferry Flyer miles

A ferry commuters comment on those who make the last-minute dash to board the ferry.

I propose that the City of Kingston adopt a new policy with regard to those of us who are Frequent Ferry Flyers.

You can identify us prior to ferry take-offs. Initially we appear as regular walkers enjoying the weather (unless it’s pouring), sauntering alone in blissful denial of our watches’ progression. At approximately the half-mile spot before arriving at the ferry terminal, the panic reaction begins.

“I might miss the ferry. I’ve got to speed up.”

We lengthen our stride and vow to increase our speed with the least amount of pain to compensate for time lost. “If only I hadn’t returned to my house for my cell phone,” or “Why do I do this so regularly” come to mind. We feel sorry for those sitting at home who suffer with ferry flyer phobia missing one of life’s greatest challenges.

By now, we’re into wide strides that tighten the gluts reminding us there are positive sides to self-inflicted anxiety attacks. As we break into a jog, oncoming walkers view us as obviously wordless and breathless ferry seekers. True joggers pass us in their sleek attire and we sense their arrogance. Dog walkers look down and to the right as our paths cross. Destination within site, we now truly take flight with purse or briefcase flopping.

A glance at the watch, and then we hear the dreaded disheartening announcement: “You have just one minute to board the ferry.”

“I think I can, I think I can, I know I can” is panted rhythmically as we ascend the ferry ramp with rubbery legs to join the calm ones who appear to have arrived 20 minutes early. Some seem to be meditating, others reading a book or quietly conversing. They have an air of superiority about them. Are we envious? No. These folks have missed adventure, accelerated exercise benefits and wasted valuable time.

What if we Frequent Ferry Flyers could punch in our Triple F Card to keep track of the miles we actually flew to the ferry each time? When enough miles are accrued, our Triple F Reward would not be a discounted ticket or a free ride – heaven knows the ferry system needs consistent revenue, but perhaps the offer of a free blood pressure check or soft face cloth with which to wipe our perspiration would be appropriate.

After our ascent up the final steep ramp – you know, the one that produces irregular heart flutters – at least a designated friendly ferry employer greeting us as we drag ourselves onto the boat, by warmly exclaiming “Congratulations, you just barely made it again” might do.

Yes, those welcomed words and the realization we did make it on time will reinforce the pattern to increase our resolve to earn additional future Frequent Ferry Flyer miles.

Victoria Lynn Boothe has lived in Kingston for the past four years and frequently flown to the Kingston ferry. She misses some frequent ferry flights when burdened with luggage enroute to Poland when she rejoins her husband who is temporarily employed in Warsaw. Return trips here every three months provide “grandma fixes” and Victoria is ever impressed with the unsurpassed beauty of the Kingston village she gratefully calls home.