There was never a child so lovely but his mother was glad to get him to sleep. Ralph Waldo Emerson

If you haven't time to respond to a tug at your pants leg, your schedule is too crowded. Robert Brault

Whats driving a bus like? Seventy of your kids in the back seat going to town. Mr. Brandon

Monday, April 18, 2016

Random Thoughts of a Bus Driver, “Summer Breeze”

"If it were a snake it would have bit you," was a phrase often used by my father. He would send us to find a particular item that he needed. As time passed and we had not returned he would show up and we would say that we were unable to find it. At this point he would reach just a few feet from where we were standing and retrieve the item. Truly if it had been a snake it would have bit us. Often there are things that are right there yet we do not seem to see them.

    The signs were there, I just wanted to ignore them. Age it was trying to make itself known but I refused to give in. My truck tried to tell me, yes my truck. I looked down to read a message that had come up on the information panel. It said, "Your turn indicator has been left on." How long does your turn signal have to be left on that even the truck says, "Hey, old man turn your blinkers off." The next evening I had the opportunity to pass on that feeling that comes when you feel age creeping up on you. My wife came home from work and pulled off her shoes complaining how much her feet were hurting. After sitting for a few minutes we were headed for her mother's house to fix supper. She said, "You know my feet are hurting so bad I think I'll just wear my house shoes." Since we were just going to her mom's house, she slid those fluffy things on. Not being one to let such an opportunity pass I started with the come on granny jokes. I asked if she needed me to get her walking stick before we went out the door. Then taking her by the arm I said, "Come on Momma let's shuffle on out to the truck." I delivered every old person joke and innuendo that I could think of on the way to the truck. She accepted each with her usual smile. I opened her door and helped her into the truck as I would any elderly lady. Just as I was about to close her door she smiled and said, "Gramps before you get in the truck you might want to zip up your pants." The signs are often there but ignored, until brought to our attention by a dear loved one or a gently breeze.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

“A Moment In Time”

The loud buzz of an emergency alarm called my attention to the rear of the bus. There are alarms on all of the emergency escape windows and it is not unusual when a student stands up for their book bag to pull on the handle and set it off.  As I look back that appeared to be exactly what had happened. “Zoomer, sit down and push that handle back down also.”  He looked around rather confused and with the help of some fellow passengers the handle was pushed back down and the ear piercing alarm was finally silenced. All of this was followed with me saying, “Who is passing out the balloons? Let the air out of them and put them up.”  As I finish closing the carnival I hear, “One, two, three, action.” My attention is now drawn to a student that is wearing a camouflaged ski mask and he has started what appears to be a movie scene.  His next line is, “I have a machete and I know how to use it.”  He then turns to me and says, “This is where I say a curse word.” “No” was my response. “But I heard it on T.V.” “No, I don’t care if you did hear it on T.V. it’s not ok to say.”  I said it in such a way as to let him know it was not a suggestion. He understood because he said, “We better wrap it up guys the old man looks like he’s about to lose it.”  All of this happened in a matter of a few minutes.  There were discussions later that revolved around Jesse James and how you probably could ask Mr. Brandon about him I think they were good friends.  Then there was the conversation about how you didn’t always have to be cool.  That conversation had a line in it, “Take Mr. Brandon for example.” Then there was a question of whether or not I was a little bit crazy.  If I come away just a little bit crazy then it was a successful day.