Saturday, October 05, 2013

Driving and driving and driving and . . .

 Can't believe the time that's passed since I last wrote!

This past week has been beyond crazy!  Since I wasn't driving a school bus last year this time I had no idea of all the field trips that are going on!  What a way to pick up some extra hours and have fun in the mean time!

Monday was a trip to take 3 classes of 5th graders to one of their camps about 45 minutes from here.  Then we had our weekly drawing for upcoming trips for the rest of the week.

Tuesday we awoke to some of the thickest fog I think I've ever seen.  I was ready to go out the door when my phone rang but no one was on the other end.  When I arrived at the bus parking lot I was told school was on a 2 hour delay!  I was already there so I stayed until time to go.  The big debate for the morning was whether all the field trips to one of the local farms would be cancelled or just delayed.  They were not cancelled and so everything (and I mean everything) was pretty much thrown into a tizzy! 

I got the kids to the farm but getting out was another story.  One of our largest busses (just like mine) had tried to make a left turn that no bus, no matter what size, should have tried to make.  The driver ended up getting sideways on the road with not a single tire on the ground!  Needless to say it closed the road and took a very large wrecker to get it out.  The bus has frame damage and a real mess!

So by the time I navigated through all that mess (by being turned around in another location) I only had 30 minutes to inhale some food and return to pick up the kids.  Thankfully I knew the area well since I used to live there so I knew some back roads and that helped enormously.  But by the time the day was done I had been driving for nearly 11 hours!

Wednesday was another field trip to the same location.  This one was immediately after my morning route and was taking my granddaughter's kindergarten class to the farm.  It was so much fun seeing the look on her face and getting a big hug when she got on the bus.  I had told her mom who told her teacher that I was one of the busses driving so the teacher made sure her class was on my bus!  One of the little boys was celebrating turning 6 years old that day so when we returned to school we all took time to sing happy birthday to him! 

Thursday brought another planned field trip to take one special needs little girl and her teacher to the camp.  I also had to take the children studying music to 3 different schools immediately following dropping off my elementary kids.  I do this every Tuesday and Thursday mornings.  Before I could even get going I was asked if I could sub for a noon shuttle (transporting special needs kids to and from kindergarten and preschools).  I had just enough time when I returned from the camp field trip to jump on the noon shuttle and run it for the 2 hours it took.  When I returned I had 20 minutes to grab a bite to eat and then return for my usual afternoon route.  The day involved 5 routes and another 11 hours of driving.

Friday I had NO field trips, NO noon shuttles and was glad!  We did do our emergency evacuation drill at the elementary school very successfully.  We tried our best to get the non English speaking students to understand what was going on and they did evacuate but I don't know how much they really understood!    :)   I did have to pick up our truck from the shop and then take and pick up Ms Gladys dog, Benji from the groomer.  I had a whole 2 hours at home!!!!  By last night I was one tired puppy and I don't think I remember going to bed!?

It's been a hectic week but a fun one.  Getting to take the kids different places, getting to meet new parents and teachers and camp counselors, driving to places I have and have not been . . . it all adds up to a lot of fun for me.  I am not "trapped" in some office and get to be out and enjoying life! 

I also now have one dedicated policeman who parks at one of my most troublesome stops where people continually run through my stop arms of the bus.  Funny how they don't run them while the policeman is there!  Which means they really DO see them!

But . . . there are the other stops where they continue to fly through!  This week I had the girl in the bright orange Jeep who called me the "B" word as she flew through.  Then there was the man in the brand new Mercedes sports car who was equally as rude!  And let's not forget the bicyclists who believe they are exempt from any road rules!

All in all ---- I love this job!  Every day is a new and different day.  The kindergarten kids love being able to load the bus  minutes before the rest of the elementary ones in the afternoon and are thrilled to see whose library book I will be reading to them while we wait.

I have more new students than I can keep track of --- but I do know is that none of them speak English!  So far I know I have students from Africa, Egypt, Germany, Portugal, China, Korea, Pakistan . . . and those are just the ones I know for sure!  Every day they get on the bus in smiles and get off the bus with bigger smiles as they see their parents waiting for them with huge smiles!  It warms my heart to see all that love packed in to one small bus stop! 

Jesus really does love the little children -- no matter where they are from or what language they speak!  The language of love is a universal language for sure!!!!!!!!

Until next time . . . next week has even more field trips so if I'm not on here very much you'll know why!  I'm out having fun with the kids!  And at age 59 it's extra special to have fun with the kids!

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