The Bus is Coming!

Early to bed and early to rise

Makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.

I realize that Benjamin Franklin lived by his words, and there is no doubt that he accomplished amazing feats during his lifetime.  He certainly set the bar high for all of us little minions to attempt to scramble over. He lived to work, for himself and for others, and continued daily in his attempts to improve himself until the day he died. I’m thinking he most certainly did not waste his time languishing comfortably in bed any time after sunrise. 

Ben, to be rather forward as I immediately move our relationship to a first name basis, was an early riser; an energy fueled go-getter, who probably woke the sun so he himself could get on with his day.   

To be forthright, I am not a morning person, never have been, never well be.  Admittedly, due to the need of a day  job to pay for my struggling writing career, oh and for all those annoying monthly bills that add up to everyday living, I have to put on a morning face.  I work very hard to slide into my cubicle at least close to the starting hour.  However, it’s not easy, and it’s not pretty, as I tumble into my chair and slap on that computer that will be in my face for eight long hours. 

As a salesperson for well over thirty years, I am still trying to understand the corporate thought process that involves sales people starting work at eight in the morning.  Seriously, who in their right mind wants to talk to a salesperson at eight in the morning?….at any time really, but that’s another story regarding the ill feelings many have towards the poor, unappreciated sales person.  Sad really, cuz truthfully, once you get to know us you will grow to love us…or leave us…no, no love us….

But I digress…back to the morning talk…even sales people don’t want to talk to sales people at 8 AM in the morning.  I mean come on!…our coffee breath hasn’t even set in yet for God’s sake!

I think 10 am to 2pm is the proper, oh so polite time to conduct business.  I have put out quite a number of memos on the subject.  Nothing back as yet, but I’ll keep you posted. 

Back to my friend Benjamin Franklin, he was, as stated, an early bird, and I commend him for that, but I still cannot get my thoughts around this disciplined mind set.  I’ve tried, and continue to work on it, but it hasn’t gotten easier with the passing years.

My poor children, and their cousin, bless their now adult souls, at a very young age had to experience the painful daily process of an unorganized non-morning gal such as myself, attempting to get them up, ready, and out the door on time for school.  Even I shake my head, as I think back to those hectic mornings.  

After all, let’s face it, school happened every morning (pretty well), from September through to the end of June.  Monday to Friday, excepting holidays, school started at the same time, very rarely changing, even yearly.  Same goes for the school bus, it too came at the same time every morning, barring snow storms, or any unexpected acts of God, its what others would deem a ‘set schedule’. 

So you would think that this would make life easier for me, knowing said schedule.  When you think of it, actually being  acquainted with what was going to happen day in, day out, should have been empowering

The fact is, that every single school morning rang about the same, give or take the level of stress…sometimes high, sometimes so very high, as all of us pushed to beat the clock.  We rummaged frantically for food in the fridge for lunches, we looked for lunch bags, knapsacks, and we reached under beds for school assignments, all the while desperately on the hunt for matching pants and tops. 

And every other minute, I would dash up to our large bathroom windows on the second floor, to scout for any sign of the school bus.  The windows overlooked the sprawling countryside and gave me a bird’s eye view just over the tops of the evergreens that stretched down our driveway.  From this vantage point, I could clearly see the side road, far up the hill, where the yellow bus would eventually make its appearance.  When it came in view, the bus always appeared to be carrying the dirt of the entire road along in its wake. 

The school bus driver, let’s call her Mrs. I Don’t Really Like My Job, must have had dreams of becoming an Indy car racer some day because her foot rarely eased off the gas pedal.   It seemed to frustrate her to no end that she was forced to stop her forward momentum, in order to pick up annoying children.  

Now back then we lived directly on, but slightly back from the Highway.  The house was situated right before the crest of a very steep hill, so if those kids were not parked out at the end of our long driveway, that bus did not stop, it did not even drop to a lower gear.  So, every morning, mixed in with the heady rush of disorganization, was the high-pitched squeal of my voice raised up to the very rafters, so all in attendance could hear my first warning: THE BUS IS COMING!  THE BUS IS COMING!

Oh, I can still hear the level of panic as it climbed the very walls of our little home.  Finally, with my face pressed tight to the window…in order to best estimate the distance between the school bus and our driveway…I would make the final call: THE BUS IS TURNING ON TO THE HIGHWAY!  RUNNNNNN!

In the aftermath, after every child was safely on their way to school, I would swear I would change my wicked, wicked ways, and that tomorrow, tomorrow would be different, would be better…I just knew it would.

But yep, you got it…the next morning, there I was at my regular post…the bathroom window patterned with my agitated breathing as I screamed like a banshee: THE BUS IS COMING!…and all hell would break loose yet again.

I guess it was a routine of sorts.

Well, at least the kids had amazing birthday parties, that’s gotta be worth something.

My dog Cooper Alexander has the right idea, he doesn’t wait for me to wake him up.  He pounces on top of me, no matter the early hour, and his 75+ pounds says: I gotta go, and I gotta go NOW.

At least I don’t have to make him lunches, and there’s no bus.

I never did like school buses.

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