Saturday, 21 September 2013

Saturday This and That . . .

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Now that the nights are getting longer, I haven't been waking up as early mornings. I guess I am an up with the sun, to bed with the moon kind of a gal.   I think it is the daylight that wakes me up.   I only ever very rarely need to use an alarm . . . but now the days are getting shorter I may have to!

Our landlord is back from Ireland for a little while and yesterday he and Billy came over and trimmed our hedge, which I very much appreciated.  I don't like Todd doing it.  It's quite a tall one and I don't like him being up on a ladder using a tool that can cut your arm off.  In the past we have paid people to do it, but with the current budgetary constraints that is no longer an option.  I'm very grateful for a landlord and a good friend who will do this for us.  It's an extra blessing in a life already overflowing with blessings.

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I was thinking about school buses yesterday morning.  That is something you really don't see very often over here in the UK, if you do at all.   They were a common fixture in my childhood however.   I never got to ride on one until I reached high school though.  For most of my growing up years I lived within walking distance of any school I attended, even if I did have a rather long walk at times.  I guess it never did me any harm.

Of course with a father in the Canadian Military and living on Military bases, most of the early school buses I saw were Military buses, and not yellow at all, but our highschool bus was a big yellow one.   There were several that bused the kids back and forth from our area to highschool.  It was a huge regional school and our base that we lived on was one of the largest ones in Canada, so they had a lot of children to pick up.

My bus stop was right at the end of our street at the old credit union.  In September the wait wouldn't be too awfully bad.   The mornings would not be too cold, the sun would be up, everyone would be excited and of course it would all be somewhat new to us all.  We'd stand about in little clusters of friends, waiting.  As the year progressed . . . it would gradually get colder and colder . . . one morning there would be a heavy frost and then another and another.  Some mornings it would be bitterly cold and we would stand around huffing and puffing, our breath blowing big bursts of fog into the air and we stamped our feet trying to keep them warm, looking down the road longingly for the bus to appear.  And then the snow would fall, and it would be colder still . . . and dark.

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Of course in the Spring it would be in the reverse . . . the days would gradually lighten up and get warmer, the rains would come. It was much more pleasant to stand in falling snow waiting for the bus than standing in the rain.  There were no bus shelters to hide under, so we'd all be soggy by the time we arrived at school . . .

We had a couple of real characters as bus drivers.  When I think back on it now, these days they wouldn't be allowed to drive us I don't think.  I can remember one who used to oggle the girls as they got on and off the bus.  There was a rumour circulating that he was a bit of a pevert, probably fueled by his oggling.  I can remember always being happy that I wasn't the last one to get off the bus!  He used to play good music though.   He had a "Guess Who" album, presumably on a tape cassette that was always playing when he was driving.  Most of my school bus memories of that time have the sound track of "American Woman,"  "No Time" and "No Sugar Tonight" playing in the background.  I never hear those songs on the radio but what I am not transported back to those years.

Of course when I finished High School and went to Vocational School for my Secretarial Course, I went by bus as well . . . in the opposite direction.  We had a jolly big bus driver named Roy who listened to Country Music, which is when I first started to enjoy Country Music.   Before that I had pretty much seen it as old people's music.   At first I hated it, but then it kind of grew on me.  I remember the song   "Jolene" by Dolly Parton was very popular at the time . . .Todd and I are huge Country Music Fans.  We listen to it whenever we can.

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My children all had to catch the school bus at some point during their childhood years.   I can remember in most cases standing at the window and watching them leave.    Most times they would have to walk a bit of a distance to get to the bus stop.   The last place we lived together as a family, the school bus stop was almost right outside our door and so I could watch them getting on it in the morning.  I remember waving goodbye to my youngest son each morning and he would almost embarassedly wave back as he went to get on . . . and of course I would be watching for him when he came home at the end of the day as well.  My heart tweaks even now when I think of it.  I wonder does he remember these moments too?  I hope so . . .

Of course I ride a bus regularly nowadays.   There is a stop right at the end of our street and that is how we go back and forth into town when we go. Parking up with a car in town is too much of a nuisance.   We have a nice shelter to stand under when it is raining and a bus comes about every ten minutes during the week, which is nice.  When I first arrived over here in the UK, they were mostly double decker buses, but I haven't seen one of those in our area for a long time now . . . except fot the Chester City Tours bus.  That's an open bus on the top which would be quite pleasant on a warm and sunny day, but I wouldn't like to be on it otherwise!

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I don't have a lot on today so am hoping to get some artwork done.   We'll see what transpires as the day progresses.  They seem to get away from me more often than not these days!

A thought to carry with you through the day . . . 

The beginning of love
is to let those we love be perfectly themselves,
and not to twist them to fit our own image.
Otherwise we love only
the reflection of ourselves
we find in them .
~Thomas Merton  


Cooking in The English Kitchen today . . . Triple Threat Crispie Treats!

Have a great Saturday! 


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