Monday, July 14, 2008

Waiting for the school bus

Once upon a time, when I was in the 8th grade...

Waiting for school bus

Our tent was strategically placed at the top of my parent's 130+ acre property, where the house was being built.  We lovingly call it "the top of the hill" and "the bottom of the hill".  Creative, huh?

The top of the hill was about 3/4 of a mile from the bottom of the hill.  In those days, we walked everywhere we went.  During the school year, we got on the basketball bus about a mile and 3/4s from our house... which is why I learned to go home with Jodi or Melody before a game.  But, there was no getting around walking to catch the school bus every morning.

The school bus picked us up at the bottom of the hill.  Come rain or shine ... we met the bus.  We'd wade through the water when the creek was up.  One or two of us fell in the mud and had to go back up the hill to get changed. We had a goat (named Billy) that followed us to the bus stop, and one of our dogs got run over at the bus stop.  We have years of memories of us kids waiting for the bus.

There were many winters of waiting where we nearly froze our ears off.  (Is this beginning to sound like the old "I had to walk nine miles uphill in the snow to school without shoes" stories you heard from your parents?)

I had to walk nine miles uphill...

There was an old rundown house at the bottom of the hill that we used to stand in to get a little shelter waiting for the bus.  But the cold found us there, too.

Some mornings the wait for the bus was LONG.  I remember a few times my Dad had to come get us at the bottom of the hill because school had been canceled ... AFTER we walked all that way and had sacrificed our ever-lovin' digits to frostbite.

One particular morning, when I was cold, I began to dance around a bit.  My sister, Suzanne, decided to have a little fun and started telling me to dance like Mick Jagger (I was a huge fan of the Stones).

Mick Jagger

So, I obliged.  She prompted me further, "Jump!"  So, I jumped, doing my best Mick impression. "Jump higher," she said, as I hear the bus coming 'round the bend.  So, silly me, I jumped higher.  About that time, she hauls back and pushes me, in mid-air, and I went flying.

This wasn't good, because I'm quite a sissy when it comes to cold weather, and while I was in the spirit of the dance, I had not taken my hands out of my coat pockets.  So, when I got the push, all 90 pounds of me flew (far) and then hit the ground without taking my hands out of my pockets.  An amazing feat.

From my view from the middle of the dirt road, I could see the bus coming toward me.  I scurried up (still, no hands), and quickly got in line to get on the bus.

I just took my seat

The bus driver made some sarcastic remark.  All the kids were laughing.  I just took my seat.  I remember when the bus got to the school and I got up from my seat there was a dust pattern of my backside on the vinyl.

Note to self:  No more Mick impressions.

Suz and I reminisced about this little happy story a while back and had a good laugh.  I think it might've been funnier from her vantage point.