Daily Gratitude Year 5-Day 23: Today, I am grateful for school bus drivers. (image by Curly Girl)
My brother,Matthew and I have joked that if we ever wrote a book about growing up rural Midwest country, we would have to use "You Can't Make This Stuff Up". It is true.
April, Matt and I would get on a school bus after school at 3. Our route took us to the Clifton Grade School and then to the far edge of Iroquois county. Our driver form many years, Eula Vaughn, once told me she clocked 70 miles when she ran the full route. That explains why we would get off the bus close to 4:30 some evenings. We were the last stop.
We crossed rickety bridges... on more faith than solid foundation. We forged through pea soup fog in the old big yellows. We pushed our way through spring downpours and fall storms. We remember some scarier rides in the late 70's and 80's when the snows were deep and the winds were high.
Our school bus drivers turned those rigs, loaded with kids, around on some crazy narrow roads in every kind of weather. I do remember some conditions when we knew we had better be on our best behavior, so they could do their best. There was a mutual respect between drivers and kids... or the driver didn't last long. Those cut out for the job, did it for a lifetime.
Our drivers... Aunt Mary, Jeannie Kemnitz and Eula Vaughn drove with confidence. They had a job to do and a schedule to keep.
We didn't have cell phones. If something happened... like a loose cow who wouldn't move out of the road... we waited on the cow. Cattle may not technically have the "right of way", but they take it anyway.
Looking back, I think school bus drivers must be some of the bravest people on the planet. Soldiers are called into dangerous, unpredictable situations at a minutes notice. A school bus driver does it every single day.
The kids on their routes are their kids. They master "the looks" that communicate when the line of "too far" has been reached.
Today... as a school district employee... I am confident that our Transportation Director is one of our finest assets. She tries to take good care of her drivers so they are in a good place to take good care of their student riders. A dairy farmers daughter, the early mornings and long days don't phase her. She is priceless. Johnny-on-the-spot... or Nancy-on-the-spot in this case... every driver and every student counts. The bus garage is a community of people... a work family... who take their service seriously. Thank God they do. How often do we really pause to thank them?
God must have a special corner in heaven for school bus drivers. Courage, confidence and self-control are required.
Helen Keller said, "Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all. When you can't see or hear, walking across a new and unfamiliar room would be an adventure. Your have two choices; live in fear or be fearless in the adventure.
What every God has called you to do on this gift of a new day... don't miss the adventure.
If the day ahead seems overwhelming... pray for guidance. I am sure school bus drivers can pray and drive.
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. -James 1:5
Today, I am grateful for school bus drivers. They are good people.