I rise at 5:30, make coffee, shower and get my breakfast. I sit at the computer, checking email and Facebook while I nibble my eggs and sip my coffee. I read or listen to the Bible, and jot a few notes down, then head outside by 6:45 to do my circle check of my bus. That only takes a few minutes, so I zip back inside and do up the dishes and make my Shrinker Oolong Tea before heading out at 7:15.
I love my bus run. My route takes me north through a beautiful countryside, with farmer's fields and little forested areas where I see coyotes. The sunrises are incredible, and I'm sad to think that the sun is rising higher in the sky much earlier in the morning. I'll have to wait until fall to experience the beauty of the sun peeking over the horizon, painting the sky with pink and orange and red. I pick up my first family at 7:35 am, and constantly watch the clock to make sure I'm on time at every stop. If a mom takes a minute or two to kiss her little girl goodbye, I need to step on the gas a bit to get to the next stop on time. If, on the other hand, a child is sick and is staying home that day, I must drive a bit slower to accommodate the fact that I didn't stop and pick up that child.
When I took over this run, the kids were loud, obnoxious, disobedient and disruptive. I had to write a few incident reports, and give them many a talking to. I've built a rapport with these kids, and they understand that all of my rules are about their safety. I want to transport them safely to school, and safely home again at the end of the day. That means that throwing things is not permitted, for it distracts the driver and can injure another student. Eating on the bus is not allowed, because someone could choke on a bit of food. They all must stay seated, for standing and moving from seat to seat could result in a student taking a tumble if I have to suddenly put the brakes on. There are a lot of rules, but they all make sense.
The kids are getting it! I am so pleased with my bus kids. It makes heading out the door twice a day into a mission rather than forced labour. I think I have the best run, the best kids, and the best route. I am truly blessed.
I get home around 9:10 each morning, unless I have to fuel up the bus, which takes another 10 minutes. After checking my FB messages briefly, I've been gardening or doing yard work. I planted my seedlings and they came up beautifully, but I now have joined the ranks of gardeners who have experienced the dreaded "damping off". Most of my cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage have simply died. This, I found out, is due to not using sterilized potting soil. I used topsoil, reasoning to myself that it would be fine, and although the seedlings sprouted beautifully, a week or two later I noticed they were not looking so good. They seemed to have been pinched off right at the surface of the soil. The internet told me about "damping off", and I think that's my problem. I'm thankful that the tomatoes seem to have survived, and that's because I mixed old soil in with the topsoil. Live and learn, eh?
Okay, so there's gardening and yard work and raking up stuff left from the winter and burning garbage. Lots of outside stuff. Not only that, but I plan on raising chickens for meat and a dozen more for eggs, so I have to get the brooder and some chicken tractors ready.
On top of that, my dear husband has been renovating the kitchen since last summer. It's been a long haul, but the kitchen is nearly done. It will be so nice to move the table and chairs and the buffet back into the kitchen, and to be able to sit around the table at meal-times, laughing and chatting and sharing our lives. I do what I can to help with the renovation, but my husband does the vast majority of the work. He's done a beautiful job, and I am very thankful.
My friend Jane has opened a store, Behind the Painted Door, and I have been setting up and updating her website. That took quite a bit of time in the beginning. I love what she does with paint, and I'm glad to be a help to her in her business.