Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Day Three

Wow what a day!!!! As a family we rode the bus all day long!!! We were busy!!!
The day started with Sande and Sammy taking the Blue Line West from our stop at Rice and Osage. On the walk from our place to the bus stop, Sammy, who was SUPER EXCITED about getting to ride the "Big Blue Bus" again, got to running too hard and took a header right onto the sidewalk. Of course he was wearing short pants and skinned his knees up pretty good.

Poor kid, his knees were sore!!! We got on the bus and who do we see behind the driver seat but Esam. He remembered Sammy from yesterday and asked Sande if she needed a bandaid. He looked around in his first aid kit and couldn't find one so radioed to the Wabash station and another driver met them at the bus with two bandaids for Sammy's knees.


In fact we saw several more instances of random kindness today. It was really encouraging. I'll get to all of them as the story goes on.

So, Sande and Sammy met up with Thad's mom at her place out at Oak Towers. They all then took the trip out to Columbia Mall and dropped off Sammy and Grandma to play. The weather was really wet this morning and so we didn't want to take a chance on playing outside. Anyway, Grandma and Sammy got off and Sande continued back to Oak Tower where she got off and walked to her Chiroprator's office at Garth and Broadway. Sande actually got there a little early and the doctor and his staff were still at lunch so Sande went across the street to the Library and hung out for the few minutes it took for the office to open up.
Sande was much relieved after her appointment with Dr. Hayes and then got on the Red Line East at the Library. She connected to the Orange Line going South at Wabash Station and went to work. The Orange line for some reason always seems to be running late. I'm not sure why but I have a feeling it has something to do with the route. It's all along some pretty conjested streets and it is super long!!! Anyway, Sande managed to get to her work on time.

At about the same time that Sande was getting off her bus at Green Meadows Hair Company, Thad was getting on the bus at our stop at Rice and Osage. Thad had come home from his job and parked the car then headed out to the Mall to meet up with Grandma and Sammy. My trip on the BLue Line West between our stop and Wabash was where I encountered my second random act of kindness. An older woman was getting on the bus and for some reason looked as if she might not have the fare. One of the passengers sitting close to the front of the bus, who obviously did not know her, jumped right up and offered to pay her fare!!! He had the change in hand and was getting up to hand it to the lady whe she let him know that she did indeed have the fare. I thought that was very nice of him to do that for a complete stranger.
One of the things we are all learning as we go through this experiment is that there exists a real sense of community on the bus. People are genuinely kind to each other regardless of their appearance, race, or whatever. I was really appreciating the man willing to give his money to someone who looked like they might be in need.
The trip between Wabash and the mall was a little slower than it should have been. That was no fault of the bus. A resident was having a huge construction dumpster delivered to their place on Garth and the truck was having a hard time getting up this guy's drive. He kept slipping and it seemed we sat there and waited for a long time. Our driver, as usual, was terrific and very patient. In the end we got to the mall about 5 minutes late which was no big deal at all.
At the mall I met up with Grandma and Sammy. Sammy had been playing HARD for about three hours!! If you know anything at all about three year olds, you'l know that three hours of hard playing is about exactly the amount of time it takes to COMPLETELY wear them out!!!

Poor kid was dead on his feet!!!! However, after a quick stop for ice cream on the way out of the mall, we was temporarily recharged. We all got on the Blue Line East at Columbia Mall. Sammy knew that Dad would have a couple of stories in his bag so he asked for one. I read him a story about Rocket ships and than what has become my favorite story of the year. It's called "The Lizard Man of Crabtree County". I won't spoil the book but trust me. Next time you're at the library check it out, it's terrific!! By the time I was finishing up with the second story, we had arrived at Oak Towers and said goodbye to Grandma. By the time we got to Wabash we had finished the Lizard Man book and Sammy was having a real hard time staying awake.
At Wabash, I encountered my third Random act of kindness. One of the Supervisors for the Bus company, came out to watch the bus while the driver (I think her name is Jennifer but I'm not sure) took a short break. He cam one the bus and said hi to everyone and took the time to stop and ask me how we were getting along and if we were having any troubles. He then proceeded to take the time to speak to SEVERAL othe passengers, laughing with them and generally spreading good cheer. I thought it was very kind of him to take time out of his busy day to make sure we were all having a good time on our trip. The driver came back on board and gave me my fourth random act of kindness. It seems that she had been the one earlier in the day to give Sammy his bandaids and she had kept an extra one in her pocket in case she saw him again. Sammy had lost one of his bandaids and whe she noticed she took the time to hand him a new one. The was really nice of her.
From Wabash we headed East to our home stop. Sammy went to sleep on my lap and I took the break from him to have some conversation with the riders around me. This is when I encountered my fifth random act of kindness. A woman I was speaking to made a point to tell me how she had observed me with Sammy and took the time to compliment me. She gave me some very encouraging comments that really made me feel good and welcome.
Overall I am giving today's rides a 5 out of a possible 5. The kindness shown to me, my family, and others around me gave me renewed faith in the ability of a community to not only get along but to thrive
The bus dropped us off at our stop and I put Sammy on my shoulder and carried him home. Poor kid was flat pooped out.


At 3:09 PM, Anonymous CT driver said...

I just had to comment on your thinking on the Orange Route being late all the time. You're right about the length and the busy-ness of the route on the South end (that goes all the way out to Rock Bridge High School at its furthest point).

This is especially rough on the morning run that returns to the Wabash Station at 8:00 a.m. in the middle of rush hour on Providence. It is impossible to get to the station on time that run. Then again it's tough when Rock Bridge and Gentry Middle School let out in the afternoon and there are all those School Buses and parents' cars to contend with.

Dispatchers are very good at communicating with the drivers to make sure no one is stranded at the Wabash and misses their connection, either by holding up a bus or getting passengers on the "transfer van" when extra drivers are available.

Be sure to respond when the driver asks if you need to transfer to another bus at the Wabash so he can notify the dispatcher. We want you to get where you need to go!

Thanks for riding the bus.


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