“The Old School Bus”
I only rode the old school bus for one year, first grade. My memories of it are mine and some of my brother’s and sister’s.
In winter there was frost on every window of the bus we took to school. If you looked closely at it you could almost see snowflakes across the glass. It was a cold ride. We would be bundled up with layer upon layer of socks, jeans, hats, mittens, all of it. Anything Mom could find to fit us was one more layer. With the cold we could see our breath as we rode off to town and the brick school house waiting for us. Every corner we turned there was a fear of getting stuck in a snowdrift.
The seats on the bus, whereas, they could be blistering in the summer heat, were hard and the brown leather crackled as we sat on the bench-like seats. Some of them had big cracks in the leather and they would feel sharp and scratchy; which would be a problem except for all of layers of clothing we had on. The cushions were attached to a metal frame that you didn’t want to hold on to. The cold that came from the freezing metal would seep it’s way down through your layers of mittens.
The floor of the bus, usually with a slight layer of sand from the sandy roads we drove on; was now a wet messy mixture of sand mud and melting snow. It probably wouldn’t be cleaned thoroughly until spring when the warmth of the sun managed to melt the snow and dry up the sediment.
Our bus driver was a friendly sort, however, when the bitter winter took over even she would only grumble a good morning. She was just as cold as the rest of us. Sitting at the steering wheel, not only trying to control a group of rowdy children; she also had to make sure we stayed on the road that was covered with snow, making it difficult to see the lane that the bus should be driving on.
After a while, and sometime before we reached the school; the windows would fog up from the warm breath that exuded from all of us. That, plus the warmth coming from our bodies made it difficult to see outside. Our driver had the bus’s defroster going full blast all the way to school. We could hear it running as we made our way through the frozen world we were in.
I have heard from one of, (or maybe more) of my brothers and sisters, that at one point there was a one room school they attended. That meant several of my sibs being in the same class. I can’t imagine trying to teach all of the different grades at one time. Plus the added stress of getting all of the children undressed and redressed at the end of the day. Winter must have made the teacher’s job seem all the more impossible to get anything taught to the rowdy group of youngsters that came in on the old school bus that morning.
In a world where you can be anything, Be Kind.”
Don’t count the days.
Make the days count.
Until next time,
© Doris Clark, January 2022