This week, after having spent the last few days in McAllen, Texas, attending a Convention and several training classes, I am motivated to share with you what I do now, how it came about, and why I think it is truly Something Special.
I state in the above header that I retired from the Houston Fire Department in 2007, after nearly 33 years. I was 51 years old at the time. My wife, Donna, was going to continue working for a few years, at least until we decided what we wanted to do regarding our future. I bought a lap top and for the next two years, I made my beloved coffee each morning and then set at my desk and stared at numbers on my screen all day trying to conquer
Toward the end of that nearly two year period, my "Little Bride" suggested
In August of 2009, I walked into the Friendswood ISD Transportation Office and filled out an application, was hired, and after mandatory training, obtained my Class B CDL. Shortly afterwards, I was driving a school bus. Just one slight
But, you know, each week and then each month into the school year, I was getting to know the kids more and more, from Kindergarten, all the way to High School students. I was starting to understand why the other drivers would say things like "These are my kids" and "I love these kids." Or, "I don't want to change routes (for that better bus) because I can't leave my kids." I especially bonded with the little guys and girls. As they got on the bus each morning, I would greet them with "Yo-yo-yo" and had them give me "five." I started assigning nicknames to most of them. There was "Little Man" who was little, but always reminded me that he was not little, he was big. And then one day, a Jerry Maguire like looking kid started riding the bus who was really little. So, I greeted him that first morning with, "Yo... come on in here Little Man." And the original Little Man balked at that ("I thought I was "Little Man?"), so he became "Little Man #1" and the new guy became "Little Man #2." Little Man #2 was so little, when I looked in my rear view mirror, I couldn't see him. I would yell out, "Yo, where's "Little Man #2?" I would then see this tee-tiny hand appear at the top of the seat. Cutest thing you ever did see.
There was "Big O" (who's family is just incredible), "Luke Skywalker," "Backdoor Man," "Buzz Lightyear," "Little Miss Natalie," and "Yo-Sie." There was
As I entered my 2nd year, an opportunity came about that I just could not pass up. I interviewed for a position in the Front Office and was selected and promoted to Lead Driver... which would mean I would no longer be driving an everyday route. It would also mean I was losing "my kids." Now, drivers do call in sick or are assigned field trips, etc., which means occasionally I would fill in for their route, but not necessarily my old route. As it turns out, I just did not see them much, if at all, during that second year. But if I drove any route, I was "Yo-yo-yo-ing" and high-5ing and trying to fit in a nickname here and there.
|My Sticks... From "Stick Man"|
I've painted a pretty picture here. To be fair, I should also include that there are days, although few, when there are issues on the bus. But, like anything in life, you deal with it and move on down the road. There are so many similar stories I can't even get to, due to space here, but suffice to say, my goal was to shed a little light on a "School Bus Driver" and how rewarding the job can be. And probably, much of the same can be said for School Teachers as well. They too have their "kid" stories. I've just had a "taste" of it and I wanted to try and convey to you why I think driving that Big Yellow School Bus and getting all those kids to school safely each day can be, and for me is, truly Something Special.
|The "Yellow Kid Cab"|
This quote stood out for me this week: "Laugh when you can, apologize when you should, and let go of what you can't change. Life's too short to be anything but happy." Anonymous
Recipe's: This week, I do not necessarily have a recipe to share, but I do have for you the one secret ingredient that every recipe should have included in it, courtesy of former Top Chef contestant, Carla Hall. Donna's idea to display this message in our kitchen... Gotta "love" it.
|Love: Always used in our kitchen...|
Libations Anyone???: As we approach the 4th of July celebrations next week, at the top of most people's cooking list is brisket, burgers, and dogs... and what better libation is there to match up with those three classics than Ice Cold Beer. Enjoy yours. Here is a pic of our "His & Hers" combo:
|Enjoy a "Cold One"|
Music: My Featured Artist this week is one of my absolute fave's from way back in the day and still going strong, having just released their new EP, Texi Cali... I'm talkin' about ZZ Top. They have so many good songs to choose from, but I think my Top 3 are #1: Nasty Dogs & Funky Kings, #2: Waitin' For the Bus, & #3: What It Is Kid... What are yours???
Market Watch: This week, Facebook is holding steady in the low 30's, closing last night (Thursday) at 31.36...
The End: The number of page views for the last three post's have been really strong and again, I Thank You. I love doing this and I appreciate you coming back each week to Slu's World. Have a great weekend.
Be safe, be smart, and always smile... It's "Happy Friday"