Showing posts with label bus. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bus. Show all posts

Friday, December 12, 2014

The Thrill is Gone


            I have always had allergies.  It doesn’t matter what time of year.  When I was still in school, I had trained myself to fall asleep in a somewhat reclined position – that way my sinuses didn’t drain directly into my throat.  Thus I have actually spent most of my life sleeping propped rather than sleeping flat.  Roland sleeps flat.  Over the years it seems that only one or the other of us can be comfortable in bed.  But not both.

            The last three or four years I have complained about the air quality in this house and I have suffered with painful sinus infections the last two or three years.  Before that I had believed that suffering a sore throat was the worse thing – worse than headaches.  But not worse than being so disoriented that I cannot think or function.

            Because of my poor sleeping habits, I have ended up on the couch more often this year.  The recliners were actually perfect – until they gave out.  But even better than sleeping in the recliner was breathing the air that flowed between the kitchen and front room – more than twice the air trapped in my bedroom.  It was obviously a much better ventilation. I have been able to breathe and I have not had the stupid sinus infection of years past.  But poor Roland . . .

            When Roland and I were first married, his body would not dare be sick for more than twelve hours in a row.  I’m serious.  He’d have a mean cold and I would stay home just to make sure he didn’t leave the house and his cold would seriously be gone the next morning.  But over the years his body doesn’t seem to have the same resistance.  His colds hang around for a week to a month.  And he develops this cough that sounds as if he’s ready to hack up his lungs.  I feel so bad for him.  And helpless.

            My daughters-in-law have experienced the miserable sickness.  Jenna and I have been fortunate enough to remain healthy, though we have both taken Mucinex and cough drops and lots of vitamins.  Plus the weather has been quite awesome – good walking weather.  It’s been a problem to those who have made their livelihood in the snow however. 

            I heard there is suppose to be a drought for the next three years.  I can see that.  Too bad the elements haven’t balanced out across the nation – I think I’d rather deal with snow problems than with a drought.  Maybe not.  We’ll see.

            Last year Jenna and I received rides to school during the winter months.  She seemed a little bummed as she wished to keep on riding the bus and not be driven to school by car.  Evidently that wore off.  Now she wants to be driven again.  She wants to be driven and not walk or wait for bus.  It isn’t bad.  Granted, the car seems to have more perks for the passenger, but the bus has its perks too for someone who would rather not drive. But for her, the thrill of public transportation is gone.

           I think one of the greatest perks for taking the bus for both of us is that we’re forced to exercise.  No curb service next to the school – no matter what bus we use.  It’s a good walk from the bus stop to the door – or in my case around and across or up and across.  Too often we feel too worn out to walk the dog.  I used to walk him all the time when I drove.  I’d walk him near Jenna’s school.  I don’t like walking him in my neighborhood.  Not much in the way of sidewalks.  Currently there are too many dark hours at this time of year.

         Yesterday was windy.  Howling wind.  And cold.  I had my coat on both morning and afternoon.  So this morning I dressed the same – sweatshirt, jacket, coat.  The coat came off before my return.  The jacket came off at the bus stop.  Needed the sweatshirt to remain on my otherwise bare arms.  It is quite gorgeous outside right not.  In 90 minutes I’ll have to leave to get Jenna.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Riding the Blazing Furnace



I don’t mind the change in the weather.  I welcome the cool air.  Even if it means I need to bundle up or dress in layers.  The thing I don’t like is having bus drivers blare the heat as though it’s his or her sole responsibility of heating the entire universe.

When I lived with my mom and was working downtown, I would get on the bus and start stripping down.  It was a good 30-40 minute ride.  Just before we got to second south, I’d layer up again.  But the distances I have from West Valley to my destination are so much shorter. It seems senseless to strip down.  At the same time it seems I will suffocate if I don’t remove something.

I sit next to the door as often as I can – though the back door doesn’t always open.  I’m getting familiar with which drivers are able to deal with a minimum amonut of heat and which ones have to have the heat cranked up as though Roland is the driver.  I try to avoid their routes just so I can breathe.


Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Wind Has Knocked Me in a Coma - Journal Entry




I take Highness for a walk
He’s notorious for wanting attention
after we have all gone to bed
I want to wear him out
I’m already worn out

Roland and I are on the couch
watching Shark Tank
I suggest we finish watching
in our room
He let’s the dog out just before
he comes into the bedroom
to join me

“What are you doing
letting the dog out?!”
I think.
Now one of us will have to
get back out of bed
to let him in.
I can’t remember
which one of us
received that honor.

I am asleep
I missed the end of Shark Tank
I actually don’t remember
turning on the TV
maybe Roland did

It’s 2:00 in the morning
when I can hear Highness whining
“Go lay down!” I say
Sometimes that works

Highness ignores me and continues whining. 
I let him outside.
I have two pillows in my hand.
I sit on the couch in a reclined position.
I don’t know how long I have slept
when I hear Highness bark again.
He has stayed out longer than usual
How surprising
Especially when I consider that
he’d been out for five to seven hours
while I was away less than
fourteen hours ago.
Not to mention the twenty minutes or so 
when we had gone to bed

Roland wakes at 4:10.
He sees that I’m gone
and goes back to sleep.

On couch this morning. 
It is getting cold.
I decided to turn on the heat for Roland.
I don’t hear the click when I turn the dial.
I don’t check the clock.
It could have been 5:30 or 6:00.
I should have checked.

I stir on the couch
The wind is howling. 
I pull the afghan around me.
I think the heater is broken.
I get up.
I am in a daze.

I hear noise coming from
the TV in my bedroom.
I see that the light is on.
The door opens. 
Roland is fully dressed.
He says it’s 6:30.  Oh, shoot.
He was supposed to take us
to school this morning. 

Jenna has drama club
early in the morning and
he doesn’t want her left alone
before the school opens
That is why I have to go with her.

But Roland will be late
if he takes us all the way
to the school so I tell him
to go ahead and leave

Jenna is crying
because nobody had woken her up
and she believes she’s going to be late
and she didn’t get breakfast. 
None of us did.

I throw on a wrap
and grab my windbreaker for Jenna
to wear over her hoody
(which is not all that warm)
I grab a hat from my back pack
I should have grabbed one from Jenna’s room
as well

Before we head out the door
I grab an apple and banana
Roland hits McDonalds
before he gets to work
He wanted a hot chocolate
and they told him there’d be a wait.
I think he would just leave
except he already paid.

He doesn’t drink it
until he gets to work.
It tastes awful!
McDonalds messed up his order
Roland received a coffee
instead of hot chocolate.
He finds another
to give his coffee to.

Jenna and I wait for the bus.
We wait and wait and wait.
Jenna cries
as she believes she will be late
She will be if the bus is as late as it had been
last night.
We’re not going to be late.
The bus finally comes
We arrive at the school
fifteen minutes before drama club starts

My wrap blows in the wind
I am reminded of the tail end of

though my cloak doesn’t 
wave that long

I make three bus transfers
I am home by 8:30.
I turn on the TV to watch
“Dancing with the Stars”
I missed two dances
because I was asleep.

Roland calls me and relates the
events of his morning with McDonalds
Says he’ll return for lunch
and report to the manager
It’s a short day and so I leave the house
to pick up Jenna
I am wearing my windbreaker and wrap
and hat and scarf
because the wind is loud
and howling like this morning
not as cold though
but I don’t notice until I have passed
the house next door.

I remove the wrap and scarf
and return home so that
I don’t have to carry them on the bus
Before I get to the school
I have removed my hat
I pass a house with a windmill
Funny I have never noticed before
Today the wheel is spinning hard and fast
So fast it just might come off

The bell rings just before I sit down
at the bench
Jenna is playing on the playground
but does come eventually
I ask if she would like to catch the bus
in front or behind the school
she chooses front because
she needs to run inside the school
for a few moments

We notice Marvin out on the lawn
waiting for his grandfather
When we exit the school
Marvin is still waiting
It is a short day
Perhaps grandpa has forgotten
I asked Marvin if he would like me to call his grandpa
But he doesn’t know grandpa’s number
And I don’t have my old phone
Where I have grandpa’s number stored
I ask Marvin if he would like to go to the office
to call his grandpa or maybe
we could just walk him home.

I choose to walk around the school
rather than cross the field
(though it takes longer to go around)
That way we can look for grandpa’s car
in case he is on his way.
Marvin believes the sidewalk is a better choice
and faster than crossing the field.
It's not.
I don’t know why grandpa drives around to pick him up. 
His brother Isaac always crossed the field.
I wonder if Marvin has been bullied
and maybe that is why.
Or maybe it was expected last year 
because Marvin was just in half day kindergarten 
and is just used to being picked up

As we approach grandpa’s house, I notice
that his car is gone.
Marvin thinks that grandpa has gone to the store.
I hope that is where he is and
not at the school searching for Marvin.
Jenna and I continue to the main road to catch our bus.

We get off at the corner and grab
a late lunch at Burger King
before we continue our walk
to our house
I start dinner
Roland calls to say he’ll be late
He’s not hungry anyway.
He gives Jenna a coupon for a
Free smoothie or frappe from McDonalds.
She is off school for the next two days.

Monday, September 29, 2014

October Air




     I Love the fall.  I love the crisp air.  I love rain.

     The last week of September seems to cool down – not as cold as October – sometimes wet.  Not always.

     This September has been extremely hot – hotter than August.  Hot like July.  I welcome the October air.

     It started on Saturday.  Down poured all day.  There was a funeral at the Church.  And Jenna had a party to attend.
    
     I went with Roland to the Church and took the cake for the luncheon provided to the family.  I asked what time I was needed.  Not until noon.  I returned to the house until it was time to leave.

     I put the dog out so he would go to the bathroom outside and not in the house.  I planned to bring him back inside after I took Jenna to her party.

     Joni and Super Ruby had plates of salad ready to go out into the cultural hall.  Originally the Relief Society was told to plan for 100 – 125 people.  I’m guessing the rain kept many away.

     Jenna played in the nursery as we waited for the funeral to end.  When Roland came into the kitchen to assist, I could hear the rain beating down.  I asked Roland if he would take Jenna to the party so that I wouldn’t have to drive.

     Pamela gave the closing prayer and asked that the rain could be lifted long enough for the grave to be dedicated.  And it was.  It stopped as the dedication got started, it continued just as the dedication ended.  Or so I heard.  I was moving salads from the kitchen to the tables – along with some other sisters and Roland.

     He left long enough to get Jenna to her friend’s birthday party.  Super Ruby cut each sheet cake into twelve pieces and scooped out monster squares to put on plates. 

     Super Ruby doesn’t seem to delegate.  She somehow believes that she is in charge and is responsible for feeding at least 30 - 50  people by herself.  She is a great cook.  I bet she owns at least a hundred pots and pans.  She had only brought twelve of them.  Plus she provided all the table decorations.

     I probably could have come home.  Before the family returned to the church, more kitchen help arrived.  More than was actually needed, I think. 

     After Jenna called to announce that the party was over and Roland had taken all the tables down, he came to get me and announced that we were leaving.  By then it was just Joni and Super Ruby left in the kitchen – although Kristen would be returning, and I said I would return as well.  But after I had stacked all of Super Ruby’s pans, and sacks, and goods by the door, Joni told me that they didn’t need me to return.

     Roland wanted to run a few errands.  We went to Fashion Place Mall.  I hate Fashion Place Mall.  It’s too busy.  It’s too overwhelmingly crowded with stores and shops and people.

     Roland had volunteered to drop me and Jenna off at the curb or return to pick us up at the curb so that we wouldn’t have to get wet.  Jenna and I welcomed the rain.  We needed it.  We needed it to soak into our skin and wash the heat away. 

     I don’t know what time it was when we finally returned home.  Oh, no!  I had left Highness outside!  All that time.  And he doesn’t have the sense to seek shelter, and so he was wet.  Fur soaked through.  We let him in.  He wanted to cuddle.  He wanted us to love the moisture away, I guess.

     It rained again yesterday and all last night.  Grey clouds this morning, but when the sun came up, the clouds gradually went from grey to white and it hasn’t rained today.  But the air is still crisp like October air.  

     Some trees have turned, but not all.  Most of them are green still.  At least the ones that are in my view.  I know they've already turned in the mountains.  I heard that there is a high percentage of snow - in the mountains.  It can snow in the mountains.  So long as it stays in the mountains.  I'd rather trudge in snow than blazing heat though.

     I considered going to Kayla’s.  Of course I missed the first bus I saw.  It turned before I could cross – and my feet hurt too much to continue walking.  So I sat down and waited 15 minutes.

     The transfer had buses scheduled at three minutes apart.  I should have taken the second one.  I may have made the next transfer.  I didn’t think about it until I was on my way to the TRAX station that I would have to wait for another half hour (which would make another hour before arriving to Kayla’s) and so I just took the train and went back home.

     I cleaned out the pantry and did the dishes.  Roland wanted me to program a remote.  But first I had to print out the directions.  My eyesight is not that great – I need the instructions to be in big letters.  I still can’t get the remote to work however.  And now I am creating this post to put on my blog.  And now you are reading it.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

More Buses Needed


Yesterday was the first day of school this school year. Before the bus pulled up to the curb, there had been only one passenger. I predicted that the bus before it was running behind and overflowing with passengers. I learned that my predictions had been accurate as we boarded the overflowing bus this morning.

Right after we boarded, the frustrated driver called into dispatch to make a complaint that he was already running twenty minutes late – picking up passengers from the bus prior to his as well as those waiting for the bus behind him. It wasn't fair that he should be late because the one before him had been late or in an accident or whatever.

By the time Jenna and I reached our bus stop, I saw the driver reach for the phone for the third time. This time it was with a request that he would only drop off passengers and not pick new ones up. He must have been granted clearance, for when I went back to catch the return back to my house, it was the same driver and I asked if he was still behind. He said that he was not. Good for him. Good for UTA for setting things right. If they set things right.

I know when one bus has a problem – breaking down or whatever else – it causes more delay with the next bus. I've been on those buses before. I've also opted to wait for the next. My personal opinion (not that anyone has asked, but here it is anyway) is that during those hours that students are trying to get to school, and people are trying to get to work – put out a few extra buses – scheduling them every ten minutes instead of every fifteen. It would (and does) make a tremendous difference. No chain reaction build-up.

We've been scanning Jenna's card each time we enter and exit the form of transportation that we are using.  It will expire at the end of the week.  We will both have unscannable passes - which makes it easier on me.  But I did like the idea of entering our route agenda into the system - sort of.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

The Comfort in a Mother's Voice



Kayla was not feeling well yesterday. In addition to being pregnant she had symptoms of a virus or a flu. Jenna and I took her children over to the school to have lunch (I actually drove Kayla's car with expired plates) and then to visit a friend. That gave Kayla three hours alone.

Our visit was quite brief with Kayla when we returned her kids and left for the bus. Jenna had even remembered to get her painting from last week. We were home for three hours when Kayla called us back.

Bill took her to the hospital as she was having contractions and Jenna and I stayed with the kids. I thought we were headed for a rather long night with them, and then I heard the dogs barking and saw Bill's car in the driveway. The contractions and labor had been a false alarm. BJ did not come last night.

I have given Kayla the option of leaving Jenna overnight. Usually Kayla has to think about it – but last night was a definite “yes”. She didn't even bat an eyelid. Said she had a pregnancy class at 8:15 this morning.

Jenna is not yet twelve, and legally is not supposed to be left alone. But I said I'd be back in the morning as close to 8:00 – and may have made it to Kearns before 8:00 if I hadn't taken the time to eat breakfast – or if I hadn't been too lazy to walk up to the MAX instead of waiting on the corner for a different bus so that I wouldn't have to walk. But the third transfer did make me fifteen minutes late.

So Jenna was with the kids for fifteen minutes – unsupervised and fretting. When was I going to get there? What if something horrible happened. The truth is I actually wasn't that far from the house. That particular route runs every 30 minutes and I had missed my transfer by 3-5 minutes. And so I called Jenna on Kayla's phone and she called me. And I reported:

“I am across the street from the Smith's where we sometimes wait . . .”

“I am now on the bus. We just turned into that neighborhood that goes around South Ridge.”

“We have just passed the snow cone place and are turning back onto the main street.”


So long as she could hear my voice she was fine. The panic had disappeared. How great it is that we can take comfort in another's voice – no matter how near or far.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Two Hours is Too Long


On the day that my oldest nephew was married
Jenna and I had lunch and played in the park
with my youngest niece and her brother
who used to be the youngest
but another brother will be born
I’m guessing in July. 

Kayla’s due date is August 2nd
but she looks like
she’s ready to pop
any minute.
We both believe that B.J. is on his side.
Kayla says he moves around
much more than the other two

Anna and Garrett (we call him Gary)
are replicas of their mother
at least they LOOK like Kayla
I bet their brother looks like Bill
and has Bill’s personality.
Hence my nickname for him –
B.J. = Bill Junior

Today we could not meet in the park for lunch. 
This afternoon
Jenna and I took a bus out to their house
and took them back to the same bus stop
and rode to the next TRAX station
where we boarded the train
Gary was especially awed
by this new sensation.

We took the train back to
where Jenna and I had started out. 
The kids played in the fountain
while we waited
for the bus to come.
We boarded the bus that took us
back to their house.
We had completed a wide circle.
Too wide.  They were tired.
I should have taken pictures
of them sleeping
on the bus.

Next time we will have to
choose another route
and spend only an hour
and a half on the wonder
of UTA –
perhaps just bus and
Fairbourne station
and not do the train.
I think all three
would rather play
in the water than to
ride the train again.

Spending Time With My Nephew and Niece


I have mentioned in earlier posts that my sister, Kayla, is expecting her third child.  Her eldest, Anna, will be four in the first week of July.  Garrett turned two in February and B.J. will be born in August. As a result, Jenna and I have been going out to assist at least a few hours each day.  


This past Wednesday and Thursday we had made arrangements to meet the kids at the park nearest Jenna’s school.  There is a park closer to where they live, but the bus doesn’t go by the park, and I don’t particularly wish to cross the street with the two children in order to get to the park.  So Bill has dropped them off at the other park.  We can make the return trip on the bus without crossing the street.

So on Wednesday, Bill stood in line with them to get their lunch and then he took off.  After Jenna, Anna and Gary played for a while, we got on the bus to take my niece and nephew back to their mom.  The kids were delighted with being able to ride the bus. 

We made our first transfer at the college.  There are two buses that we can transfer to and so will take whichever one comes first.  We waited for only two or three minutes.  With our last transfer we did not have to wait at all.  A ski bus is used for that particular route – though it makes me wonder what bus is used during the ski season?

The front seats are designated for wheel chairs (should said passengers come aboard).  I told Anna to continue to the back of the bus and climb the stairs.  Jenna taught Anna to flirt with the passenger seated across from them.  Gary fell asleep.  I was so beat by the time we got to Kayla’s.  Jenna and I waited for an hour and a half before we got back on the bus.

Roland stayed home yesterday.  I braved it and drove the car.  Bill arrived at the park earlier than expected.  He decided that he would eat lunch with his children.  After transferring his car seats to my car, he got in line with the three kids and purchased himself a lunch as well. 

He thought his two children would be very disappointed that we were not taking the bus, but they didn’t seem to notice.  None of us seemed to be hungry and didn’t eat as much – except for Bill who wolfed down two hot dogs and juice and left to go to work.

Jenna and the other two played in the sand before Anna started wandering and started acting tired.  I took them all back to Kayla’s house and told Kayla that we wouldn’t be able to do lunch today, but that maybe I could collect them and we could ride the bus and train just to give them an adventure.

Monday, October 21, 2013

I Think Roland Should be Driving for UTA


            Jenna and I got on the more crowded bus this morning but I took the less crowded one back to the house.  I was actually the only passenger for the first three lights.  And I was thinking that UTA really missed out for not hiring Roland as one of their drivers.

         He may have only applied that one time.  I don’t know if it even resulted with an interview or not.  Roland is a great driver.  I doubt he would be intimidated by the size of the bus.  He is a master behind the wheel in all kinds of weather.  He has exceptional people skills.  And I believe he enjoys driving.



         Not me.  I remember taking the bus one time – cold wet snowy day.  I got talking to the driver about my job and searching for another.  He said that UTA was hiring drivers.  I reminded him that I was taking the bus so that I didn’t have to drive.  Besides driving a station wagon was actually the biggest vehicle I wanted to go.  The bus is what?  Five times the size – maybe ten.  My driving skills  and a monster vehicle?  No thank you. 

         My family was friends with a UTA employee.  He had a charming personality and most of his passengers were comfortable with his over friendliness.  He was in a high senior position when UTA brought in TRAX and so had the option of driving the train instead of the bus.  I remember him telling me that driving the train freaked him out and he wanted nothing to do with it.

         He has since retired and moved away.  I don’t know where he is living at present.  I had heard from some of his family members that he has dementia.  I wonder if they had to put him in an assisted living program like we did with mom.  I wonder what stage he is in.

         I have posted some opinions on public transportation before.  But not with Roland in mind.  I know he would do well driving busses.  But he’s now sixty.  I don’t think UTA would hire him.  Their loss.