Showing posts with label routes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label routes. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The Drive To and Return

                As mentioned in this post,  I thought Highway 140 was quite beautiful at some parts and quite scary at others.  The idea of a 50 foot drop and no guard rails is rather creepy.  But that is the way Roland wanted to go - and he was driving.

                I thought 140 seemed scarier driving north than it did driving south - which is ironic, as the drop is on the south/west side.  The drive didn't seem quite as long, either.  But Denise and I had taken I5 through Medford because she wanted to see the temple.  I just  had Roland go by way of Highway 138 to Highway 97 where you can choose to go north up through Bend and over through Boise, or you can drive down south to Lake View and Winnemucca.  

                The Nevada route is only about 30 minutes faster than going through Idaho - provided there isn't any construction or other barriers that might interfere with the normal route, but going south requires a lot more traction and winding - which I somehow didn't believe our car could handle.  But it did.  There were many who'd been praying for our safety and we made good timing, I think.

                Jeanie passed away on the 6th and our plan was to leave on the 7th.  It was Jenna's final week of school and she'd been planning on dressing up for each day.  She'd been looking forward to her final week of school this year and to watch her 8th grade friends graduate.  She cried when Roland told her that she would not return to school.  

                I was appalled at Jenna's behavior - obviously thinking more about the inconvenience of her own plans than for thinking about her brother and the grief that he may be suffering.  Death is rarely convenient for any of us.  I did talk Roland into allowing her to go to school one last time.  We still needed to go to Roseburg to get a rental car and bring it back to the house in order to pack it up.  There is ALWAYS a delay when Roland plans things.  Wednesday was an early day, and we could check her out even earlier if we needed to.  There was no sense for ALL of us to go to Roseburg, and I didn't want to watch Jenna idling any time that she could have spent at school.

                We had made arrangements to pick the car up between 8:00 and 8:30.  We were contacted by the rental company just before we left the house.  We were told the car would not be available until later and that they would contact us.  We had planned to go to Roseburg on some other errands - the delay of the rental would make things easier - I thought.  Roland could do all the driving and we wouldn't have to worry about the second car. 

                The rental company never called back, and so we decided to just go there.  There had been five people waiting for rental cars.  All the cars that were supposed to be available were still out - all the cars that were on the lot that looked like they might be available had expired tags.  We had tried other options, but are actually limited in Roseburg and didn't want to gamble on driving another 90 miles to a larger city if we might encounter the same problem with another rental car company. We still didn't have a car when Jenna returned home from school and so said a major prayer and ended up taking our own.

                The GPS was taking us through Sutherlin, but I knew we could get through on 138 which was in the opposite direction.  We probably wasted a half hour driving back and forth before we finally got on route.  Our daughter-in-law, Carrie, commented that our disability of getting out of Oregon sounded like the makings for a sitcom.

                Roland said he would return through Boise and Bend. 

                We passed many orange barrells. 

No workers or slowdowns - probably due to the wind - except for after crossing the border from Idaho into Oregon.  Loose gravel caused us to slow down.   Tar was being poured ahead.  There was actually a utility truck  with its flashing lights that led the cars in either direction - I think it was at least a mile long.  I'm not exaggerating.  It wasn't bad.  It had been the only slow down of the entire trip. 

                Once we got to Hines, we stopped at a Dairy Queen to have lunch.

Monday, February 2, 2015

A Plea for Drivers to USE MORE CAUTION When Approaching the Intersection

On Friday morning, after Jenna and I had parted ways, I decided I would return to the stop where we had got off and take a bus to the high school and transfer there. 

I noticed the street was surprisingly clear and I could cross, but first I decided to text the time to see if it was worth the time.  Ten minutes.  I could cross the street and wouldn’t have to wait until I got to the high school.

As I was crossing, I noticed lights flashing in all directions from the intersection.  Then it dawned on me – the traffic was light on the side going north because no cars were getting through.  No buses either.  And so I called UTA to find if the detour would skip the stop I was at. 

It was a horrible accident.  Traffic was rerouted.  The bus drivers took a route behind the school and over to a road five stops away.  The only stop it made between the two main intersections was the stop where I usually go.

To think if I hadn’t been so lazy and thought myself clever, I could have been home 30 – 45 minutes before.

We found ourselves in a similar situation this morning.  This time it happened on the way to school and not on the return.  Different intersection and I’m guessing that no one was killed due to this morning’s collision.

Our driver had actually hit all the stops before turning around and backtracking through the college.  A few passengers who hadn’t been paying attention seemed a bit panicked when she turned.

“Where are we going?”

“There’s an accident up ahead.  We are on detour.”

I had actually wondered if the driver would take us to the main road right away.  The passengers were regulars from years ago.

“Oh, yes.  I remember this”

“Remember when they had a stop right here?” 

Traffic was backed up in a major way and so I planned on taking a different route home.  But after Jenna and I parted ways, and I approached the main road, traffic was moving again.  It still took a while to get home however.  Bus was late and I missed transfers. 

It’s possible to slow down, even for green lights.  Please use caution in the Intersections.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Where’s the BUS?

         Jenna and I would have made the 7:36 bus yesterday morning, if we hadn’t had to reenter the front door to get her hat and pocket my cell phone. I figured it would be less than a fifteen minute wait for the next one.  I was wrong! We stood in the cold for 25 minutes before we saw the 8:51 (finally!) – which passed us.  The 8:06  was right behind and stopped for us – and just about every stop between where we got on and where we needed to be dropped off. 

         I don’t know why the driver waited three to five minutes before turning around at the college.  Both buses were running late.   

         The  8:06 driver was a bit ticked off that he had to stop for everyone that the 7:51 driver had missed.  He seemed to take it out on the token machine as he kicked at it several times.  I don’t know if our little stop at the college was meant for him to throw a tantrum.

         Jenna made it to school on time – but with absolutely no time to spare.  Theoretically we should have been able to catch the next bus that was spaced fifteen minutes (supposedly) behind the one we took.  But I heard the first bell before she had even reached the field.

         As I was walking back to the main road to catch my return, I heard a bus go by and figured I had missed it and so was not worried about crossing the street in a deadly amount of time.  Normally I walk up to the light and back, but I have crossed against the light on occasion.  If the road is clear and I can see the bus will get to the stop before I do.

         As I headed towards the light, I could see a bus approaching, but knew that I wasn’t going to make it.  It was clear on the side going south, but too much traffic going north.  I wasn’t be able to cross.  I figured I’d have to wait at least another fifteen minutes.

         I could see that someone was at the stop waiting and yet the bus just flew by without even slowing.  She was still at the stop waiting when I arrived.  I asked why the bus had passed her.  She said it was out of service.  I looked at my phone clock.  Two more minutes – unless that out of service bus was the one we had really been waiting for.  And then it would be over fifteen minutes.

         The bus was about four minutes late.  I was surprised to see that it was a ski bus.  I’ve ridden on ski buses when I’ve gone out to my sister’s – and the route is not as popular.  But not for this main road!  The only time I’ve seen ski buses used on the main road we take is when drivers are in training and it’s always been an additional bus – never a replacement bus.

         I think the driver was the same as the one who had passed Jenna and me less than an hour before.  Perhaps the out-of-service bus is the one he’d been driving initially.  Maybe there was something wrong with it and the ski bus was the closest available that could be sent to trade.  I don’t know.  It’s only speculation.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Bussing it to St. Mark's

When Jenna goes to school, I have taken the bus with her.  I normally have my backpack which contains my water bottle and a book.  Or at least I try to have a book – so I can read during the ride when Jenna isn’t with me.

Jenna and I have ridden the bus all summer.  We’ve gone in a variety of directions.  But we have always started out on the same bus that we have taken when she’s been in school.  Instead of continuing to our normal bus stop near her school, we have been getting off at the college and making a transfer connection to a different bus.

Just north of the college is a foot bridge that leads to the junior high across the street.  Jenna has always wanted to cross it.  I figured she’ll have the opportunity to cross it in two years – almost daily for the three years that she attends the junior high. My initial plan was to cross it with her, as I’d need to take a return bus home.  But this morning I learned that is no longer in my future.  She will either have to get off one stop before me, or cross at the light.  I think she will choose the bridge – which is what I would prefer for both of us.

 Jenna was so excited about being on this steep uphill bridge; it did make the crossing worthwhile.  But the side with the junior high is fenced in, and there is no slit in the fence and so we had to walk around and it took us more time than if we had just gotten off at the college and crossed the street.  Jenna apologized for my error.  But it was my error.  And it really was nice to learn about it now as opposed to when it’s full of junior high traffic.  And Jenna really did think it was cool to be on the bridge.  So it was fine.  I wasn’t upset about it.

We took a bus to the train station and transferred to another bus that took us to St. Mark’s hospital.  Before my mom passed away, I had driven to the hospital many times to see her – the same hospital I went to today, but for a different reason.  It was actually my first time riding the bus to St. Mark’s.  It was so different arriving at the hospital with a different form of transportation.

Instead of going to see my dying mother, I entered another part of the building that brings new life.  Up in the maternity ward is my sister, Kayla and her husband, Bill and their new arrival, BJ (not his real name – but I highly suspect that he is a “Bill Junior” as he seems to have had Bill’s sense of humor even while in the womb; and as their other two look like Kayla, I suspect BJ will not only act more like Bill but look more like him as well – kind of hard to tell right now who he takes after in the “looks” department) who’s been named after mom.

Roland’s office is located about four and a half blocks east and south of St. Mark’s.  I noticed that he hadn’t taken his phone, and grabbed it since he was so close.  Though I considered just keeping it as my phone has been flipping out the last two days and every call is broken and gets cut off.  I wondered if he had left it for me intentionally. 

I don’t like calling him at work through his work phone as I’m often redirected to the location in Phoenix – even with an extension.  Sometimes I am tempted to call the President of the United States just to see how much harder it would be than trying to get Roland at his work.  But that’s beside the point.                

While we were at St. Mark’s, Bill’s sister brought his kids to see their new little brother.  Anna lovingly held her new brother and smiled at him.  Gary, on the other hand, seemed freaked out and afraid.  I’m thinking it was time for a nap (perhaps he hadn’t had his Super Why fix)  He clung to Bill who wanted to take pictures and handed the camera to one of his nephews as Gary wouldn’t let go of his dad.  I noticed the time on the clock and asked Jenna if she wanted to go see her dad and come back later.  And so we left.          

The hospital and Roland’s office building are both on the same side of the street.  I told Jenna our two choices.  We could either cross the street, ride the bus down four blocks, cross the street(s) again or we could stay on that side and walk to Roland’s work.  We ended up walking.        

I didn’t remember Roland taking a lunch and wondered if he was at the nearby drive-in.  Jenna and I checked before making our way to his office.  I had her stay downstairs so we wouldn’t miss him if he got off the elevator.  I went from cubicle to cubicle not even knowing for sure in what section he was even stationed (he’s been relocated several times due to change of management and HUGE turn-overs)

I placed the phone on his desk and wanted to know if he’d be going to lunch.  He finished up what he was doing and met Jenna and I in the downstairs lobby and we went to lunch.  I should have gotten something for Bill, but just dumped the leftover fries in a bag along with half a shake and half a drink.  But he seemed grateful.

He asked me if he could take Jenna with him to the DMV as he and Kayla just purchased a van that still needs to be registered.  Their kids call it a bus.  Jenna’s actually excited about it because they will have room for her in addition to their three children.  She normally has fun with Bill and usually delights in his overly-done sense of humor.

I actually ended up leaving shortly after they did.  They may have still been in the parking lot actually.  But Kayla looked really tired and I could sense that she wanted to rest more than she wanted to visit.  I’ve actually had an obnoxious dry cough that seems to worsen when I talking, and so it worked out for both of us.   
 I hadn’t planned on returning home alone as I naturally figured that Jenna would be with me; therefore had nothing to read.
From the train station I have three options on returning home.  Instead of transferring back to the 41 (which is the route Jenna and I had used for getting to the train station) I decided to take the train to the next stop and wait for the 35 which gets me closer to wear I live.  

Now i am home writing this post, frustrated by a stuck shift key that keeps giving commands on my word that i have to go back and correct.  (That cap is one example.  It was also underlining and bolding – but the caps don’t seem as correctable – even on a different computer.  I was able to change the font size.  But I had to copy and paste this part)

Now that this is posted, I will go to the other room to wait for Jenna and the kids (who will be staying with us for a couple of days) I don’t know when Bill will be dropping them off.  He may try calling, but I can’t guarantee there will be a connection. It's been almost five hours now and I haven't heard from them.  Roland is home now.  Perhaps I should use his phone to find out where my daughter might be.

According to customer service, I’ll be receiving my new phone in just a few days.  That sounds unbelievable to my ears.  I’ll be surprised if it comes on Saturday or even Monday.

Friday, June 13, 2014

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.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

East and West and Harold

Ever since I have given up driving, I haven’t made the time to go out and see Harold – mom’s boyfriend of five months or so – though I have written to him.  I sent the last letter on the first.  He just got it yesterday.

Jenna happened to be off on Friday, and I found a way on public transportation that would get us close to Alta Ridge.  But our pass expired on the 31st and I wouldn’t be able to get a new one until Roland got paid.  Jenna suggested that we go visit him after I picked her up from school on Thursday – but I knew that unless Roland was willing to pick us up from Alta Ridge that we would never make it home before him.  He told us to wait on our visiting Harold.

It was really too bad as the weather was so awesome on the 31st.  It was snowing when we left the house yesterday.  Jenna and I both wore our snow boots, It turns out we really didn’t need them.

By the time I left Jenna at her school it had stopped snowing and the sun was showing its brightness.  I put my sunglasses on and headed towards the bus stop where I got off.  But I continued in the same direction.

I took the bus to the train station and got off at another to board a bus that would take me to the east side.  I grew up on the east side and so recognized all of the locations we passed.  I really do miss that area and the familiarities that I had become accustomed to over the years.

The distance from the bus stop to Alta Ridge is not a bad walk in awesome weather – I bet it’s a bear in foul weather though.  Desa – the assisted living activities director- takes the bus to work on a daily basis.  She knows what routes will get her where and shared information on two different methods.

I was talking to Harold when his mail was delivered.  That’s how I know he received it yesterday.  I think he is going bonkers living there as he is easily annoyed by the elderly–childish behavior and having to repeat things as only a few of them can retain information for more than a minute. Mom would tend to repeat herself, but she took him on journeys through her descriptions – I guess.  He said that she had taken him to the house where she used to live.  I knew that wasn’t right and couldn’t believe he was telling me that.
He said that she had been excited to show him her bedroom as she was really proud of it.  He said he wasn’t impressed and that somebody had really let the place go – especially the yard.  I told him that it was not the same house where I had taken her to for the last time in January – the house I grew up in.  For my niece and her husband had been living there and had actually taken better care of it than she had. 

I told him that I didn’t know what he was talking about.  Maybe he had a dream and hasn’t been able to differentiate between having dreamed it and having it taken place for real.  I know for a fact that it wasn’t real.  Mom had a lousy sense of direction – even before the dementia.  And really, how would they have gotten out anyway?  Or gotten to where the house supposedly was? He didn’t have an explanation for that part.

After my visit, I thought I would give Desa’s alternative route a try, but then realized that I was hungry.  And I had to cross the street by Arby’s if I went back the way I came. And it just so happened to be Roland’s lunch time and he is not that far from Alta Ridge.  So I called him.

He was excited and really wanted to be with me – said he’d come pick me up, but he was on the phone with a student FOREVER.  Seriously. Three buses had come and gone.  I should have just crossed the street after purchasing my sandwich instead of returning for another sandwich and two drinks – one of which I ended up throwing away.  Not to mention that I had waited for over an hour. I really should have known better. I definitely will next time.

So by the time I was almost home, Roland was STILL on the phone (same student) and I was just shaking my head.  By the time I returned home I had less than an hour before I had to leave to get Jenna – but my socks kept on sliding off my feet and into my boots (My feet are between sock sizes – Jenna’s fit, but they’re tight.  The heels of “ladies” socks are usually always longer than my own.  They never fit right – and so I often have all this extra fabric in my shoes) and so I did want to change into sneakers before I continued on my journey. 

The bus comes every half hour and so I can arrive at Jenna’s school a half hour early or ten minutes late.  Last month I went for the half hour early.  That actually annoyed Jenna who has always preferred dawdling and specifically asked me yesterday morning: “Can you please take the bus that gets you there ten minutes late?”  
Okay then.  No more waiting for her for 30 – 40 minutes in the cold.  I can deal with it.  But Roland actually beat us home today.  Don’t know how well that’s going to work out.  I think I’m just going to have to crock pot dinner each day.

It feels like I’d spent most of the day on the bus or the train or waiting.  It didn’t seem like it had been that long.  Though it might have felt longer had I not been reading.  I may not have been the wisest with my time but overall I thought it was a really nice day.  And though I felt like I had wasted both time and money waiting for Roland and that Roland too, was disappointed about not having made the opportunity to see me, Harold and Desa had both expressed gratitude.  I guess it’s all just what I wish to focus on.