Well it's been a few days since I've written...but not as long as in the past. This morning I was the 2nd one up - makes it nice as it was still reasonably quiet for me to wake up. I've got laundry in washer and dryer, kitchen in process and am enjoying my second cup of coffee. For today there is LOTS of laundry to do, some baking, cleaning and hopefully a visit to a craft show. Before I can leave for that though the boys will be servicing my car in preparation for a trip north next week. I am going to see Mom and Dad. Stretch will come with this time - I am driving again and it is always nice to have someone with me. This time I won't be driving the entire way which is likely to be nice. It's been a more difficult week for Dad I think as for the first time since Mom was admitted he has not been able to be at the hospital with her daily. He got sick and was not allowed to visit until yesterday.
Speaking of challenges...I had an experience that I hope to never ever repeat this week. I was driving my afternoon bus route...making my regular stop at a trailer park where the entrance is directly onto a major state highway. Procedure is to use right turn signal, pull off the highway as far as possible without actually entering the trailer park, unload my students, use my left turn signal and pull safely back into traffic. (We do not use our 8-way red stop arm system for stops on this major highway because it would be more dangerous for the students to stop traffic then to just pull off the road). I followed procedure, unloaded about 15 students, moved another student still on the bus to the front of the bus and was pulling back into traffic. Suddenly there were red flashing lights from a state police officer in my mirror - he was quite clearly intent on pulling me over. So I moved ahead a few feet to open the entrance of the trailer park back up and stopped. He requested me to get out of my seat and step down into the doorway of the bus so he could talk with me. He asked if I had used my reds at this stop and why I had not. Then he said I should pull into the trailer park before I let my students off. I had got on the radio to try to let my boss know what was going on but did not get an immediate response. The officer eventually let me continue with my route - no ticket, no warning...just a "I will call your boss later". I was late to the elementary school and decidedly upset but loaded the remainder of my students and started to take them home. I had another stop on that same highway...handled it according to procedure and called my boss as soon as I was finished driving - he had no clue what had happened. His response when he called me back was "he can't do that!" repeated a couple of times as I told my story. I have learned the correct procedure - if a state trooper wants to speak to a driver of a loaded school bus he is to follow the bus to the nearest school and speak to the driver there. And I was correct in how I unloaded my students. Having said all that...it was a decidedly upsetting afternoon for me as driver. On the bright side my kids, especially most of the elementary kids behaved better than they have all year. (I did tell one that if there was no blood involved and it was a sister issue I was not dealing with it at the moment). One of my most challenging students did excellent and was quite concerned at how upset I was...I told him I would be alright and would see him the next day. And there were many many questions the next day - most of the students had already heard from either their morning driver or older kids on the bus the previous afternoon. But they still had questions.
Ok...enough time on the computer now. Coffee is finished and I need to get going on house chores.