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Spontaneous Overflow Reflecting in Tranquility

The Official Blog of Michael Schoenhofer, Executive Director

I Rode the Bus Today!

For a few years now I have wanted to ride the bus to and from work. The bus stops only a block from my house and lets me off 3 blocks from my work. The total ride time is about 15 minutes. But for some reason I have been putting this off. OK let's call it what it is - PROCRASTINATION. I recall when my children were very young we talked about going for a ride on the bus. But we all got busy and it was just too easy to get in the car. So one night I decided that Friday was going to be the day. Even though I had been putting this off for almost 20 years, I just felt that it was time NOW! Unfortunately when dawn broke it was a beautiful crisp morning. No excuse potential there. My wife was so excited about my ride that she decided to walk me to the stop and wait until the bus came. I am certain this was to make sure I actually got on the bus and didn't come walking home looking "hang-dogged" asking for a ride. No excuse potential there. So with back pack ready, lunch packed, and an umbrella in the side pocket, just in case, off we went. Three minutes later we were standing on Lakewood about 15 minutes early. The way it works is that when the bus approaches you just wave at the driver and the bus stops and picks you up whereever you are standing. Sure enough at 7:32 the bus rounded the corner from Cable Road onto Lakewood. I must admit I felt a mixture of excitement and apprehension as the bus approached. I took a step into the road and waved. The bus slowed and stopped, the doors opened, and I was on board with a hearty welcome from the driver who helped me put my dollar bill into the little glass recepticle. I was on! I did it! Twenty years in the making but I was finally riding the RTA. The driver was friendly as she called out the streets we passed. I was on the school run and more and more Lima Senior kids boarded and sat quietly around me. This was fun! Why did it take me so long?

The driver let me off the bus at the YMCA and I walked the few blocks to work feeling like I'd taken the burden of twenty years off my shoulders.

That evening I walked to Market Street to catch my bus ride home. This bus wasn't quite as timely as the morning bus. I was joined by a fellow who I admit now I badly misjudged. His large size, toothless grin, and portable oxygen tank threw me for a loop. As the bus delayed he must have sensed my anxiety because he pulled out his phone, called the RTA and then let me know with the reassuring tone of a "fellow rider" that the bus would be a few minutes late. When the bus did finally arrive, I am embarrassed to say that he helped ME board.

I suppose I have a lot left to learn about riding the bus and the surprising forms human kindness takes. Who knew getting to work could be such fun and so eye opening.

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