Getting on the bus

I saw the big yellow school bus go zipping by my house at the end of his route just the other day. This is a big bus, snub-nosed, that would have held several classes of my elementary school. So it is way different than back in the day for me, yet it got me to remembering what it was like riding the bus during the winter.

First of all, how we hated to go outside to the end of the driveway and wait for the bus to pick us up every morning. Boots, scarves, hoods, mittens-all had to be in place before heading out the back door. No book bags or back packs then, though, as is standard for students of all ages now. As a matter of fact, I’m thinking that bringing a book bag to school then would have brought on way too much ridicule from the other kids.

Walking through the snow down the driveway on the way to the bus was sometimes an adventure, especially if you were hurrying because we were staying inside as long as we could until someone saw the bus headed our way. Then we hurried down the driveway, more of a challenge in the snow.

Once on the bus, you were either too hot or too cold. Our coats were warm, but then so was the bus, depending on how close to or far away from the heater you sat.

The most fun part about riding the bus in the winter was, of course, the roads. Guiding a 48-passenger vehicle even half filled with young passengers along snow-covered highways and gravel roads must have been challenging, especially in that era when the driver couldn’t call the bus barn for help if he slid off the road. You could tell it was winter because the driver had a scoop shovel sitting in the front of the bus.

On one winter trip our bus did have trouble and got stuck in a driveway where we were trying to pick up a family for school. Everyone sat patiently on the bus while the driver tried to scoop us out, but it didn’t work. So everyone on the bus filed off and into the farmhouse, where we waited until someone from school came to pick us up.