Sunday, August 31, 2008

a working holiday

Mark and I both work on the weekends.  He hauling mail from the postal centers, me working for Mrs. H.  Nobody wants to work on Labor Day so I will be there Monday morning.  No big thing.  Mrs. H's age and experiences fill a void in me...I have no mother, and my mother in law is thousands of miles away...Mrs. H lets me know that the road ahead is sometimes hard, but "stay true to yourself and you'll be ok, kid".  Working for her is not hard, sometimes mentally, but I am tolerant, I think being 50 brings a bit of wisdom in itself, life's problems aren't such a big deal anymore.  I have no room to complain about my aches and pains around her, I am still very young.

Some of my stepsons are still going through some major issues right now, some happy, some not so, even tragic, major life altering.  I am sad, but as with looking at my own bumpy past I realize things always work out, our experiences either define us & we grow or fade away into our own cave of depression.  Through divorce, alcoholism, moves and job changes everything works out one way or the other.  For me, I have to know when to step in and when to shut my mouth.  I was very disappointed to find out that I wasn't able to have my grandsons on Friday night as planned.  Things happened, others interfered and I was overlooked, not even notified until I called to see what was going on.  I was angry at first, blew up, vented, then I realized that this as always was the way things were done when there was a crisis with these guys...I looked back at our past and saw this...but things always, always swung back ... back to norm.  

Took a deep breath, called my son, had Liz call her boyfriend and we'll be having our own picnic Monday.

The new school year started fine, my routes are great, nice children and I only made 2 kids cry!

As for my golf story...I was all set to have a couple hour trip which lasted much longer.  The very small team of 6 freshman were bused to a golf outing in a very upscale subdivision.  Even though every male in my family plays golf I have no clue as to how it's played.  When I dropped the boys off at the clubhouse coach told me they'd be done in 4 hours, instead it was 7.  Fortunately for me I love to walk and had money for an ice tea, which I had to pay for at the bar...a bus driver in a bar !!  The neighborhood was lovely, at least 1/2 a million dollar homes set up in rows with garages and alley ways in the back.  They had their own little town square complete with a store, dry cleaner and fire truck!

Mostly I admired the landscaping.  Very lovely, and colorful, with perfectly bright green grass.  Being it was a new development most of trees were young and short.  A sure sign of  new.   Many of the homes had various types of fencing, arbors, patios/porches/decks.  The yards were too small for swimming pools, maybe I missed the clubhouse which contained the 'town' pool.  One family even got adventurous and had 4 large tomato plants growing out back. 

Mostly Hummers, BMW's and higher end cars parked in the driveways.   The streets didn't have normal 4 way stops they had the fancy European circular 5 way stops.  Thankfully with stop signs rather than yields...which are scary for a bus driver as no one wants to be the one to yield! 

I think money most buy whatever it wants as one area even had palm trees growing...from the ground, not in pots...unheard of in Illinois!

It was a nice place to visit, but there is no place like home!  We have trees taller than 10 foot high!    Maybe in 20 years I'll visit again and see how far they've come!

Until then I'll enjoy the rest of my weekend and you do the same!



Saturday, August 23, 2008

let the school year begin...

Never regret. If it's good, it's wonderful. If it's bad, it's experience."
– Victoria Holt


The beginning of the school year is Wednesday.  For those of us in education it started roughly last week.  Meetings, route bidding, ID badge pictures, more meetings, whining, b*tching, and moaning...oh did I say that??!  I for one try very hard not to do the last three, ok, some whining...BUT for me I thank my lucky stars every day for my job.  It has a retirement, great insurance, many many days off, even weeks off.  They even figure out our pay so we get a pay check for the breaks for when the schools have off...

I was quite miffed by the reaction of some of my co-workers when they learned that some of us have to drive shuttle buses to the meetings that the whole district have to attend on Monday.  The meeting usually last an hour, tops.  We will be paid for the whole day, 6 hours.  Not only were they mad,   but some even refused to attend the manatory district wide meeting.  There will be probably 30 buses used to shuttle teachers from their various home schools to the larger high school for the meeting, this is to save parking, which is at a premium. 

AND the director had the nerve to start at the top of seniority to pick the drivers of these shuttles.  Good God how could he do such a thing???  Senior drivers should never be bothered to do such low some work.  I was just so excited to have so much seniority now that I got picked too.  Oh and we get paid for Tuesday which is a day off...and we do not even have to be at work!!

The attitude at work is really low, already..."be part of the solution ROSE" is my motto.

At least my routes look good.  I know the areas and I can usually tell how the kids will be.  I do have a high school route this year, haven't had one for at least 3 years. 

I never know how things will be until school starts...never can tell how the kids willbe, or worse the parents...

I did not pick an early childhood route, I do not want a monitor this year...I really want my job to my sane place this year, so I chose kindergartners to take to school and another one to take home.  I have seat belts,  these kids will be tied down, excited 5 year olds love to stand up.

My  life concerning my children is still up and down.  Dale, my stepson is still here, and a work in progress.  He still tries to BS my husband, but rarely does he get anything by me.  We are taking baby steps with him to help him learn some self discipline....he applied for some jobs last week, next getting his GED.  Actually, every day is a struggle to keep this guy from going back to his old ways, but he's 21, change is up to him.

Liz is signed up for junior college...she will work her job at Target during the day and go to school at night at a nearby hospital that houses classes for the college.    It's much closer than the college, a must for gas prices. I am overdue for a grand kids day, perhaps next week.

Last week I was so busy with extra work doing trips I though my head would spin...Tuesday I spent 8 hours at a golf course with 6 freshmen in a very upscale neighborhood.  I'll have to do an entry on that experience.

Until then...chin up, stay positive and always be grateful

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Being responsible

I like boredom & most days I love routine.  My summers are usually not routine as school is out and what routes I do have are short and only 1/2 day.  I did take the whole school district's administration group to a farm to do some sort of bounding class.  I didn't know this when I bid on the trip, but it ended up being fun.  They only requested one bus, but needed two so a driver I like also went.  A couple of the Asst Principals that I know were on and they all wanted to make sure I picked their schools.   I laughed and felt quite important then I realized they just like because I am good with naughty kids..

I seem to be so good that mine and /or Mark's kids keep coming back here to live.  His boy's mother (as Mark refers to his ex),was here Friday trying to give us their youngest Dale, who is nearly 22.  Dale is a semester short of graduating high school, blown countless good jobs, and has been in jail because of his hot head.  Dale lived here for a year when he was 17, I am sure I have that time period written somewhere in my archives of the journal, but why relive the past?  

They want him to come here to escape his problems.  I saw my boy's father today at my oldest son's baseball game (he plays adult league bball) He and his wife want my son Eric to quit Menards (he's depressed and drinking too much) move back to Illinois, live with them and they'll pay his bills until he gets another job.  This didn't work when he went to college, it didn't work when he lived 1/2 hour from them and it would not work now.  I wonder if they'd take Dale instead?

Enable...refusing to let the kids go through their experiences just like we all did...

Growing up comes by experiencing life...the good the bad and the ugly...

Experience the great teacher...

I'd never cheat them out of experience ... it's hard though when you are a mother, hard to stand back and watch, wait...

Thank God I have Mrs H.  Working for her has been a gift from God...her 95 years on this earth has let me know I can get through anything...and she gives advice freely.

Just as quickly my kids childhood sped by this part will go by fast...I am going to enjoy now.

My kids around 1990

My children now...

Saturday, August 2, 2008

old friends and the future

Mark graduated high school in 1973.  I, in 1975.  He was the jock, football player, ran track, on homecoming and prom court...he also was lead in all the high school musicals.  Me I was a very quiet girl who was once a very chubby girl, I was in plays, but never the lead, of course I was at every sporting event, I was even a bat girl/stat girl for the boys baseball teams.  I was never on any court, never voted anything likely to exceed, but I did earn National Honor Society.  I was a good girl.   Most likely in school we never spoke a word to each other.  Now look at us...our kids brought us together, they played youth football, and even the youngest ones knew each other before Mark and I "admired each other from afar" that summer in 1994.  (EEK! the 90's they seem so far away!)  Finally, fate or me following him after a out of town football game...had us meet up at the small burger shop...he told me about his 5 kids and child support, that didn't scare me off.   we saw each other at football practice and made a date....6 months later marriage. 

The other day a girl who graduated with Mark sent him an email from  She saw that he was coming to the reunion next month and wished she could attend so they could catch up.  Wonder if she thinks he's single and they could have one of those kind of catch ups.  Too late I had one of those kind of catch ups with him!  Most likely it's innocent, but who knows.  I am not worried, but I do love to tease my husband.

An old friend of Mark's, whom Mark named Matthew (his middle son) after is in town from Montana.   He wants to get together, he's even attending the church that my stepson Matt goes to tomorrow.  He went to our school.  It's always nice to see people from his or my past, catch up, we have history, maybe not together history, but same school, same town, same upbringing history.  We've even created history. 

I've listened to many of my close people around me tell me how worried they are about the future, how they want to plan this plan that.  Life really isn'tabout the plan,  we can make plans, but we really never can plan the outcome.  Nor should we, because sometimes life has different ideas about our future.  I never try to outguess my future, after all if somebody had told me in high school how my life would be right now, I would have laughed in their face.  8 kids, married to Mark, 3 grand kids, driving a school bus....But now?  I'd never ever trade it for the plans I made for myself way back then!

Who knows what my future holds??