Four buses, one train, and a gazillion dollars

I am so very lucky to have brand new hub assemblies and brakes on the front of my special blue Buick!

Been pretending that the "Service Vehicle Soon" dash light was not really speaking to moi, and turning the volume higher on the audiobook to ignore the noise.  It was just a tiny occasional noise, then a potential problem  noise, then a maybe I should ask about it when I get an oil change noise,  then suddenly a very BAD NOI$E

Left the Buick at good old Tidwell's Automotive Service yesterday, and hiked home through the tree pollen and wind. Felt virtuous. Spent the evening mapping the best mass transit route for the morrow.

Blasted out of bed at five a.m. Felt virtuous again, but somewhat groggy. Fondly remembered chilly bike rides through empty streets to my job in the hospital kitchen with the six to two-thirty shift. This morning just hoofing a mile to the bus stop and hoping I have the correct exact change.

I live six miles from my workplace with a fifteen minute drive through several slow school zones. It's eye-opening to commute by bus. Caught my first bus at 6:30 a.m. Reached the transit center at 7:11, and boarded second bus at 7:30.  Got to work at 7:55.  Fare $2.50. I'm estimating the route was thirteen miles, and took almost an hour and a half.

Who was on this bus in the early morning darkness? Fast-food workers, some accompanied by their children and reviewing schoolwork, also hospital aides, students with earbuds, wheelchair users, a few office workers, a woman crocheting a spring green shawl, and one lady wearing a bird flu face mask. The regulars chatted, and reminded the driver to wait a sec for the Panda Express worker running down the sidewalk with her two little girls.

When I first moved to Plano the Welcome Wagon lady gave me a coupon for a neighborhood hair stylist. During my haircut the stylist explained to me like I was a very slow learner, "If you work in Plano, you can't afford to live here, but if you can afford to live in Plano, you don't actually work here." The less you earn, the longer and slower your commute.

Headed the opposite way after work to reclaim my car from the mechanic took two bus rides and a light-rail train. I had plenty of time for my transfers, plus sensible shoes. Watched in horror as a woman in magenta platform spike heels tried to run to catch a bus, expecting to hear the loud crack of broken ankles. Watched happy to see mentally challenged individuals navigate the system. Wondered where the tiny immigrant mother in her head scarf was taking her three young children when they exited the bus. Felt very old when the intoxicated couple were attacked by hormones.

Adding perspective to my Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day was another thought from Judith Viorst's Alexander--Bus tokens!

So the front wheel hub assemblies/brakes for the Buick cost a fortune. My job pays very slightly more than that of the Panda Express worker, but my day was not all that terrible.

© 2013 Nancy L. Ruder

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