Cars passed by tossing slush piles in our direction. The bus shelter reminded me of a vertical can of sardines. I decided not to join the crowd, and I looked up above just to make sure that no icy power lines were waiting to snap in my face. I was happy to see that not one power line was even close to us.
“There’s a bus stuck trying to get up the hill,” a bicyclist said as he pedaled towards us and pointed down the street that was out of view. His yellow outfit must have been keeping him dry, and little lights blinked from his bike and helmet even though the white snow made everything clear.
One of the sardines squeezed out and walked down to the stuck bus. I thought that maybe someone smarter than me would suggest that we all go sit on the bus, and with that extra weight maybe it would get unstuck because that hill is not very steep. But, nobody said anything.
“The bus says, ‘Out of Service,’” he announced to us, so we gave up hoping for a ride from there, and sorry to say, the sardine lost his spot.
More time passed, and I wondered if anyone was going to make a bold move and offer to give some of us a ride downtown in their car, but it looked as if no one wanted to drive that day. I am sure they wanted to avoid any type of fender bender.
After a longer wait, a bus came from the other direction, made a U-turn and pulled up in front of the bus shelter. To us he looked like a knight in shining armor. Shoulders stopped slouching as we puffed up to hear what he had to say.
“Can we have a ride?” someone asked.
“No, I can’t right now. I have to run some errands for my wife,” the bus driver announced. Many chuckles were heard as people piled out of the bus shelter.
“There are two 875s stuck on that hill over there,” the bus driver pointed. They were probably stuck because they didn’t have enough people on them, I thought.
“Where are you going?” someone asked.
“Downtown,” he said. The bus driver must not have known that he did not have the right sign displaying his destination. All the buses that usually stop there are going downtown. His joke did not get a laugh.
“Are you a 461 or 875?” someone else asked.
“Oh, I am a 461,” and he changed the sign. We were glad because we have to know which way we are going. We all hopped aboard. As we traveled along, one of the passengers asked the bus driver if he could change the bus into a 875 (because that bus gets downtown a lot faster).
“Ya,” he said, “and let’s stop at Perkins on the way!” We headed through town taking the slow and long route. The bus driver greeted each passenger with a cheery hello trying to improve their moods. They looked as if they had been waiting a very long time with their wet and stringy hair and winter coats soaked and dripping.
As one lady got off the bus well before we reached downtown, she fell on her rear after her foot touched the ground. Even though some of us said “ouch,” she went on her way as if nothing happened. As more passengers got on the bus and the fog on the windows grew even thicker, I started to wonder if other people were wondering why we live here.
The bus started picking up speed once we got on the freeway. I decided I was happy to be here because where else can you find an adventure like this? Not only did I see a person riding a bike in a snow shower, I never saw so many people in one bus shelter, and it’s the first time I saw a bus make a U-turn. Plus it’s a place where a person who is working his regular job suddenly becomes a knight in shining armor.
I thanked our knight very much for coming to our rescue as I got off the bus, and I was glad that I was only a half hour late for work.
I saw a biker today too. I thought about how soaking wet he was going to be. And I thought, “Only in Minnesota!”
I love the fact that your bus driver was friendly and cheerful. I haven’t taken the bus in many years, but I don’t remember the drivers ever being friendly and cheerful.
Glad you made it to work with only minimal delays. I left half an hour early and made it there about my usual time!
I have been very lucky, and usually have very cheerful bus drivers!
Some people are very dedicated bikers. I would never ride my bike in the winter. Can you imagine how cold that would be? Burrr.
Do you take the bus to and from work? I’m too selfish and dependent on my car to do that.
I can imagine a bus stop would get very crowded during a rainstorm.
I always take the bus! It’s more economical, plus I am too tight to pay for parking!
A driver like that pours blessings on everyone’s day. And look how it continues today – through your writing! Now that I no longer leave home to work, I am so grateful when I don’t have to go out into the “weather” if I don’t feel like it. Being Canadian, I put myself in jeopardy many, many times – just to get to work on time. Mon Dieu! The invincibility of youth.