Wednesday, February 26, 2020

A BUS DRIVER? ME? Chapter 9

Here is my final instalment of my school bus driver story.
As always, the pictures have nothing to do with the story. 
I do hope the roses, which I bought after Valentine's Day, just to take pictures of something other than snow, will brighten your day.

How the years have flown! So much has changed, yet so much is still the same. Over forty years ago, who would have thought that I would drive the bus for so long? Certainly not me. One of the constant things about bus driving is the children. Yes, the faces change but they are all so much alike. There are the shy ones who barely give a smile as they enter the bus and cry bitter tears when things go wrong. On the opposite side are the live wires, the ones that are either constantly talking or stirring up trouble.. In between these two extremes are the children who seem happy, have many friends and seldom, if ever cause a problem. Oh for a bus full of these children. 

 The part of bus driving that changes more often is the drivers. Yes, many stay for a long time , but many also do not. Over the last forty plus years I have seen many drivers come and go. Some left because of situations at home, others just didn’t enjoy it as much as they thought they would. Some worked till they were of retirement age and are still around to give a word of encouragement from time to time. The sad part is that several of our drivers have left because their life was cut short.  

Some stayed till retirement but passed away shortly after that. Others left this earth while still employed with the school division.My mind goes to a gentleman by the name of Elgin Helps. That was his real name and it was so perfect as he was always quick to lend a helping hand whenever he could. When his life was cut short, it left a void in his family but also in the school division. Another one who didn’t get to retire was Merv Spencer. Merv and his wife Jean both drove for this division at one time. Merv’s dry humour is still missed and his name still comes up in conversation. I cannot forget to mention Art Dudgeon. Art did retire but left this world shortly after that. Art was one of those people who had a way of endearing himself to others. Good old Art, how could we ever forget his jokes and participation at our meetings. 

 I will choose to think of these and many others who I have met through this job, as my friends and cherish the memories I have of them.  

 These are some of the human changes that have taken place, but there are many others as well. Driver training has become more intense and that is good,. Rules and regulations have changes, some enforced by the government, some by the school division.Yet, with all these changes one thing always remains the same. Being a school bus driver is a huge responsibility. The lives of the children is in our hands. Alertness is of great importance. 

 Years ago, I found a prayer and for the longest time I had it printed out and on the dashboard of my bus so I would read it every day. It goes like this: 

   Oh ever present Lord, I pray be with me at the wheel today. 
Fill every corner of my mind, so roaming thoughts no lodging find. 
Take control of my two eyes, that they may be alert and wise. 
Take my feet and take my hands, that they react to quick demands. 
Then when I come to journeys end, my prayer to Heaven will ascend 
In utter thankfulness to Thee, who kept the wheel all day with me. 


  1. Such a perfect prayer! Colleagues help make a job enjoyable. Each one adds so much. You had some special ones!

  2. I agree with Marie...such a perfect prayer.
    I am grateful for drivers like you that care above and beyond the paycheck mentality.
    The roses are gorgeous and such a spot of brightness for our day.

  3. Since I am new to your blog, I am wondering if you are still driving, or are you now retired? What a life of adventure for you...when I think about all the children that you saw come and go every day, and now probably many of their children too! It takes a special person to be a school bus driver, and apparently you are one of those special people. Thank you for your commitment to making each child's day a little brighter by your presence there! What a blessing!

  4. Oh Ruth, this is such a precious post. You will never know all of the ways you have touched these children's hearts. It takes a very special person to do what you have done all these years and the poem you kept on your dashboard speaks volumes of your calling. You are such a blessing...and you captured those yellow roses perfectly. HUGS!

  5. A beautiful prayer to see each day. You have done a great service for the children who have ridden your bus. Thank you. The roses are beautiful, too!

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  7. You, truly, are a god-send. Bless you dear one. If I were young again, with children of school age, I'd welcome you to carry my kids each school year.

  8. Dear Ruth ~ what a wonderful bus driver you have been, as well as some of these others you have written about. Amazing how long you have been doing this. Thanks for sharing ~ FlowerLady

  9. I love the prayer. I know you cherish all the drivers you worked with and all the children you've bused over the years.

  10. I am so glad I did not miss your final installment. I would not have missed it for the world. I have really enjoyed this series! Here, we are still in desperate need of drivers. There are signs up all over the roads. Yesterday when we went to Goodwill to drop something off, there were two big school buses in the parking lot. We could not imagine why! we happened to know one of the drivers, and asked her what was going one. she said they took the kids there for a field trip! Seems that since funding has been cut for school field trips, they have to resort to free things like Goodwill, discount grocery stores,etc. I remember back when Anne Marie was young, they went to farms, and all kinds of fun places. I hope after the election in November, the funding is reinstated.

  11. Oh how I've enjoyed your Bus Driver stories.... SO interesting... It is not a job for just anybody.... It IS a huge responsibility... Yours has been a successful Journey ---and I'm so glad you shared these stories with us....

    LOVE LOVE LOVE the yellow Roses....


  12. oh i have really enjoyed these stories!! there are some very lucky young children who are in your care!! the roses are gorgeous!!

  13. I didn't know you were a school bus driver! I worked for King County, and then the Port of Seattle for 20 years. I then stayed home with my young kids and homeschooled for 10 years. My last job before an OTJ injury forced an early retirement, I drove a 40 foot, 78 passenger transit style school bus for 15 years south of Seattle. All you say is so true. I don't miss the student management for the troublemakers but the other kids were a delight most of the time. I do miss driving a 'big' rig once in awhile. Lovely post.

  14. That is the perfect prayer. You have sure did this for a long glad that you enjoyed it. The kids were blessed to have you.

  15. your bus full of children are just like the other parts of our lives where humans come together, they are so diverse just like your kids. they were blessed to have you and others like you in their lives. God bless all our school bus drivers.. the prayer is perfect for what you do and can also be used by all of us not driving. as in praying that prayer as we go through our daily lives. letting Jesus take the wheel.. thanks for posting that prayer

  16. That is a wonderful prayer.
    So nice to read about some of the school bus drivers you have known and will never forget.
    I think of you often when I'm out walking and wave to the bus drivers around here. :)


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