Back in the late '90's I was living in the mother-in-law suite of my youngest daughter's house. While I lived downstairs, Jessi lived upstairs with her husband and four kids. I had been living there ever since I called her one day and told her how much I hated the job I had, working at a bank.
“Quit,” she said, “and come live with us Instead of working, you can do all the cooking.”
Back then, Jessi was driving a school bus, and for a while, that arrangement was working. Or, at least, I thought it was working until the day she came home and told me the school district was looking for another driver. I told her she was crazy. I told her there was no way I was going to start driving a school bus.
“What? Why? It’s easy,” she said.
“But those buses. They’re so – long.”
“You really don’t have to worry about that,” she said. “You just have to drive the front of the bus. The back always follows the front.”
I laughed at that and told her again she was crazy. But, after thinking about it, I decided to try. And right away I loved it. I loved the hours- the early mornings and late afternoons and having the rest of the day to myself. I loved listening to the sound of children’s voices and sitting up high with the big boys. I also loved the benefits.
But after twelve years - by which time I was 72, I decided to retire. I put in the paperwork, then changed my mind. Luckily, I was able to find another job in another district. I’ll only work for a year or two, I thought back then.
I just finished my ninth year there. This time I fell in love with my co-workers – all of them. But sometime in the middle of those nine years, I moved with my daughter and son-in law to a house twenty-five miles away, and lately that distance has been getting to me. Not to mention the increase in the price of gas.
Now, I’ve found a job driving for a district whose bus garage is only nine minutes from my home and I’m going to work for a year.
But, no more.