Tag Archives: transportation

Hiding In Plain Sight

Back in 2010 (Sept. 14th, to be specific) I wrote a post that later became the basis for a story in my book, Life Lessons from the School Bus. If you don’t yet have a copy (you can order one), the following story, “Stop #13,” can be found on pages 45-46.

I am no longer a school bus driver, but the truth of this story remains the same: Sometimes bad things can hide in plain sight.

The Story

As you can see in the picture, a typical school bus has two mirrors immediately to the left of the driver window (besides the convex mirror below). With mirrors everywhere, driving is made much safer and easier, even in heavy traffic. What you don’t see is what is on the other side of the mirrors.

(This picture at the very spot an accident could have taken place.)

I was beginning to exit a gas station directly across the street from another station, and a Hardee’s. I looked in every direction and checked my mirrors. Then, as I started to pull out, an 18-wheeler appeared out of nowhere…directly in front of me! It had been hiding behind the mirrors.

Take a look at the picture. Right behind the top mirror sat a Peterbilt. I never saw it. What saved me was taking my time and being cautious. Had I rushed on forward I may have pulled right into the path of that big truck. Only going slow and expecting the unexpected made the difference.

The Lesson

So many tragedies in life could be avoided if only we would take the time to “consider our ways.”

“Now therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways” (Haggai 1:5 KJV).

Do we stop to think about where we are going? Do we take the time to make sure there is nothing hidden behind the obvious? Sometimes our judgment can be clouded by the determination to move forward with our plans. Wisdom understands that the Enemy loves to capitalize on things hidden.

For example, how many people have fallen into financial ruin because they rushed into a business deal or bought something too expensive? Many times there are dangers lurking in the fine print or hidden in words we don’t take time to understand. Even though the path may look clear, it never hurts to take one more look before proceeding.

Ironically, big dangers can hide behind the very things meant to point them out.

Route Suggestions

The following are a few suggestions to help you navigate the route of life:

  • Never get too comfortable behind the wheel.
  • Never make quick assumptions based on past experiences.
  • Never let someone rush you into making an uninformed decision.
  • Read Psalm 119:105…”Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” How important is it to have a light when driving down a dark and unfamiliar road? Where does this verse say we can find light for the road of life?

The road of life can be a dangerous place, dear reader. Why not follow the One who not only knows the way but IS the Way?

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Filed under Christian Living, Christian Maturity, Life Lessons

“The Worst Field Trip Guide”

Since our spring break in Chattanooga is just about over, I thought I’d share a chapter (Stop #15) from my little book, Life Lessons from the School Bus.

One day I transported 80 kindergartners on a field trip to a mountain forest. Do you have any idea how loud 80 excited 5 year-olds can get when confined in a 40ft.-long steel box on wheels?

Teacher Talk

I couldn’t help overhear the advice school teachers were giving to the little crumb crunchers on the bus, then later after they unloaded. One warned, “Don’t pick anything up from the ground; you won’t be able to keep it, anyway.” Another said, “Don’t bounce on the swinging bridge; just look over the side.” Seriously? How can you tell a 5 year-old not to jump on a swinging bridge and then expect him not to jump on the swinging bridge?

SIDE NOTE: I remember when our oldest daughter, Alicia, who was around 12 or 13 at the time, went with me to visit the old capital building in Frankfort, Kentucky. In that old landmark is a genuine floating staircase on which Alicia decided to jump up and down. I asked, “What are you doing?” She calmly replied, “Trying to see if it will fall.” I said, “Two things…First, it’s been here since 1827 and hasn’t fallen, yet you think your scrawny self is going to break it? Second, why would you want to be on it if you could make it fall?”

Anyway… the best piece of advice from the teachers was clear enough: “Do NOT get off the trail!” But again, honestly, how many kids actually listen to instructions that make sense? I mean, you take a child that’s never been out of the suburbs to a forest with plants taller than their apartment buildings and you expect them not to run amuck? Therefore, I decided to speak up and add some clarification to the teachers’ warning. I said, “Because if you get off the trail, we might have to send the DOGS after you.”

Who knew one little girl was afraid of dogs? I didn’t! …Cry baby.

Bad Advice

So, that got me to thinking: what would be the worst advice to give 80 children before a trip into the woods?

  • photo 3 (4)Don’t worry about your lunch box; the forest is full of pretty berries.
  • As long as the animal is smaller than you, go ahead and pet it. It won’t mind.
  • Hey, bounce on the swinging bridge! It’s just like a trampoline.
  • Of course! Rules are meant to be broken.
  • Bears? What bears? This is Tennessee, kid. We don’t have bears. You’re thinking of Chicago.
  • I don’t care what your mom said, poison oak is a hoax. Don’t your parents have oak furniture? Does it make you itch? See, she lied.
  • Who can get closest to the edge? Let’s find out.
  • Whatever you do, don’t stay on the trail. Trails are for babies.
  • Snakes are overrated, misunderstood jump ropes. They want you to play with them.

 

Life Lesson

Thankfully, when it comes to the wilderness of life, there is One who always gives good advice.

In his famous Psalm 23, David wrote, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” God urges us to stay on the path that He has already walked, which is why Jesus said in Matthew 4:19, “Follow me.”

He knows the difference between good fruit and the forbidden kind.

Route Suggestions

  • Don’t give vague instructions to children; they need specifics.
  • Go check out the old capital building in Frankfort, Kentucky – but don’t jump on the staircase.
  • Never get to the point where you are too proud to listen to instructions or advice. For example, you may have been down this road before, but your tour guide has been down it more recently. There may have been some changes of which you are unaware, like a washed out bridge or recently released bears. Oh my!
  • Read Psalm 23. Was David walking alone? How could this Psalm relate to your life?

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Filed under Humor, Life Lessons

Reflections In the Dark

Driving

It may come as somewhat of a surprise, but I do enjoy driving a school bus in the rain. As a matter of fact, I enjoy driving it in the rain AND in the dark, at least on occasion.

For example, there is something sort of comforting in being able to sit there in the dry and looking out at bad weather. There’s a kind of coziness to it.

You know how relaxing it is to listen to the rain on a tin roof? Well, a bus can be that way, too. And when it’s dark, cold, and rainy outside in the mornings, the kids are usually quiet, also. The drone of the engine, the wipers swishing, and the hiss-like roar of water on the road – when you’re comfortable and dry – makes one appreciate caffeine.

Dangers

But even though I may like some aspects of driving in the early morning, there are certainly dangers of which to be aware. Besides the other drivers and the slick roads, there are a lot of false signals – reflections – that can be very distracting.

img_3105Take a look at the picture I took while sitting in a parking lot between morning routes (this is where I stop to get a cup of coffee with 2 other drivers). Notice that I am looking to my left at a mirror, but what you see in the mirror is the building to my right, which is being reflected onto the glass in front of the mirror.

Imagine what it is like when you are coming to an intersection and there are multiple lanes of automobiles, traffic lights, wet roads, etc.!

The Lesson

The reason I wanted to share this with you is because there is a lesson to be learned – and it’s not one included in my book 😉

Sometimes, when times are dark, when there are rainy days, distractions can cause us to be overwhelmed and lose our focus. Sometimes dark reflections of the past can cause us to see things that aren’t really there; we even get startled by oncoming illusions.

Focus on what is true and pray for discernment. There’s work to be done, no matter the weather.

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A Two-Coffee Day

Brewed from the freshest Arabica beans, one black over ice, the other with cream. 

Both are cold, FYI…and both are mine to drink as I drive. 

A total of twenty-four ounces of java, and all it cost was a few cents and two dolla. 

A little while ago I was feeling a bit tired, but it won’t be long until I’m wired. 

I love my truck stop iced dual portion of caffeinated smiles to drink while in motion! 

It’s just that kind of day. 

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Filed under Food, Uncategorized

Morning Advice for an Arrogant Student

Today I asked a high schooler if she had ever been homeless or had to beg on the street. With a cool tone she responded, “Uh, no.” I then said, “Then you’re missing out on some really good resume enhancers.”

For example, here are a few skills learned on the street, yet rarely appreciated:

1. Creative self-marketing.

2. Product placement.

3. Location research and acquisition.

4. Creative use of recyclables in advertising.

5. Ability to adapt to ever-changing socio-economic, legal, and geo-thermal climates.

See, just doing my job to help out kids on the bus, especially those with little or no vision.

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Filed under Humor, Life Lessons, Uncategorized

“The Worst Field Trip Guide”

Since it’s the last full week of school (only 2 days next week), I thought I’d share a chapter (Stop #15) from my little book, “Life Lessons from the School Bus.”

One day I transported 80 kindergarteners on a field trip to a mountain forest. Do you have any idea how loud 80 excited 5 year-olds can get when confined in a 40ft.-long steel box on wheels?

Teacher Talk

I couldn’t help overhear the advice school teachers were giving to the little crumb crunchers on the bus, then later after they unloaded. One warned, “Don’t pick anything up from the ground; you won’t be able to keep it, anyway.” Another said, “Don’t bounce on the swinging bridge; just look over the side.” Seriously? How can you tell a 5 year-old not to jump on a swinging bridge and then expect him not to jump on the swinging bridge?

SIDE NOTE: I remember when our oldest daughter, Alicia, who was around 12 or 13 at the time, went with me to visit the old capital building in Frankfort, Kentucky. In that old landmark is a genuine floating staircase on which Alicia decided to jump up and down. I asked, “What are you doing?” She calmly replied, “Trying to see if it will fall.” I said, “Two things…First, it’s been here since 1827 and hasn’t fallen, yet you think your scrawny self is going to break it? Second, why would you want to be on it if you could make it fall?”

Anyway… the best piece of advice from the teachers was clear enough: “Do NOT get off the trail!” But again, honestly, how many kids actually listen to instructions that make sense? I mean, you take a child that’s never been out of the suburbs to a forest with plants taller than their apartment buildings and you expect them not to run amuck? Therefore, I decided to speak up and add some clarification to the teachers’ warning. I said, “Because if you get off the trail, we might have to send the DOGS after you.”

Who knew one little girl was afraid of dogs? I didn’t! …Cry baby.

Bad Advice

So, that got me to thinking: what would be the worst advice to give 80 children before a trip into the woods?

  • photo 3 (4)Don’t worry about your lunch box; the forest is full of pretty berries.
  • As long as the animal is smaller than you, go ahead and pet it. It won’t mind.
  • Hey, bounce on the swinging bridge! It’s just like a trampoline.
  • Of course! Rules are meant to be broken.
  • Bears? What bears? This is Tennessee, kid. We don’t have bears. You’re thinking of Chicago.
  • I don’t care what your mom said, poison oak is a hoax. Don’t your parents have oak furniture? Does it make you itch? See, she lied.
  • Who can get closest to the edge? Let’s find out.
  • Whatever you do, don’t stay on the trail. Trails are for babies.
  • Snakes are overrated, misunderstood jump ropes. They want you to play with them.

 

Life Lesson

Thankfully, when it comes to the wilderness of life, there is One who always gives good advice.

In his famous Psalm 23, David wrote, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” God urges us to stay on the path that He has already walked, which is why Jesus said in Matthew 4:19, “Follow me.”

He knows the difference between good fruit and the forbidden kind.

Route Suggestions

  • Don’t give vague instructions to children; they need specifics.
  • Go check out the old capital building in Frankfort, Kentucky – but don’t jump on the staircase.
  • Never get to the point where you are too proud to listen to instructions or advice. For example, you may have been down this road before, but your tour guide has been down it more recently. There may have been some changes of which you are unaware, like a washed out bridge or recently released bears. Oh my!
  • Read Psalm 23. Was David walking alone? How could this Psalm relate to your life?

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Filed under Humor, Life Lessons

Messin’ Wid Widdle Minds

Would-be Grandpa

I’m not a grandfather, but I act like one. You know, the kind of old guy that says what he want to say when he wants to say it, then blames others for not understanding his wisdom? That’s me. I’m an up-and-coming codger.

DSC_1390Grandfathers are also notorious/famous for telling tall tales, embellishing the facts, and leaving grandkids confused about actual historical events. Of course, the point of those stories is to keep a kid’s attention for more than 30 seconds; the straight truth can be boring at times.

So, even though I’m not literally a grandpa, I play one on the school bus. It keeps me entertained.

The Conversation

Many times on Facebook I share short little conversations I’ve had with children on the bus (they say the darndest things, you know). However, today I’m skipping Facebook and going straight to the blog.

I’m sure all of you are gonna hate me after you read this.

Me: Good morning.

5th Grade Boy: Good morning.

Me: How are you feeling today? You holding up?

Boy: What? Yeah, I’m ok. Why?

Me: I mean, it must be pretty hard; I heard the bad news.

Boy: What bad news?

Me: About your goldfish dying.

Boy: What? I don’t have a fish. At least not anymore. I haven’t had a fish in a long time.

Me: So it died.

Boy: I don’t know. I guess.

Me: Well I’m proud of you for taking it so well.

Boy: Uh, ok.

Me: And I heard about your cat, too. That was horrible.

Boy: Huh? What about my cat? Nothing happened to the cat.

Me: Well, I heard it died in a horrible freak lawnmower accident. I know that must be hard on you.

Boy: What? My cat didn’t die in a lawnmower accident! He just ran away.

Me: Ok. If that’s what they tell you. You believe that.

         (temporary silence)

Boy: Guess what!? (says the boy to another kid in a seat beside him) I had a cat die in a freak lawnmower accident! Cool, huh??

I pity my grandchildren, don’t you?

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