This Bus Will Be Terminating At Your Hearts

, , , , | Friendly | September 24, 2020

I am leaving a bad relationship. I have reached the first layover of what is a very long trip to get back home.

I enjoy talking to people, and I mention to the woman I am talking to how long my bus ride is going to be. I enjoy our conversation as it helps pass the time waiting for the next leg of my journey to begin.

Just as I am about to board the bus, the lady rushes up to me.

Lady #1: “Wait!”

She gives me a neck pillow. I am floored!

Lady #1: “Have a safe trip.”

I have tears in my eyes as I board. It does make the next leg a little more comfortable.

I had a conversation with another lady, who is in a wheelchair, just before we boarded. I have a disability and walk with a cane. She and her son make sure that I get to board at the same time they do in order for us to get seats in the disabled section.

Her stop comes up very quickly, and as she is about to disembark, she hands me a hand-crocheted lap robe. 

Lady #2: “You might need it, as the buses get so cold sometimes.”

I am in tears again. The lap robe is very helpful.

I make it to my second layover and it is to be several hours long. But as it gets closer to the scheduled departure time, it becomes plain that we aren’t going to leave on time. There is a mechanical problem with the bus that they are having trouble fixing. I have a very narrow window to make the next connection. I am upset, as I so want to get home. I ask at the ticket counter what I can do and I’m not really given a good answer.

I sit back down, wondering what in the world am I going to do. I hear my name called over the intercom. One of the front desk crew says that because we won’t be able to make the connection, the bus line is going to put me and another passenger, who is going to the same place I am, up in a hotel that night. We can catch our bus in the morning.

I check in the front desk clerk at the hotel.

Front Desk Clerk: “Here’s your room key. Your room is on the second floor.”

Me: “Can you point me to an elevator?”

Front Desk Clerk: “I’m sorry, but there isn’t one.”

Me: *Laughing* “It will definitely take me a while to get up the stairs.”

The front desk clerk worked her magic and got me an ADA room on the first floor. Again, I was just floored!

I got to sleep in a bed that night instead of riding the bus. It gave me a chance to recharge and relax, which made the rest of the trip easier.

I was just blown away at the kindness of so many people. I felt like I had received some small miracles from God to help me get back home.

This Train Will Be Terminating At Your Hearts

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Time To Assay The Essay Situation, Part 11

, , , , | Learning | September 21, 2020

I was a terrible student and a huge baseball fan growing up.

In sixth grade I have an English teacher who knows I’m not dumb, just hard to motivate. She privately offers me an extra credit assignment.

Teacher: “All you have to do is write a two-page essay on any topic you like at all, explaining why you like it so much.”

I straight-up turned down her offer, being content with my C grade. So she flips it around on me and speaks to another student in the class:

Teacher: *Loudly* “Since you’re the biggest Red Sox fan in the class, you should write a two-page essay about the Red Sox and present it to the class.”

I practically jump out of my seat.

Me: “I am a way bigger Red Sox fan than he is and I should be the one writing that essay!”

 She let us both write one. She was a really good teacher.

Time To Assay The Essay Situation, Part 9
Time To Assay The Essay Situation, Part 8
Time To Assay The Essay Situation, Part 7

Time To Assay The Essay Situation, Part 6
Time To Assay The Essay Situation, Part 5

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That Tabled That Discussion, Part 6

, , , , | Right | September 21, 2020

My group, a total of four, walks into the restaurant. It’s busy; the line nearly going out the door. There is a sign clearly indicating that people need to wait, order, and then be assigned a table.

Hostess: “A group of four? All right, just one—”

Just as she’s about to find a table for us, another customer and four pre-teen girls take up the last table without ordering or waiting.

Hostess: *Looking a little put-off* “Oh, no… I’m so sorry folks! I… I can’t tell them to leave the table if they’ve already sat down. Gosh, I’m so sorry.”

We all assure her that it’s all right and that we’re patient people. It’s about five minutes into our wait when the hostess spots a table being bussed. She races over through the crowd to plant down our table number.

Hostess: “There! That one is yours now! Have a seat and enjoy your meal!”

At the end of our meal, we called her over and gave her a 25% tip.

That Tabled That Discussion, Part 5
That Tabled That Discussion, Part 4
That Tabled That Discussion, Part 3
That Tabled That Discussion, Part 2
That Tabled That Discussion

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Music Always Crosses Bridges

, , , , , , | Learning | September 20, 2020

I am a teaching assistant for students on the autism spectrum. I am assigned to one specific student. She is nonverbal, but she loves music, and part of our daily schedule is to sit in on one of the chorus rehearsals. She gets excited, stims by flapping her hands, and sometimes approaches soloists to hear their voices.

That summer, I spend some more time with her, including taking her out to the local mall for lunch and window-shopping. While we are eating lunch, she suddenly smiles and starts to stim. I look up and see one of the chorus students who has just graduated approaching.

Chorus Student: “Hi! I hope I’m not interrupting anything, but I wanted to say hello to [My Student].”

Me: “Well, I can tell she’s happy to see you.”

Chorus Student: “I’m glad she enjoyed our rehearsals! Even on the days when it felt like we weren’t making any progress, [My Student] was there smiling and having a good time. Knowing someone liked listening to us was really encouraging. It was great that she and her parents were able to attend the end-of-year concert.”

She talked to [My Student] for a few minutes before leaving, and [My Student] was delighted for the rest of the day. I am glad to this day that they both made a difference to each other.

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Gotta Make Up For That Wage Gap Somehow

, , , , , | Working | September 18, 2020

My great-grandmother was an incredible woman and quite a bit of a penny pincher. She was women’s lib before that even existed. She had a separate bank account from her husband and actually owned land in her own name — an unusual thing back in the 1930s. She once threw a fit when the bank added my great-grandfather’s name to her bank account without permission. He also told the bank that what they did was wrong.

So, because of this, she was very careful and shrewd with her money. She had a business and believed in giving customers full benefit for their money… but she also demanded the same from others.

One day, when she is around ninety, she has a plumbing issue and has to call a professional. He actually is able to fix it in less than thirty minutes. The problem comes when he presents the bill.

Great-Grandmother: “Wait. Why are you charging me for two hours of labor when you only worked for less than thirty minutes?”

Plumber: “That is our minimum labor charge.”

Great-Grandmother: “Then you owe me an hour and a half of work.” *Hands him a rake* “You can rake up the leaves in my yard.”

Plumber: *Incredulous pause* “You have got to be kidding me. I am a plumber.”

Great-Grandmother: “Good for you. If I am going to pay for two hours of labor, you will earn two hours of labor. Now get to work.”

After standing there for a minute, he realized that this little old woman was not kidding. The plumber picked up the rake and spent the next hour and a half raking up leaves.

My great-grandmother came out after an hour and a half with a glass of lemonade and the money to pay the bill.

She did this with anyone and everyone she hired to do anything. They did not argue and she paid them gladly. 

I miss her.

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