Thursday, November 27, 2014

I'm On A Bus……

Getting to my new job has been a amazing!  First day, the bus station was moved due to construction!  We have lived here 30 years and the bus stop has never moved, not once in 30 years.  The day I start taking the bus they move the stop.  Those are the times one should stop and say; Maybe you should rethink this decision.  BUT!  I vote for the LakeTran levies, made my kids use the bus and I would use it more but after hunting and gathering I doubt there is a seat big enough for me and all the stuff I bag on my outings, so I drive.  Finally, this seemed perfect!  A mile walk up and down a hill that could get you in shape for Mt. Shasta.  I'm not very good at estimating time so I leave 30 minutes early for a 10 minute walk and end up jogging up the hill convinced the bus is leaving.  The first day it worked to my advantage as the sign in the old bus stop said:  BUS STOP MOVED ACROSS THE STREET.   I looked across the street and there are three construction workers standing in the bus shelter, drinking coffee and eating donuts.  Hollering across the street; Hey are you waiting for the bus?  They holler back; Nope, we're working!  Well do you know where the bus stop moved?  Nope, we're working. 
Fine, I jogged to the library, no bus stop and it's 7:30 a.m. the library is closed.  While looking through the windows a reflection of the bus goes zooming by.  Turning I sprint for the bus, did I mention I am wearing a red backpack full of coffee, water, magazines and knitting!  Running down the block, observing my knee is holding up pretty well, I can see the brake lights on the bus. I wave my arms at the bus driver and throw myself off the curb.  Beat red and sweating, the bus slows down and it is my bus and the doors fly open.  Are you going to Lakeland, I pant and ask if I can please get on!  There is a young woman standing on the curb yelling into a cell phone at the Laketran office, apparently she had the same issue of finding the bus stop.  Carol Brown wedges in front me yelling at the bus driver, who is very nice guy by the way and then Carol Brown turns to me.  Oh God, here we go…..I am a magnet.

Oh you're going to Lakeland too, she asks.  Do you know Jan?  Jan hates me, do you know her because she hates me and she is very mean.  No, I reply and feed my quarters into the fare box, heading to the back of the bus. If the bus had a back door I would have kept going but I was trapped like cornered wildebeest at the edge of cliff.  She follows me, now telling me her boyfriend thinks she's fat and why don't boys like fat girls.  And I'm thinking, thank god there is no way two of us would fit on a Laketran seat as that would be way too much human as I'm not very svelte myself.  She sits across the aisle and then says, and I quote;  " I took myself off my meds and I think I'm loosing weight but I can't stop talking."  My inside voice says;  Go back on your meds, you're so thin….. but instead reach for my phone and make a fake phone call.  She quietly turns and talks in her cell phone to cancel Dr. appt's and talk to her attorney about her court date as she didn't think throwing a butter knife at her boyfriend, the one that called her fat was that bad.  
I just know Carol is going to take the bus everyday unless as she puts it; they take her to the big house.  
What does that mean….. the big house?  Who says that?  I say nothing, get out my Mother Earth News, try to read about slaughtering backyard chickens and watch people get on and off the bus.  I'm riding the bus and I love it…… the bus is full, standing room only by the time we get to the mall.  People eat, drink, groom and sleep on the bus!  At 7:30 am they drink Coke or Mountain Dew and eat food in cellophane.  Nothing fresh on this bus!  No one reads the paper anymore, everybody is plugged in.  I guess music?  There are college kids, immigrants, old people, crazy people, working people, little kids with strict Mothers and me; who can fit into any of these categories at anytime of the day.  Monday I might go as Gretchen the German noodle maker…… because I am on the bus and no one cares!  I am fascinated with all of it!  
I get to work in an hour and spend 3.5 hours unloading two oxidation kilns of bisqueware, scrape and kiln wash all the shelves, reload both kilns with greenware and program up.  Load the gas kiln, scraping all the shelves and rewashing.  I forgot how heavy student work can be and some of the work takes up an entire shelf.  It's the end of term and everybody needs their work out for critique next week.  It will be a race to the finish.   

Two hours on the bus, sprinting up the hill, chasing a bus and loading kilns, no lie when I walked in the back door at 2:30 p.m. I was kind of tired.  Monday done and Tuesday was delivery day.  Off to Oberlin, W78th St. and Brecksville.  178 miles logged, pots delivered.  Home for dinner and back on the bus Wednesday…… Carol Brown was waiting for me.  She never stops talking.  Back to Lakeland and another round of unloading, kiln shelf washing and loading.  Catch the bus home and a new cast of characters.  A very dapper older man in a suit boards the bus at the mall.  He talks to everyone on the bus and I do mean everyone!  Half way home, an old woman dressed in a fluorescent green vest, jeans, furry Ug Boots and cane gets on the bus very slowly.  She pays her fare, turns and apologizes loudly to the bus for being so slow and then says to the man in the suit;  Don't you look fine today sir!  He smiles and says Thank you and he was so tired of wearing jeans.  I'm wearing a gown on the bus next week!  She talks to everyone on the bus and asks; How are you doing?  Oh so you don't want to talk, that's OK, I'll talk to the next person.  She is a hoot! and turns out to the be the crossing guard for the grade school.   Home again, tired.  Yup, I can wash a kiln shelf like a professional!  Next week I will be tearing apart the pug mill to get ready for Christmas break, whohoo!  

This morning it's Thanksgiving and it's just two of us this year.  Rachael is in Benin, West Africa with Mamacarts and Abby is working in Crested Butte, CO.  Both are having a delightful Thanksgiving!  Us too, hiking in the morning and dinner late afternoon.
No turkey, instead baked soy/garlic/ginger marinaded salmon, boiled red potatoes tossed in butter and thyme, oven roasted cauliflower and carrots, cider beer and pumpkin custard for dessert.  

This mornings walk at the beach….. I love the beach this time of the year.

We Ohioans are a sturdy bunch as even high winds and snow will not keep us from the beach and beach combing.

New park at the bottom of the hill.  Where the flood of 2006 took out 
rows and rows of condos, now a pair of mallards is calling it home. 
Nature wins…… 

Even with the 16" snow melt the river is staying calming down.

Winter has come early this year, and the days are growing yet shorter. 
Soon the solstice will be here and we will be headed back to the light. 

For now I am happy to walk, go to a job that doesn't seem like a job, ride the bus and keep making pots :) 

Happy Thanksgiving! 

and now Rachael I would like a report from the bus in Parakou!   Miss you! 


  1. I love your blog. I will have a better day at work on Monday when I think of your bus ride. I do wish I was unloading kilns and cleaning shelves.

  2. Wonderful entry. I'm eager to hear about Rachel's bus experience as well. We were also just us two but we went out, walking past homeless people who I know by name. This was an odd experience. I am especially glad it was a beautiful day and not cold or rainy. Enjoy the ride!

  3. all I can see is it could be worse, ha, what a bus ride.

  4. Hi Carol! Through the week I had so many friends and family plead...... Just drive! Why are you taking the bus? I believe in public transportation, I used to use it all the time when I lived in Cleveland, 100 years ago. We have to find a way to reduce fossil fuels, the bus isn't electric but it is propane, a bit cleaner.

    Have a great weekend! Monday will be here too soon! Today I am in the studio working on mugs and listening to PD James; "The Original Sin", really good book!

  5. Betsy, Rachael posted at 12:30 am our time, 5:30 am Benin time, she loading the bus for home. She will be in Toronto in a few short hours and back in Denver by Sunday. She has to teach classes on Monday morning. 7 days in Benin, who does that?

    Betsy, I just read a great idea and thought of you! This winter I am filling ziplock bags with a bar of soap, toothpaste, toothbrush etc. when you do walk by someone homeless, you can offer them the bag of much need items so many don't have money for. Here in town we do have a few people and as I am a walker and always have been, it might be better than walking past....... The article even put a coupon in for a hot meal. Anyway, I will report back on how this goes...... There is one guy I have seen for years, well I might be eating toothpaste.......

  6. Hi Linda! Oh I could always be worse! But I have job and so far loving this walk and ride in the morning! Yup, I am thankful! :)

  7. Wow! I love the cast of characters on the bus. Makes me think of my train trip in October. Every squirrel in proximity is drawn to me, too. But hey, I was there, too, so what category did I fit into...? All I can say is the line from the movie "Witness", yourself out there among them, English!"

  8. Love your bus ride saga, Sandy ... takes me back to my public transit years in the 90's. I loved it ... every day was a new adventure and yes, hoofing it to the bus stop everyday does make a difference in the waistline.

  9. Brenda! As much as I am loving this bus adventure I am finding a bit of a time suck. If I drive it's 15-20 min. or a little more than a half hour out of my day in transit. If I take the bus it's 2 hours plus the half hour walk. This time of the year that's a lot of pots coming out of that studio. Thirteen hours a week is a full day missed. Soooooo stay tuned to the next adventure..... Driving a red truck in rush hour morning traffic..... Ha!

  10. Post holiday blog catch up here. Thanks for a great morning read! Hope you and your family had a wonderful holiday!

  11. Hey Tracey! And now I am sitting at show...... Reading your blog entry on shows..... Ha!

  12. I saw your work at the Cleveland Museum of Art gift shop, thought I recognized it from shows you've been at (and from several pieces that a fond friend and I, each, have bought), and just confirmed that. So, bravo for continuing to get your out in the world and providing me for future opportunities to collect it!

  13. Hi Kent! Wow, what a great comment! You made my day!! Thank you!!