Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Former Bus Stop Neighbor

Here's an update on the Neighbor With Whom We Used to Share the Same Bus Stop.

A couple of months ago, the father told me that he was concerned about his ability to walk his child across the street to our bus stop in the winter when the snow would line the streets. A few days later he told me he called the bus company and they said they would stop at his house, which is across the street to the house right next door to ours.

So when I noticed that they were waiting at the end of their driveway, I decided we would walk to our next door neighbor's driveway and wait there, right across the street from them. That way the bus would stop only one time in a fifty yard span.

A few days after that, we had heavy rain. We have no sidewalks, and the thin grass along the side of the road was wet and muddy. As well, there was a steady enough stream of cars on the road, so I didn't see a big enough window of opportunity to walk on the road to the other stop until the bus came and stopped traffic for us. Then we walked. But the bus driver said that we didn't have to walk -- he would've stopped for us at our driveway.

When the temperatures got near freezing, our neighbor started to drive his daughter to the end of their driveway. They would wait in the running car, a 4x4 pickup, actually. I've seen other parents do that, and then they would drive away after their children would get out to get on the bus. But our neighbor doesn't do that. After getting out to help his daughter cross the street, he gets the newspaper, gets back in the car, and then drives back to his house. This happens on perfectly dry days with his driveway free of any ice.

This guy apparently isn't on good terms with cold weather. He owns the only snowblower I've seen that has a cab you can ride in. I watched him use it this morning during the near two I hours I spent shoveling my driveway. I watched him not approach me and not offer to clear the bottom of my driveway where the street plow left a dense ridge brown-tinged snow. I watched him drive away in his pickup truck about thirty minutes later, giving his horn a cheerful honk and waving at me.

I can allow myself to seethe with resentment and some disgust over what I perceive to be laziness and wastefulness. But I won't. Instead I tell myself that the man may have a medical condition that forces him to limit his exposure to cold air.


Slywy said...

Funny. I used to walk a 1/4 to 1/8 mile to the bus stop and wait for it for however long it took. In cold, snow, rain, sleet, whatever. My dad, the only driver, was at work, so that was what I had to do. Big whoop. I lived.

xxx said...

It's difficult for me to imagine the cold that you are talking about as it's something I've never experienced.
I'm imagining that you have very long driveways and that's why one would drive to catch a bus at the end of it.
I'm only a few steps to the street.
It's also a predicted 39 degrees celcius here at present :) hot, hot hot!

I can appreciate what you're saying about your neighbour...

best wishes for the festive season

Square Peg Guy said...

Slywy, I used to wait at the bus stop in all weather, too. But my walk was a lot less than yours -- just one suburban house away.

Ribbon, up until this week, it felt like a walk-in refrigerator outside. But now it's more like a walk-in freezer.

Our neighbor's driveway is twice as long as ours, perhaps 100 meters. But some parts are gravel, and it probably is hard to walk on when it's covered with packed snow.

Thanks for commenting!

Tirsden Frozenrayn said...

I never did have to deal with school buses, but my kid sister seemed to have a lot of trouble with it. She had a walk similar to Slywy, and... missed the bus a lot. Something about priorities. *cough* Aaanyways, after having lived around entirely too many normal people, it doesn't surprise me when people will shortcut things to the level of absurdity.