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Rainy Days and Mondays
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Rainy days and Mondays never get me down. I love the rain, and we are having our first real rainstorm of the 06-07 winter. The other two rainy days were just wanna-be storms. This is the real thing, and it is most welcome. I suppose I might feel a mite differently about it were I driving in it, but such is not the case.

I remember my days (back in the Dark Ages) as a school bus driver. Rain, heat, hail, wind--the school buses roll. The only thing that has cancelled them in my memory was the earthquake of January 1994. For other disasters, such as fire and flood, we just re-route the buses to avoid the hazardous areas.

I can remember being directed by Dispatch to meet parents at an agreed-upon location outside the fire area to deliver their children to them (and thinking the whole time how I was driving a potential gasoline fireball). I remember driving in a huge arc to avoid the Sepulveda Basin, which had flooded so badly (thanks to the Army Corps of Engineers design and the City non-maintenance) that one fire engine and several cars had been engulfed and people were being rescued, plucked from the tops of trees.

I've driven a school bus when there were no signal lights after a massive power failure and the resultant traffic mess was similar to a demolition derby. I've driven in the heat (no air conditioning), when the area by my accelerator foot registered 125 degrees on the thermometer and the children and I survived by the generous application of wet towels on exposed skin.

The only part I truly disliked was the bus check out in the rain. A school bus is checked, every day, in every possible way: all the lights, gauges, first aid kit, rivets, seals around the windows, oil level, everything. The entire procedure requires three "walk arounds" outside the bus to make sure all the signal lights are working--and working independently of each other.

In nice weather, this is a pleasant bit of exercise. In cold rainy weather it is an ordeal. When I would squat down to check that the lug nuts were secure, rain would run down into my boots. When I bent over to ascertain that the inner duals were properly inflated, cold water would sneak down my back. And then when I reached way up over my head to check the latches on the emergency exit, the water, ever persistent, would run down my sleeve to my armpit. Brrrrr!

Oddly enough, the worst dunking I ever got was on a bright, clear, warm sunny day. I was taking my bus through the bus wash and the driver's side windshield popped in and landed on my lap, allowing cold, dirty, soapy water to soak me, my seat and the driver's compartment. You can't back up in the bus wash, so all I could do was push the brushes out of my face and keep on going forward. You know when I went home, the first thing I did was take a shower!

Rain, rain, stay today. We need you more than I can say. I'll go play some other way.

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