The bus

I LOVE taking the bus and always jump at the chance to ride a city bus.  Sometimes I ride even when I have no where to go!  There I’ve said it.  And I’ll expose myself further; it’s the people!  I am a people watcher.  Hmmm, ’watcher’ sounds kind of creepy.  Perhaps ’observer’ would be a better word.  Hours of entertainment for a mere $2.50.

People are intriguing.  In fact David describes us as wonderfully made.  In other translations it reads:  to be wonderful, to be extraordinary.  I like how the MSG describes it, “Body and soul, I am marvellously made!”  And I guess it makes sense as we are crafted in God’s image; there is a special ‘something something’ about us.

Also, by observing people, you can see if someone needs help or is lonely.  Life is demanding and sometimes we can get caught up in just going about our lives, that are on such hectic schedules, we miss these opportunities to connect with people.  Anyway, back to the buses; but not just any city bus.  I’m talking about the buses in Victoria, BC, they have a few unique elements about them:

1)     The first time I saw a city bus in Victoria, BC, there was a contraption on the front of it and these contraptions were on the front of every bus.  What was it?  Bike racks!

The residents of BC are said to be the healthiest in Canada, not only because their consumption of fruits and veggies is higher than any other province, but also they are the most physically active.  For further reading see here.  These bike racks make it possible to incorporate cycling into their everyday lifestyle.

2)     The next thing that caught my attention was when a person in a wheelchair entered the bus, unassisted.

How awesome is that!  Anyone who uses any kind of assisted transportation is able to access all city buses, due to the installation of hydraulic systems.  The bus driver lowers the step to the level of the sidewalk enabling the person to be able to drive straight on the bus.  The first few seats have been removed from the front of the buses on both sides to make room for parking.

3)     After riding a few times, I noticed a curious pattern as people were exiting the bus, whether they were leaving through the front or the back doors:

“Thank-you.”

“Thanks a lot.”

“Thanks hey.”

I heard it over and over again.  It didn’t matter who it was or how old they were.  From the youngest to the eldest … even the rapper looking dudes with the drawers hanging down and sideways caps:

“Thank-you.”

I decided to ask the driver about it.  Her mouth turned into a large wide grin, “I KNOW eh!  It’s a BC phenomenon.  I’ve driven in three major cities and I’ve never experienced it anywhere … only here.”

It was a happy note to end the day on!

Blessings!

 

A lesson from WESTJET

I think I‘m learning to like flying. To begin my vacation I had to fly from Saskatoon to Victoria.  I wasn’t looking forward to it.  I have flown only once before this, and although it was seamless, the thoughts of being suspended and powerless in the air still filled me with a certain amount of trepidation.  Control issues? … I cringe.

Flight number 449 was about to teach me a valuable lesson.

I purchased the ticket so that the pilot and flight attendants could do their jobs.  I am not a flight attendant or a pilot, my responsibility resided in seat C6 – p e r i o d.  And to back up even further, from the time I stepped into the airport, I had zero authority.

Authority lies with whoever has the responsibility.  I get into trouble when I think I have authority or when I don’t realize exactly what my responsibility is.  I am not responsible to sell me a boarding pass; to get my luggage on the plane or to move myself through the security checks.  I have yielded all that power to the airport security and WESTJET.

For instance.  I had just bought a new hand cream but I forgot to move it from my purse to my suitcase for baggage check, and everyone knows what that means … security takes it.  I have no responsibility for the safety of the other passengers on my flight.  However, the people who are in authority are responsible for those other passengers; they call the shots.  It doesn’t matter that the hand cream is harmless (in my opinion).  It doesn’t matter what I think of the rules.

To arrive at my destination with ease, all I needed to do, was to allow myself to be funnelled through the process by those who were in charge to do so … and trust them.

Which brings me back to my original question:  Control Issues?  The ‘take-away’ for me was that, in all relationships whether they are short-lived or long-term, we move in and out of authority … in and out of control.  Sometimes I will have all the responsibility and authority, and sometimes, I won’t have any say at all.  Learning when and how will save me, and those around me, a lot of grief.

Thank you WESTJET.  Not only for getting me to my vacation and home as well!  But also a bigger thank you for this living lesson of truth.

~ Something to think about ~

 Who or what tool is God using to sharpen down my rough edges of control?

 

Step back in order to step forward

Lately, I have been, frequently, slipping into the ‘fray’ and Darrell has noticed; he always notices.  But far be it from me to have a man tell me what I need; at least this is what I used to think.

Having been home schooling for almost 20 years and never having a real vacation, his gift to me is … time away.  Darrell has tried numerous times over the years to get me to ‘leave’ the family for a vacation; guilt always held me back.  Typically in all my reasoning and the back and forth emotional tug-of-war, it always boiled down to one question; the wrong one, “What kind of wife/mother wants to be away from her husband/kids?”  I usually ended up in the state of having bull-dozed through the season of ragged-edge living until it passed.  But does it ever really pass?  Now I know … it doesn’t.  We merely temporarily bury it; only to have it re-emerge … in spades.

We briefly discussed dates of departure and before I knew it, Darrell had purchased my return airline ticket to one of my very favourite destinations, the west coast … Vancouver Island.  And further, to my surprise, he had booked me to be gone for two weeks!  It seemed a little lengthy, but his reasoning was sound, “You need a week to unwind, and the second week to really be able enjoy yourself in that relaxation.” Not that my family is all that hard to manage, my girls are awesome.  But the weight of the responsibility for other people (being a parent) as well as the responsibility for their education is still a weight nonetheless.

No responsibilites – nothing –  zero –  zilch – nil – nadda …. hmmmmmm.

There are two wonderful perks to Victoria, BC.  First, it’s where our son and his fiancé live!  So I get the pleasure and comfort of still being around family; without the responsibility.

 

And second, there is a Starbucks on almost EVERY corner!  WIN/WIN.  This fits, nicely, into my vacation plans of doing little to nothing, accept for catching up on some sorely missed reading.  All of my reading up to now has been non-fiction, (parenting, homeschooling, self-help/Christian growth, historical research, herbs, medicine, marriage, relationships and the like) … sure, lots of information but not a lot of fun reading for decompression.

The time has arrived.  My Kindle has been loaded up with a variety of Chick-lit.  The Starbucks card has been loaded up.  I’ve Googled the map of the lengthy and beautiful trail that is the Galloping Goose Regional Trail that snakes it’s way all over the island.

Darrell, my love, my best friend … thank you.  You are awesome, on so many levels.  Thank you for being patient with me and all the times I stubbornly refused to listen to your advice that I needed a break.  Thank you for assuming full responsibility for everything that is my part of our life.  Thank you for your constant encouragement that has enabled me to slip away.  Thank you for freeing me to think only of myself during this time and for abundantly clarifying that it is not selfish to do so.