Friday, February 11, 2011

We finally did what I said we'd do: Riding the City Bus

For weeks now we have been "in action" a one-car family. We still own the Mustang; however, we aren't driving it in efforts to save money and miles on it. I always tell myself (and Will) that if we really wanted to get out and go somewhere that we could walk there or take the bus. Well, with 4 1/2 days off of school this week alone, temperatures hovering in the teens, and some restless kids who had been out to play in the snow & cold quite enough to satisfy us all, I finally just decided to do it. We didn't have to, but I couldn't see a great reason why not to. I likened it to bike riding with the boys when they were younger. I rode with them, taught them the rules of the road, and offered instructions that I hoped they would continue to "hear" when they would be riding to school or to the store. Those bike rides, I know now, were very important. They both went on to ride their bikes back and forth to middle school (a mile away and across a somewhat busy road) and to stores that are within that mile to 2 1/2 mile radius of our home. They still do. Not without incident, of course, but hopefully much more cautiously than without ever receiving some sort of guidance.
Same with the bus. There may be a day they need to take it to get from here to there. I can ride it with them now so they can experience how the system works.
It took a little more planning than just hopping in the car and going. But as I was preparing, I was getting excited! And nervous! Adventure! I hadn't felt like this in quite awhile. I felt so silly. People ride buses every single day and not because they want to necessarily! Well, want to or not, it was actually the only way for us to get to the library yesterday afternoon.
The bus came on time and I deposited the $3.75 for us to ride (found out later that I should have just paid $4.50 that would include the transfer at the Transit Station) into the automated money machine. We all sat and off we went. Brielle loved it. She was entertained the entire time. The boys showed no emotion, they just sat there looking cool and composed, as if they rode the bus all of the time.
I allowed Brielle to turn around on her knees and look out the window. I think the bus made her a little nervous because after going a little way she explained, "I just tooted." I asked her to not say that so loud, please. She said quieter, "I just tooted again." Ahhhh..... At least no one was sitting that close to us. When she wanted to change seats I told her not until we get on the next bus, knowing that what I allowed on that first trip would set the standard for trips to come.
It took 20 minutes to get downtown to the bus depot. It felt more like 10. We changed buses at the depot (where I had to pay my extra .75 cents and get my transfer tickets - oops) and it was very simple. Then, we rode around for 20 minutes before we went to the Library, which was extremely exciting for me because I saw new places in Clarksville that I've never seen before! How could that be? We've lived here for 15+ years and I never knew about this super huge cemetery somewhere downtown. It was a more interesting trip for me that the first bus. Oh! I did see two different residences (one house and one apartment) that were in two totally different areas (one on each bus) and decided that the women in them should definitely meet. I say this because they both harbored an extreme excessive collection of planter pots. Not a joke, they had at least 50 planter pots in each of their yards!! I've never seen anything like it and definitely not in one day!
The Library was good. Saw one of our close friends in there, found some books, let Brielle play, and waited for Will to get off of work to come pick us up. He got there after we'd been in the library for a couple of hours. It worked out well.
Not only am I glad we did it, but I look forward to riding the bus again. It's at least good to know that it's there if we need to go somewhere beyond our 2 1/2 mile radius on foot or small wheel.

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