My Grief Challenges

On Spot Chains February 16, 2014

Over the years, I have been very grateful for this invention. Steep roads, like Johnson Creek, have been manageable, even with a thin layer of ice, or a small amount of snow.  I am talking about On Spot Chains, that drop down by a lever the bus drive flips, while in the driver’s seat. Saving the driver from having to chain up for little occurrences.                                                                  Tuesday, (February 11), I proceeded cautiously, on my route, hoping for no snow/slush areas like ate the bus parking lot.       About 3 inches of snow/slush, at a stop sign, made it evident that the bus was not going to be able to get anywhere. With a bit of repositioning, I was able to get the bus to move forward. I was, then,  able to get up enough speed, so I could flip the lever for the On Spot Chains. Hoping for no more slipping. I was having no problem driving up a windy, narrow road. I was watching and preparing for a left hand turn. I aimed for an area with the least snow/slush. Upon approach, I noticed a car, parked at my left. Just ahead to my right, was a pickup. These 2 rigs made it necessary, to slow down. I made it onto the turn off, which had an incline. However, I was not sure I had gotten off the narrow, windy road. It was still dark. The elements were too deep for the chains to work. I tried to reposition. The bus was getting too close to the car. I checked my mirrors and secured the bus. There was no way up the incline,. The shop guys were going to have to help. I wasn’t wanting any points on my record. I had seen 2 buses pass right behind me, going in opposite directions, so, I knew I was not hanging in the road. Although, It did not look like there was much room.                           There were about 13 elementary passengers on. They started to get anxious. I had to calmly, firmly,  get everyone seated and quiet. I was sweating. I had, also, noticed that the bus had slipped back a bit. In that moment, I started questioning my every movement.         You see, since Shawn’s death, EVERY load of passengers, have become an even bigger responsibility, than before.,  I do not want any relative or friend of any of my passengers to think I do not give my all. All of a sudden, my mind was jolted, out of the dark, over our new radio system, “Kathy, I’m here”.    Pause.          “Go ahead and back out. I’ve got you covered” I cannot describe how wonderful it was to hear those words.    I , ever so slowly, started backing. The car, to my left, was now in touching range. I do not know how the stop sign did not scrape the bus. I, finally, was on clear road. The rest of the morning, was very pleasant.                                               Several times, throughout the week, I checked the area I backed out from. I have no idea how I did not hit a mailbox, or the electrical box-thing, or the tree. There was a drop off,  I have no idea how nothing went wrong, that dark slushy morning.   Even though I had spun the tires, they looked fine.  I was worried about the chains. With the tires spinning, would a link get caught and break the bus ? The On Spots survived.  Not a single passenger was worried. They all sat quietly, as Mrs. K (me), had asked them to. After all that, I was only behind about 3 minutes.                                                                                                                 I was so glad I didn’t have to get out and put the regular chains on, for a few snow/slush areas !!!     I am still, very thankful for On Spot Chains.   I sure wish I had them for my wee car and van !!!  Just a thinkin’.

This past Valentines Day, I posted my reading of Shawn’s plaque, from February 1989. When I was typing a couple of the verses for the post, listed on the plaque, I was surprised.       The months Shawn was in Harborview, I cannot tell how many times the song by Lincoln Brewster, called “Everlasting God”, played on my van radio, whether I was heading to or leaving Shawn. I, especially, liked the version with the child, at the end of the song, quoting scripture.                 The reason for my surprise, was because I finally realized, after very many takes, of my reading, the verse from the plaque and this song, were the same.  All the time Shawn was in the hospital, and I would hear that song, never realizing the connection.    I know that Shawn loved the plaque, I wonder if he ever wondered why I chose that scripture ?  I do not know why, years ago, that scripture seemed fitting for Shawn’s plaque.  Why haven’t I felt (?) strength, then and now ? Is it something I will have to look back and see ? Just wondering.

Here is a thankful.                                                                                                                                           I love washing dishes, by hand !!! I love doing laundry. I love cleaning toilets. There is, though, an  household task that I cannot stand. I CAN NOT stand dusting !!! My husband loves technology and books. Many wires, many tiny computer parts ? and just plain miscellaneous things, make dusting an enormous chore. For many years I have hoped that someone would invent a dusting type wand, battery operated. Well, Black and Decker has this cute little machine that is the answer to my bad attitude, regarding dusting.

The attachment with a brush, I put nylon over. I dusted all over Bob’s computer parts and wires, around his books. This little tool is going to be quite the fun side kick,  I love it !!!

While I am on the dusting theme. We did receive a good amount of snow. During the last big snow we had, I learned some safety do-s:  

1. Keep the sidewalk in front of house clear: for delivery people, emergency workers and the general public.                                                                                                                                    2.  Use Caution tape where you don’t want folks to tread, like stairs that might get slick.         3. Try to keep the area around the mailboxes clear.  I witnessed a mail truck TRYING to go           up our little incline, with chains on all 4 wheels. I felt bad, as I watched, I was going to shovel out the mailbox are and did not .      I do have a tip to share. Many years ago, while shoveling, I found a trick to keep the shovel cleared off.  Spray both sides-top and bottom-with Pledge. I suppose any dusting spray should work. I have always used Pledge.  Anyway, slicing into the snow with freezing rain pelting down, scooping and tossing, was done with great ease and fairly quickly.  Maybe everyone already does this ?    Maybe not.  The next day was Sunday, church canceled. I watched from my office window, as various men shoveled with great difficulty, and they had to keep scraping their shovels off.  Give this a try the next time snow comes your way.  Oh yes, it was fun, as I carefully tossed the snow, to see how far it would fly, and fly off the shovel, it did !!!



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