In the Bus Bag
Unaccustomed Earth, by Jhumpa Lahiri
Monthly Archives: December 2011
The bus theme for 2011 was “adjustment.” It was a tough year on several fronts.
1) Busing with babies
I started the year grappling with the awkwardness of traveling with a toddler and a preschooler. The challenges increased as the year progressed (and baby #2 grew heavier, squirmier, and more opinionated). We still got around, of course, but I always felt like I had to choose something to sacrifice: convenience, physical comfort, carrying capacity, or sanity. Usually, it was two of the four.
I’ll admit that problem-solving isn’t my strong suit*, but I’m still convinced that most …
Fun figurines at small people’s eye level:
My small people have been enjoying these dolls, displayed in a ground-level apartment window on one of our well-beaten walking paths, as long as they’ve been aware enough to look around. Chicklet’s favorite is the dancing couple in the back. Busling likes the guy with the “insrament.”
For going on four years now, Chicklet and I have had a standing Friday date with my friend Kelley and her daughter, Evan. (For almost two of those years, sweet Busling has tagged along, too.) When the girls were infants, we met at Green Lake for grown-up walking and talking, but as they grew older and our get-togethers became more about them, we started to branch out. Common meeting places these days: parks (Green Lake included), the Children’s Museum, Central Library, Aquarium, Zoo, and et cetera.
Most of the time, it takes my crew longer to travel to a …
At the stop near 8th, the driver gets on the mic and says, “Oops. You went too far.” When no one responds, he looks in his rearview mirror and tries again. “Wasn’t one of you looking for Union Gospel Mission?”
After another silence, several of us begin turning in our seats to see who he is talking to. In the process, our eyes scan the man sitting to my right, who has spent most of the short ride talking loudly on his cell about all the money he’s earned this year, and, in particular, this week.
“Don’t look at me,” …
The current temperature in Montgomery, AL: 39 degrees. (To Bus Nerd’s down-south fam: My condolences.)
It is just now occurring to me how ridiculously courageous it is to start a bus boycott in December.* Shoot, just getting to church (which is only a mile north of us) on foot last Sunday in the pouring, freezing rain was an adventure. Our boycott was accidental (we missed the bus), but, now that our stop has been removed, we have to walk almost a half a mile just to get to a 48. So, bus or no, we’re going to …