A bus chick’s limits (and limitations)

To get to my office from the bus stop (or to the bus stop from my office), I have to walk a decent distance. By the correct path (which involves using the actual sidewalks the city of Redmond provides for pedestrians), it’s probably close to three quarters of a mile. But I don’t take the correct path. Like all the other 545 riders who work in my building, I take a shortcut through an empty lot that is partially paved–and partially not. This works great–except in winter, when it gets dark at 4:30, and the street-lightless evening walk requires the same headlamp I bring on my annual camping excursion to Tahoma. And except when it’s been raining a lot, and the “partially not” part turns to a sea of mud intent upon destroying the carefully maintained (and oft-repaired) shoes of any bus chick with the temerity to enter. Still, I carry the flashlights and endure the ruined shoes and stained pantlegs, all in the name of saving those few minutes that the shortcut provides.

Or at least I did.

Today, I headed home from work earlier than usual (to get back to the West Side in time for Rebecca Walker’s talk) and found myself dodging the mud puddles in the empty lot at an unfamiliar time. A time, apparently, when the actual inhabitants of the lot–geese!–enjoy their evening constitutional.

I might have mentioned my general, rather minor fear of birds. I probably haven’t mentioned a very specific terror of geese. This fear began in early childhood, when the geese at my grandpa’s farm chased and bit me any time I dared to walk past the pond. The fear is greater now than it was then. Perhaps it’s because my imagination has distorted the memory. I’m guessing it’s because a fellow bus rider recently told me that he was knocked off his feet by an angry, dive-bombing goose during a morning crossing of the shortcut lot in question.

Tomorrow, I’ll be taking the long way.

A baby bus chick with her beloved grandpa, a proud keeper of geese