Old-timey yellow school bus bumps to a halt ahead of me, flashing red lights, stop sign swinging out. Darn! Stuck behind this thing all the way up Torrey Pines, the main loop through Lake of the Pines. How many stops is that? Four? Double darn! Door opens. Driver gets out with her red hand-held sign, taking her time. Doesn’t she know I’m in a HURRY?
Little girl with big pink backpack and a tiara of some kind is the first to climb down. Fairy Queen Day at Cottage Hill Elementary? Giggling and chirping with the other fairies. More munchkins get off the bus. There’s the obligatory red-headed twerp with a zillion freckles, every neighborhood has to have one of those. Probably a hellion.
Young moms are clustered at the corner, chatting and waiting. Darn, they are all so pretty. One of the moms has brought a puppy. Kid sees puppy, puppy sees kid, puppy licks kid. Everyone is laughing. Momma bears hugging their cubs.
The driver, standing in the middle of the street with her sign, gives stern looks to those of us in our idling machines. When she catches my gaze, I wink. She ignores me. When every loose kidlet is safely across, the driver gets back into her rattletrap conveyance. The flashing lights are extinguished, the red stop sign swings back to its resting place on the side of the bus. Good job, sign, mission accomplished.
I realize I am grinning, wall to wall. I’ve relaxed, breathing easier now.
How many bus stops on Torrey Pines before my turn off? At least four. Is that all? I make plans to enjoy every one of them. Life is good at Lake of the Pines. You just need to slow down, breathe, and take it all in.
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