I hate riding on a school bus. I never much liked it as a kid but now that I'm an adult, I avoid it at all costs. School buses are uncomfortable, noisy and I can resurrect the smell without evening stepping on board.
My twins were riding to a confirmation retreat in Pennsylvania via a school bus last weekend, and even though I was also going, I opted against taking the bus. I dropped them off at church and took off alone in my minivan in the pouring rain at rush hour for the retreat house.
It was slow going with the wet roads and the traffic. Just past Frederick, I passed an over turned car on the side of the road. At Thurmont, I left the highway to climb over the mountain. The fog was thick and my knuckles were starting to lose their color.
When I was getting close to the retreat house, I turned on my cell phone GPS to make sure I didn't miss the turn. Right away, it told me to turn right — which is not the way I had gone in the past — but I listened to the GPS. Within a few minutes, I was totally lost and missed a turn. When I looked down at the GPS, it had lost its satellites. I pulled into a driveway, my heart beating irregularly, said a few prayers and turned the car around. Luckily, the GPS came back to life but a minute later, the low battery warning flashed on. Panic set in. I was lost in the mountains, in the middle of nowhere on a rainy, dark and foggy night with a mostly dead phone.
But at least I wasn't listening to the 99th round of 100 Bottles of Beer on the Wall.
Fortunately, my battery lasted long enough to get me to the retreat house. Just ahead of the two school busses.
To read more FranklyStein click here
FranklyStein is a blog by Chesapeake Family Magazine editor Betsy Stein who lives in Catonsville with her husband, Chris, and four children, Maggie, 14, Lilly, 13, Adam, 13, and Jonah, 9.