Every school day was a rush--get up, get dressed, have breakfast, make the bed, get my lunch pail and homework then head down the mountain to catch the school bus. Our bus--actually the Rhoades' station wagon (they lived at the end of the line east of the school) was scheduled at our mailbox by the highway at about 8:15. My brothers could leave the house at 8:00 and walk and run the mile and be there in plenty of time.
I had to walk with my little sister so I needed extra time. You know how little kids get distracted by bunnies, or a pretty dragonfly, or even a special looking rock. So, I left the house at 7:50. I had a fear that I would miss the bus and was nervous until I got to the mailbox, I loved school and never wanted to miss a day. But one day I did miss the bus. How could that be possible?
It was one of those mornings when nothing went right. I couldn't find my socks, and my sister was taking forever with her breakfast. I looked at the clock and it said 7:55 and we still weren't ready to leave, so I climbed up on a chair and set the hands of the clock back to 7:30. I was relieved now we had plenty of time. We even were out the door a few minutes early. We walked the mile and I remember my dismay that my brothers weren't there--the bus had already come and I had missed it. I sat down on a rock and cried. Slowly, I trudged back up the hill with my little sister in tow. I had to explain to my Mom what happened, she stopped her chores and drove us to school and told me to think about time. It took awhile for me to figure it out and then I was so embarrassed. Needless to say I respected the clock from that day on.
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