“I just gave myself a raise!” is a familiar exclamation as a new rider boards the van for the first time. Our vanpoolers have been commuting from Flint to Lansing for a little over a year now. We fondly refer to our vanpool sit-com as As The Wheels Turn. We have three “sit-down” comedians that keep us in stitches much of the time. We actually have a rider that had a boyhood dream of being a bus-driver, so guess what, we made his dream come true. We officially made him “Da man who drives the MichiVan”.
We have had many memorable experiences, but one in particular that comes to mind is the day I was doing the pick-ups and drop-offs, which is not the norm. I sent an email stating, “You will be picked up after work the same place I dropped you off (hopefully). If you see me flying by and not seeing you, just grab onto the bumper and hang on for dear life. I will be sure to turn up my hearing aid to listen for screams coming from the rear of the van.” Not intending to actually miss anyone, I drove by one of our “sit-down” comedians. He chased the van yelling, while everyone else in the van exclaimed, “You missed Barry, stop, stop!” Everyone laughed so hard they could hardly talk and fortunately, Barry was also amused.
There is always construction between Flint and Lansing, so one day we decided to stop for Dairy Queen Blizzards, to ease the pain of the slooow Friday construction zone. We chose the right evening for our Blizzard Party, as there was an accident and we had a two hour parking lot on I-69, but because of the sugar high, we all had a great time. The time really does fly when your having fun.