Mrs. B is probably right around the mother’s age, give or take a year or two. She is even shorter than me and very round. She kind of bounces when she walks, a combination of her weight, age and injuries. She is not very steady in snow and ice.
I’m not sure why she can’t drive (and I didn’t ask) but she recently stopped driving to the station. She has been arriving by cab. She leaves the bus when I do. Yesterday, she asked if she could “cross with” me. I knew this meant she was worried about falling so I made sure she got across. She then goes inside the building across from mine and hails another cab for the last four or five blocks of her journey. I offered her my cell but she is apparently now on a first-name basis with the concierge and he takes care of her each morning.
I think her plan had been to retire this year or maybe last from her job of nearly 30 years but some time in the past five years, her husband got quite ill, ate up their savings, and died. So, she went on working and last year she got laid off. She found another job about six or so month ago, part-time, and several blocks from the once convenient location she’d been at.
She usually isn’t on my evening bus. But just a few minutes before it arrived, she appeared on the corner. She asked if I could take her as far as a bakery on the main drag. When I asked where she was trying to get to, I found that this was only another four or five blocks from home for her.
“No,” I finally said. “But I will take you home.” It really is on my way, sort of, so it seemed silly to leave her on a corner to get another cab. Nope. Not doing that.
So once back at the station, I first got S settled in the back seat behind me and then made sure that Mrs. B didn’t fall on the parking lot and got her into the car. On the way through town, Ladybird hit a patch of ice and we slid through a stop sign. Luckily, I was going slow enough and there weren’t any cars on the corner (though there was one in the intersection and I just knew I was going to hit it). I turned the wheel into the slide and we still slid but the other car passed us safely. I corrected the wheel once out of the slide and continued on. S saw what was happening and gritted her teeth. Mrs. B was blissfully unaware.
Mrs. B’s street was still heavy with snow so we crawled up that way. Getting into her driveway was like scaling Mount Everest. I got her out, safely up the drive and past an icy walk to her back door. On the way out, I slid in her driveway. Once in the car, I began to back out and Ladybird slid, too. I was able to stop just short of a phone pole at the edge of Mrs. B’s drive. Whew!
Let’s just say I was a very happy camper when I got in my own driveway last night.