Bremond Here We Come

Posted in Eternal Love | 4 comments

Hubbard schools had turned out for the Summer.  Frank, Scotty, and I took a trip to Bremond to find a house to rent.  We lucked out and found a home only a few blocks from downtown, and then we went back to Hubbard to begin the moving.  Frank, Scotty, and I were excited to move to Bremond, which was mostly a Polish community.  This community was known for its amazing Polish sausage.

Since the towns of Hubbard and Bremond were only sixty miles apart,  Frank and I did not rent a U-Haul truck for our move.  We had a pickup truck and the Super Beetle that were loaded up and unloaded as we made several trips back and forth between the towns over several days.  This style of moving worked out quite well because we could unload and set up our new home with each moving day plus clean up the house in Hubbard for the new buyer.

The first moving day, we moved all of the kitchen and the bathroom.  On the second moving day, we moved the living room furniture and the bedroom clothes closets. We made two trips on the third day, moving and unloading the furniture in the bedrooms one bedroom at a time, and then we spent our first night in Bremond. The next day we made two more moving trips to Hubbard. The first trip was to dismantle the swing set, load it up then load up as much of the garage stuff as possible. On our last trip, we finished loading up the garage stuff, made our last walk through the first home we had ever bought, locked all of the doors, and took a final look as we drove away.  A final look that formed a picture in our minds that would be embedded forever.

Frank, Scotty, and I settled into our new home in Bremond, but the Head Coach and his family were still looking for a home.  Since it was early summer and we had plenty of time before coaching duties started, we decided to take a little vacation to Galveston, Texas.  This vacation was our first real vacation as a family.  Of course, we had traveled on holidays to our parent’s homes, but Frank, Scotty, and I had never been on vacation together, and we were so excited.

Early on a Monday morning, we started our drive to Galveston.  All was going great until we got on the freeway in Houston.  Suddenly, the truck started jerking and sputtering while we were on the highway then it died right in the middle of one of the one-way three-lane roads.  Frank quickly restarted the truck, but it was still jerking and sputtering.  Finally, we were able to exit the freeway and get to a parking lot.  Frank opened the hood and checked the carburetor.  He found a lot of trash in the carburetor, so he cleared it as much as possible, then we drove to a car parts place.  Frank bought a new carburetor kit then put it on the truck right there in the parking lot of the auto parts place, and then we continued our trip to Galveston.

All was going well until we were driving down the main road in Galveston when the truck started acting up again.  Frank was able to get the pickup to drive to an auto repair shop.  The mechanic at the shop told Frank that we had, evidently, gotten some bad gasoline somewhere, and it was in the fuel line.  A decision was made to remove, clean, and drain the gas tank, clean the fuel lines, and clean the carburetor again.  We needed to leave the truck with the mechanic for a couple of days, so the mechanic drove us to a motel nearby.

The motel was beautiful and had a swimming pool, so we had that to do.  Also, there were several fast food places within walking distance, and we were within walking distance of the beach.  We had planned on doing some other things in Galveston, but we were just thankful for what we could do.

When the mechanic had the truck fixed, and he brought it to us, we had a full day to spend driving around Galveston taking in the sites before starting our drive back to Bremond.  On our trip home, the truck began to sputter a lot again, so we stopped in Houston at my brother’s house.  Frank decided that enough was enough with the truck, so he and I went to a dealership to trade the truck in on a different vehicle.  We were upside down on the payment on the truck, which was less than a year old, but we found another small truck to buy.

Small Red Pickup

Frank’s New Pickup

The new truck was something new, smaller, and different.  It had bright red paint with white stripes.  The Dealership told us that it was a new design.  A small pickup had been converted to a five-passenger truck by first removing the bed, then welding an extension to the cab of the truck, then welding the truck bed back on. The extension had a bench seat inside of it.  The Dealership was testing it to see how people reacted to the new design of a small truck with a crew cab.  The truck was a work of art, and Frank loved it, so I loved it too. When Scotty saw the new vehicle, he was so excited.  Of course, my brothers thought it was cool also.

We stayed the night with one of my brothers, then the next day, we drove back to Bremond.  While we were gone, the Head Coach and his family found a house to rent, but it needed some fixing up.  The house had sat vacant for a while, and the inside needed to be repaired and painted. Frank and I volunteered to help the Head Coach and his wife repaint the entire interior of the house. We did this while the owners painted the outside.  The painting took all of us about a week, then Frank and I helped them move from Hubbard to Bremond.

Finally, all of the coaches had moved to Bremond, and it was time for football practice to begin.  Frank and the other coaches were busy with two-a-day football practice while Scotty and I were getting the house in order.  The school year was scheduled to start in a couple of weeks.  I had volunteered to keep the Head Coach’s daughter, who was the same age as Scotty.  She was one of the children that I babysat for in Hubbard, and I loved her like a daughter.

On Friday of the first week of two-a-day football practices, Frank and the other coaches surprised the football players by giving them the afternoon football practice off.  Frank came home at noon that day.

“The Surprise”

When Frank walked in the door, he was smiling and extremely happy.  He hugged me then told me that he had a surprise for me.  Of course, I immediately asked him what the surprise was thinking to myself and praying it was a dinner date that night.  Frank looked at me, giving me his dimple smile. His smile told me that the surprise had nothing to do with a dinner date, but then he surprised me when he said, “Nancy, I have decided to drive a school bus route in the mornings before school, and it will be extra money for us.”

A smile came to my face as I replied, “Frank, that is awesome.”

Hearing that I was happy about the bus route, Frank smiled then continued, “Nancy, that is only half of the surprise. Guess who is driving the bus route in the evening while I am coaching?”

Looking at the way Frank was smiling at me, immediately I knew what was fixing to come out of his mouth, as he said, “Nancy Lou, you are going to drive the bus route in the afternoon for me. How about that? Isn’t that great?”

Frank had completely surprised me, and I am sure it showed all over my face, but I looked him square in the eyes while replying, “No! I am not driving a school bus, Frank.  I don’t know how to drive a school bus. I drive a Volkswagen Super Beetle.”

Of course, Frank started laughing as he said, “Nancy, you can do it, trust me, and it will be more money for us.”

How could I say no?  We needed the money, and I had never walked away from a challenge, so I agreed to drive the school bus in the afternoons.

Frank did not tell me anything more about the school bus or bus route, but he told me to meet him at the bus barn after Monday morning football practice where he would introduce me to the school bus mechanic who would take me to Hearne, Texas to get my Chauffeurs license.   Also Frank told me that he would keep Scotty while I went to Hearne with the mechanic then he surprised me again when he said, “You know, Lou, why don’t I take you out to eat supper at the little restaurant here in Bremond. Are you hungry?”

More like confused and hungry, I told him. “Yes.”

Monday morning Scotty and I met Frank at the bus barn where I met the mechanic who showed me how to start the bus after I got into the driver’s seat.  What can I tell you about this bus?  Antique maybe.  The bus had a long bent stick shift coming out of the floor, and the mechanic told me that I would have to double-clutch it to change gears. Also, he informed me, that the bus did not have power steering, and it would take a lot of arm muscle to turn the steering wheel to turn the front wheels, but the mechanic saved the best for last when he told me that I might have to get out of the bus to use a screwdriver to start it if the bus died on the route.

Double-clutch shifting, arm wrestling the steering wheel, and a screwdriver to spark and start the bus, I looked at Frank, who was standing outside the bus laughing, then I opened the window and said, “Really, Frank, you’ve got to be kidding me.”

Frank replied, “Nancy, you’ve got this.  I love you.”

While shutting the window, I told the mechanic, “Let’s go.”

On our way to Hearne, I nearly jerked the mechanic to death as I changed gears, but we made it there.  Once we arrived at the DPS office in Hearne, I took the written test and passed then it was time to drive the bus with the DPS officer aboard.  Funny, thinking the DPS officer must have been watching the bus when we drove up because he only wanted me to drive around the block while he stood in the stairwell, holding on with both hands as I proceeded to jerk him to near-death changing gears on the bus. The mechanic talked to the DPS officer once he got out of the bus, and I passed the driving test, too.  Could they have been friends? Actually, I think the mechanic knew the DPS officer very well and told him that I would get better.  Do you think?

When I got home that afternoon, Frank met me at the door then asked how it went.  He smiled when I told him that I had passed the written and driving test then told me, “Nancy Lou, I did not doubt that you could do it. I love you.”

I nicknamed that bus “Ole Dino,” which was short for the bus from the Dinosaur Ages.  It did not take long until I was driving the heck out of that bus and learned to start it on back roads with a screwdriver, too.  I loved that “Ole Dino” bus, and writing about it brings back so many memories. Looking back now, I should have asked more questions before agreeing to drive that school bus, but what an experience.  We never know what we are capable of until we meet a challenge head-on and give it a try.

Frank thought that I could do anything which inspired me always to try new things.  There were no challenges that Frank would not meet head-on and accomplish, and he taught me to meet challenges too

Frank loved me for me, and I loved him for him. You want to be loved like that.

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  1. A fitting tune! LoL Armstrong steering, unsynchronized transmissions….and running daycare too! I remember a bus driver who used to do his route with his kids sitting right behind him…. Times have changed…

    • Kim, I loved that ole school bus. It was cantankerous, but so much fun. I got to take Scotty and Lisa with me too. Not sure how many times it died and I had to restart it with the help of an older student, but I am sure it was a lot.
      Thank you for your comment. I really appreciate it.
      God Bless You,
      Nancy Lou

  2. That was quite the vehicle! Rather you than me, is all I can say. 🙂 I don’t even like driving a van. You are much more venturesome than I am. But I can see you had fun with it. God bless.

    • Diane, I thought that It would surely do me in, until I drove it for a while then it became so much fun.
      I would love to try it again, but they don’t make’em like that anymore.
      Thank you for your comment. I really appreciate it.
      God Bless You,

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