With the galeforce winds waking me throughout the night, along with my overactive imagination visualizing our 50' douglas fir crashing through our roof and impaling me on my bed, the ringing of my alarm found me in a less than refreshed and renewed state.
I engaged in the usual wishful thinking about the condition of my health - is that a scratchiness in my throat, a lightness in the head, a turning of the stomach?
For better or worse, I realized that my problems were not physiological in nature and plodded toward a day at work.
My biked was locked downtown in the Portland Building garage. I thought about taking a two-mile walk to the MAX, but the unwillingness of the storm to relent persuaded me that taking the trusty #8 was the wiser choice.
The two-block walk to the bus stop brought me closer to a drowned rat than an 8-5 Portlander. My fellow commuters, usually at pain to keep at least 15' between each other at the bus stop, had overcome their unease of proximity and huddled beneath the bus shelter.
To be clear, I wasn't in the greatest of moods, and I held an element of dread about entering the packed bus of saturated riders.
My mood shift began with the welcome of the TriMet operator. She smiled and wished me a good morning. I wasn't the lucky one, she was greeting everyone. With each stop, her round of greetings and commiserations about the weather lifted me higher and higher.
I made note of the vehicle ID number so that I could send TriMet a compliment about this wonderful human being that made a horrible Monday morning into a pleasant expression of living and working in Portland.
If you ever want to commend a TriMet operator (or send constructive criticism), it is very helpful if you know the vehicle identification number. It's all over the bus: above the farebox, on the back of the bus, near the windshield, etc.
From TriMet's home page you just click the "Contact Us" link and a menu of choices appears. You can also call the rider line at 503-238-7433 (RIDE) and press 5.
Stormy Portland photo courtesy of http://dignityadvocate.wordpress.com/