Each morning and every evening, the bird clan does recon on travel arrangements.
With one car and one scooter between us (Oldest has his own car and a completely different schedule) the commute is carefully choreographed on a moment-to-moment basis.
Want a ride to the train - you'd better be ready at 7:15am.
Leaving town between 5:00 and 6:00pm? You ought to know which family member is on what train and if they have the car at the station.
It can be complicated and has been further complicated since the storm as where we once had five trains an hour to choose from, we now have one or two.
Here's how Thursday went.
K, bb and Youngest leave for town in the morning. Middle had spent the night in town with friends.
K asks bb if she has car keys (for the return trip) and she mumbles yes.
On the train, Youngest discovers he has forgotten his college ID (worn around the neck to attain access to all university buildings). He devises a plan for temporary ID.
bb takes the subway downtown, K takes the subway uptown, Youngest walks to school.
With post-hurricane train service still only working at 1/4 of the norm, people start coordinating earlier. The station is often shut down to deal with too many passengers and not enough trains.
That evening, Middle takes a position in a bar at the station (he's not stupid) and texts that he'll await bb and Youngest for departure at 5ish.
bb and Youngest make it into the station before closure (bb must leave work a little early). They rejoice at their luck. The 5:19 is in sight. But where is Middle? He's not answering texts. Has he gone ahead on the 4:48? No. He arrives. Sadly, though, he has lost his train ticket. As he is wearing one of his many jackets with many many pockets, bb and Youngest spend time patting him down. No ticket.
They board the train. Due to the enormous crowds and no space to walk in the trains, conductors have not been checking tickets. They've also done away with Peak Fares and Step Up Fares (for when you should have bought your ticket IN the station). They are hopeful. The ride home is uneventful save for the fact that a pen had exploded at the bar where Middle signed for his drinks and he, clearly, left his ticket somewhere. He is never asked for the missing ticket.
Upon reaching the Tuvalu station, bb fishes around in her bag for the keys to the Jeep. She doesn not have them. The children are kind. Obviously, she is an ass. They do not humiliate her further and the three of them walk home (without headphones! a triumph).
K is lucky enough to not only access the station but board the 5:48. He has his car keys. He'll be able to drive home instead of walking in the cold, snowy, dark.
His ticket? In his pocket...until it's time to show it to the conductor. But he's busy reading his book (Les Miserables) and puts the ticket on the small clip on the back of the seat in front of him.
And THAT is where it remains. Unpunched. K hops into the Jeep leaving the ticket on the train.
Two tickets, one ID, one set of car keys misplaced in 12 hours.
Check the planets. Something must be in retrograde.
Here's a little commuting video courtesy of Oldest.