Sometimes it's a white line.
The Austin buses have yellow lines, though, and the sign reminds me of a happy little story that I shall share with you now. It could be titled: "Little Susan Rides the Bus."
I didn't ride the bus in kindergarten, and the story of my coming & going from school as a five-year-old is certainly worth telling, but not in today's blog. So there I was, the first day of first grade, new school implements safely packed into a new backpack, waiting for the Big. Scary. Bus. And scary it was; when it pulled up, I seriously hesitated before I could pep talk myself into getting on board.
The bus driver (who has known me since I was born, by the way; she lives pretty close to my parents), smiled and was very encouraging, and assigned me to a seat next to a very, very kind sixth-grader who reassured me that first grade was going to be wonderful. (She was wrong, actually, but no point in ruining a good story.)
It was about a 20-minute ride to school, in the course of which I tried to take everything in. And "everything" included that mysterious sign up front. I could already read going into the first grade; I had the basics of phonics and had learned to "sound it out". My reading was at the Little House on the Prairie level (seriously-- I read it the summer before I started first grade), which, I have since learned, has no hard words. Except maybe "massacre".
So, very slowly and carefully, I read every word on the sign, until I got to the strange word "motion". Obviously, sounding it out was not going to work. (And while I'm sure I will tell my children the same thing, "sound it out" is dumb advice for English speakers.) But I was too timid to ask even the nice sixth-grader next to me, and it was getting louder on the bus as more kids got on, and I was not about to draw attention to myself. So I took a couple of stabs at it, and decided that it said "mountain."
I have a vivid imagination, and even more so did the six-year-old me think vividly, so I immediately had a mental picture of the bus going up the side of one of those mountains we saw every summer in Kentucky. I could imagine that it would be a very bad idea indeed to stand in front of the yellow line, or even to stand up at all, while the bus went up such a steep slope; you'd fall backwards!
And I got all the way through first grade satisfied with that explanation. And it's still the first thing I think of when I see the sign.