Sunday, October 1st, 2017
HAPPY WHERE I AM
Right this minute I am happy to be exactly where I am. I am on an Amtrak train traveling from Boston to Portland, Maine. I love train rides. I had forgotten. I love to look out a window with a good book on my lap and go back and forth–read, look, read, look, read, snooze, look,read, snack, look, read. I am comfortable, plenty of leg room, right temperature.
I am heading back from the 80th birthday party of my brother-in-law. I happen to like family stories and so loved watching the tall tales come out to play when the right trigger word or event came into the conversation. Even when we were given directions to the local Holiday Inn where we stayed, the stories were embedded. “Go under the bridge where we almost took the top off the U-Haul, past the short Italian guy’s house, go past the dueling brothers’ farm that is falling apart due to a generational family feud, and turn left where you used to get your skates sharpened. I love it.
We need our stories even when they are not good ones. We need the grounding of common history. We need the knowledge that we got through that death, that illness, that tragedy. We need to warm our hearts and hands at the retelling of celebrations, the Thanksgiving turkey that slid to the floor, the impromptu family talent show we did in Mexico, the stories that made us laugh so hard our noses hurt, the beauty of wedding ceremonies, the glorious moment when all irritaions or strains of family fade and there is joy and connection and affirmation.
I am full of good stuff. AND if you want to laugh, please join me, because we were just informed that the track has a problem and we will be delayed for at least an hour! I didn’t know trains did that! I thought we were at a train station—in the woods, maybe, but a train station. Suddenly my seat isn’t so comfortabel, I have to go to the bathroom and the air conditioning is too much.
But I am still newly entranced with trains. We are not in a traffice jam, nor in an airport and there is food and a bar and I have have a signal. Life is good. My mom always wanted to take a train trip with me and we didn’t do it. I don’t have lots of regrets but that is one. I just think I may commit to doing the Canadian Rocky train trip. I’m hooked.
Maybe–I’ll let you know. The latest info is they know no reason why we are stalled and have can’t get into communtication with the maintenance crew. Could be two hours. They say this is highly unusual. I’ll let you know what happens. In the meantime I think of Puerto Rico and I am back to right this minute, I am happy where I am.