Choo-choo, Woo-woo

I am slowly getting back to normal, which in my case is a relative term. The last month of upheavals and dramatic changes in our family have caused all of us to try as best we can to move forward and enjoy the present while doing it. For the last couple of days we visited the grand kids (our dear Anne’s children) and found them bouncing back more and more as time goes on only with a little less sparkle.

At this writing I am on Amtrak heading back to the Bay Area. There’s something magical about a train that really gets to me. Outside the rainy world of the Sacramento Valley blurs by with Interstate 80 and it’s traffic in the background. Slowing down at the next station, I can see the back of houses as we pass, and in each one of those houses is a family and a story and a history. Maybe it’s like mine, maybe it is radically different, but a story none the less, an important story, their story. Trains force me to slow down. There are no traffic jams or truck on truck vying for the lane next to me passing other trucks in the process and jamming ahead at 70 and 75 miles per hour. No, the train blows its horn as it comes to crossings and maintains its speed and gives me a chance to be with my thoughts or the vistas just outside my window. I can’t see the interstate anymore. I know its there someplace but we are cruising along through open fields, herds of cows on a steady course West. Davis, Suisun/Fairfield, Martinez, blowing by the interesting town of Port Costa and the C&H Sugar company on the Sacramento River then on to Richmond and Berkeley and finally Emeryville stopping only long enough to let on/let off passengers. Meanwhile somewhere in the background the muted melancholy horn blows at each crossing and actually fills me with comfort (yes the Irish in me). Somethings, at least don’t change, and that’s a good thing.

Speaking of things that change, maybe…the Queen of England is visiting Ireland this week. The first time an English monarch has visited the Republic in a hundred years. The Queen is to visit sports stadium Croke Park in Dublin, where 14 spectators were killed by British forces more than 90 years ago. Touchy subject, but no apologies from Elizabeth II. Oh well, there’s always the train..

and so it goes…