Friday, February 12, 2016

The solace of Amtrak and a Bev Doolittle landscape

To me, the best coffee in the world is right here on Amtrak. Of course, it bothers me that I have to drink it out of a disposable cup and have to get a new cup rather than refilling this one, but rules are rules. And, if I were being totally honest, it's really not the best coffee. It's just that I love nothing more than drinking it aboard the train.

I'm homeward bound. Well, not actually homeward, since I can no longer call Manheim my home since we sold my mom's house at the end of 2013, but in my heart, it will always be home. 

I boarded the train in Pittsburgh at ten after seven this morning. Wow, that's early for me! I'm not one who enjoys getting up in the dark and going out in the bitter cold. I know that's something most of you moms out there are all too familiar with. It's part of your everyday winter routine. But since it's been years since the kids have gone, I no longer have any reason to face this brutal assault of morning on a regular basis.

But today was an exception. My alarm was set for 6, but I awoke at 5 and couldn't go back to sleep. Are you like that? I am so afraid of oversleeping that I undersleep. Yikes. I imagine I'll be good and tired tonight. 

I wish I was heading to Manheim for a happy occasion. Unfortunately, I'm going there for another funeral. The last time I was there for a funeral was just a week and a half ago. This time, it's for my cousin's. With the potential for bad weather, I opted to travel by train. And I'm so glad I did. My husband couldn't join me for this trip, so this made the most sense. Until the train pulled out of the station, I'd almost forgotten how the train is my sanctuary. With all the sadness lately (6 deaths since Jan. 22), Amtrak feels like my balm in Gilead. My weary soul is refreshed as I gaze out the window at the passing scenery, reminiscent of a Bev Doolittle painting, the snowscape dotted with barren trees, fallen branches, rocks, and neglected weeds, browned by the change in season. Gliding alongside half-frozen rivers, viewing the world-famous Altoona Curve, being soothed by the gentle rocking of the moving train... these things are healing. I am ever grateful for this. Ever grateful. 

If I had an endless supply of money, I would do this on a regular basis.

But for now, I'm going to enjoy this opportunity of being held captive in a moving train, and I'm going to write. I'm currently working on 2 new books (in a 10-book contract) with iStoryBooks. Five of the books are biographies and I brought my research materials for Rachel Carson and Molly Brown. Both strong women with bold and tenacious personalities. I hope I can do them justice.

Thanks for hanging around even though my posts have been sporatic at best lately. I hope you understand.

Sharing a little piece of my life and heart,

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