I’m on vacation, our school’s mid-winter break.
A visit to my mother in law is often what I think of first when I have some time off. I like to visit. We play Scrabble and I cook (sometimes it’s good, but sometimes I don’t quite make it… last night I made the worst dinner!). I take her on errands if she likes, but mostly we enjoy companionship and sharing jokes over crosswords and meals. Simple, grateful time. Slow time.
One of the best parts of these visits has been taking the train. I love the train. I do, however, live in the land of mudslides. All my train journeys follow the coast of the Puget Sound, and this year’s rainy season, coupled with ice storms and high winds, has made for some difficulties. Until this trip, I’ve never experienced a “Service Disruption.” I got two phone calls and an email before my trip, and called the number to find that not one, but both legs of my journey were blocked by mudslides, so I would be bussed. That is okay. I can’t read on the bus as I can on the train, but I had my sketchbook and my audio book and my snacks. Thank goodness for my snacks, but assuredly, as I found, thank goodness for my earbuds.
They brought the bus. The people all arrived early, and we were happy to get on our way so as to have time to spare in Seattle for catching the second bus. Enter the gremlins. The driver had been issued a new key that morning, and on leaving the bus yard, it had worked. Upon attempting to leave the train station, it did not.
I leave these things to the professionals. They’ve had persnickety keys. They’ve spent thousands of miles in the seats of buses. The guy was obviously completely competent to go through all the scenarios to try to solve the problem. But he had the misfortune to be carrying (okay, trying to carry)a bus full of post-menopausal women. I can say this because I fall in the same category, a little bit bossy sometimes, a little bit picky and opinionated… but I know when to keep my mouth shut, and I’ll just say that this would have been the time for most of those other women to know that, too. I was especially grateful for my earbuds.
I left that busload in Seattle and got on the next bus. We were well on our way, and had made our first stop to pick up a passenger. I dozed a bit and awoke at the next stop to great confusion. It was identical to the last, a particular manufacturing plant in the distance, a… Wait!!! We’d gone back! We’d gone a long way onward, and then gone back to retrieve a passenger! I know she is very thankful to have been rescued that way. But me? I am so grateful for my earbuds and my audio book, and my sketchbook and colored pencils.
It was a very, very long day.
I’m here now, though, and have enjoyed my time. I walk each day, about 20-30 minutes as my minimum, a mile and a half or so. And on these walks, tiny gifts are handed to me, for which I am so very grateful. Because spring is coming. Here is my proof…
Pussy willows and crocus
Tiny tips – is it iris? And today, I saw the Hosta. Grateful? Yes.