Most of my family lives in Michigan. Three’s just me and Frank that live in another state. (Frankie, if your read my Once A Little Girl Blog. Yes, Frankie is one of the Little Kids, the one I put the diaper on. Frankie or Frank-the-Prank, or Frankfurter, or Frank by any other name; He is my Pal.) It’s probably no accident that the two of us live the furthest from our origin. We are the most independent, the most rebellious, the most adventurous. Anyways, that’s how I choose to see it.
I had a bright idea: take Amtrak to the small town near Mom’s. I can rest, write, read. The time is a about the same, 5-6 hours, depending on whether we get waylaid by a freight train, but I’ll arrive at just about the same cost, and no travel fatigue. That is, if I don’t count getting to the train station.
First, I get to attend Duckie teaching acrylic painting to the general public.
“I hate you for talking me into doing this!”
“I love painting. Did I spell anything wrong in my instruction?”
“I can’t wait.”
“I hate you.”
Duckie is wonderful. She takes over the crowd with her smile and her detailed instructions. From the small piece I get to see. I had to leave for the train 15 minutes in. I could have left at 2:08 on Metra, got to the station at 3:30 and ran for the 4:00.
“Too close,” Loved-One said. “I’ll drive you into the city.”
Bumper to bumper most of the way. I watched my iPhone app oscillate, ETA: 3:00, 3:30, 3:45, 3:29, 3:28… The “Miles Remaining decreased so slowly, I thought the GPS must be broken. Sometimes there really can be TMI – too much information.
Plan B: I’ll take the car and Loved-One will take Metra back home. That will work. it will. It’s great to have a Plan B, but who in the heck wants to use it?
I arrived just as the train boarded. Got to the front of the line, too, thanks to Amtrak’s senior service. Also, thanks to the discount, I paid just a little more than the cost of gas to drive, in my Prius. Now that’s economical.
My son, who is in Indonesia on a cultural exchange fellowship, sent me a paper to proof read. Done. I texted back and forth to Duckie and Loved-One. Both are home safe. I read a chapter, and now I’m getting a leg up on my “Ladies’ Away from Home Journey.”
I Instant Messaged Mom so she knows I’m on time. I have such a tech savvy Mom. I’m so lucky.
Guess I’ll take some time to enjoy travel through America’s backyards. That’s what my brother John calls train travel. (That’s Johnny, the littlest Little Kid.) He’s a wise one, for a Little Kid.