Monday, October 19, 2009

choo choo`

When I was 11 years old, my family moved from upstate New York (Hello VESTAL!) to Northern Virginia.

Culture shock? Why yes, yes it was.

We were transplanted from the gently rolling hills of lower-upstate NY to the literal flatlands of red-soiled Virginia, where there was hardly EVER any snow, noplace good to skate, was bereft of the crowds of kids we were used to, and DIDN'T HAVE A CREEK.

Change was, in this case, not good. It was hard as hell to make the necessary adjustments.

One thing new and good that did come of that move though were the trains. Mom and Dad bought a house in 'The Timbers.' a subdivision that was on the total outskirts of civilization in 1973, a place that butted heads with still-vast woodlands, that smelled of ancient beings when the bulldozers turned over yet another plot of earth for yet another new home, that had a passing acquaintance with the Fairfax County that used to be.

Which included the trains.

The first time, or the first 12 dozen times, those trains blew through on the tracks that ran not but 4 blocks or so from our house, I thought for SURE they were coming through my window they were so loud. My teeth nearly rattled, my ears ached, and my heart raced with excitement, thinking I might just die tonight when the locomotive came churning through my bedroom, I would be aa sad fact of derailment that coursed energetically far enough to scenically murder a young girl in her bed. So tragic. Ah.

Never did happen, at least not yet. I hold out hope it is the way I ultimately 'go.' Death by derailed train having such an...impact. You know?

Ever since those musk-filled days of youthfully overactive imagination, I've loved the sound of a passing train. It was my good fortune then to have recently moved into the Tiny House, who is situated not but 3 blocks or so from a reliably scheduled train route. Every morning at around 9, and every evening at around 9, the train goes by, hooting warnings to a new morning or a fading day. The knowledge of a train going by is like an open book, a story to be written in the grit and chug of an engine, in the rattle of the cars, of the graffiti on the sides of countless coal cars passing from there to who knows where.

Oh yes, I love me some trains, and am so glad to have landed in a spot that is within shouting distance of their muscular thrumble through this quiet pinch of the South I now call home.

So that's what's on my mind today. Hope you're enjoying your corner of the world.

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