Gettin’ On the Thanksgivin’ Train

I’m sitting on Amtrak’s Lakeshore Limited outside the Buffalo, NY station. The wind is whipping. It looks like it’s about 10 degrees out, even though my weather app says 35. Those that chose to take advantage of the ‘fresh air break’ are certainly getting it, maybe more than they needed.

It’s an 18 hour train trip to our destination, if everything is on time, which at this point it’s not. The train’s about two hours behind. We’re about at the halfway point.

The train is full. There will be 150 more getting on in Rochester! Most, I figure, are heading somewhere for visits with family and friends for the Thanksgiving holiday. And, they prefer to hop on the train rather than drive the snowy (at least here) highways on this, the busiest travel day of the year.

From where I’m sitting, most people are engaged in some sort of activity on an electronic device. Me, too. I’m not hearing much conversation. It’s a pretty quiet car. There are few intercom announcements. Melissa, in the cafe car is a lot quieter than her colleague, Rachel, who works this train occasionally, and will clog the sound waves with all kinds of things we ‘need to know.’

The view outside is quite dull. There are no oranges and yellows punctuating the grayness. There’s no blue sky peeking around the the edges of clouds. Wildlife sightings? Nope, not even any deer near. It seems as if the scenery that makes looking out the train window worthwhile, is taking the holiday weekend off.

So, that’s what’s going on here this morning – pretty low-key.  But, every train trip is different. Sometimes it’s just a way to get from one place to another. The destination is what’s important. Sometimes the ‘journey’ becomes the main event.

The main event this weekend, however, is giving thanks, wherever we are and with whomever we are. We are giving thanks for today’s gift and every day’s gifts, which are — .  You fill in the blanks. You know better than I.

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